How to Make Mok Pa | Banana Leaf Steamed Catfish | Lao Food

by Saeng
How to make Mok Pa
How to make Mok Pa

Whenever my dad went fishing and brought home fresh fish, one of the dishes my mom made was mok pa. It is a very delicious Lao food filled with aromatics and herbs. It goes perfectly with freshly made sticky rice. If you don’t have fish available, you can also replace it with a different protein. The recipe below will make about 8 packages. Enjoy!

How to make Mok Pa

Mok Paa

This is a traditional Lao food and it is called mok pa. It's an aromatic filled catfish steamed in banana leaves.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: lao, lao food, laotian, Main Course
Cuisine: Lao, lao food, laotian
Keyword: catfish, lao food, mok pa, steamed fish
Servings: 8 people


  • Steamer


  • 2.25 lb whole catfish
  • 16 Banana leaves
  • ½ cup lemongrass minced (1 stalks)
  • 1 coriander root
  • 1 tbsp galangal 8g
  • 4 dried bird eye chili rehydrate
  • 1 large shallots diced (72g)
  • 1/2 cup soaked sticky rice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp padaek
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • Pinch msg
  • ½ cup green onion diced 1 stalk
  • 1 tbsp makrut lime leaf minced (4 leaves)
  • ½ cup dill diced 40g 1 handful


  • Rinse rice 3 times and soak the rice for 12 hours in room temperature water or 1 hour in hot water.
  • Rinse the banana leaves 3 times and then dry each one
  • Prepare fish and cut into quarter slices bone in and set aside
  • In a mortar and pestle, pound ¼ cup soaked rice and 2 tbsp water
  • Roughly chop the lemongrass, coriander root, galangal and bird eye chili, then shallots and pound
  • In the rice mixture, add padaek, fish sauce, and msg then mix.
  • Cut up the green onion, lime leaves, and dill
  • In a large bowl, add the pieces of fish then add the rice sauce then mix.
  • Add the green onion, lime leaf, dill, and gently toss.
  • Layer two banana leaves on top of one another, place 1 cup of fish mixture
  • Fold the package lengthwise and then fold the sides inward and crease the top down. Use a banana skewer to hold it together
  • Steam the parcels for 30 minutes
  • Enjoy with sticky rice

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