Chicken Steamed in Banana Leaf (Lao PDR Mawk Kai)

Mawk refers to the technique of steaming a dish wrapped in banana leaves and is easy to prepare. The mouth-watering aroma of the condiments is encased within the robust leaf, which also adds its own fragrance as the dish is cooked.

Recipe author: Somsanouk Mixay
Inside The Southeast Asian Kitchen
Reproduced courtesy of ArtpostAsia Pte Ltd

Publisher's Copyrighted Material
Category:  Main Course  - 


For 8 Serving(s)


  • 1 chicken (about 1.5 kg)
  • 5 stalks lemongrass, sliced
  • 8 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 dried chillies, deseeded, soaked in water and drained
  • 3 tbs nam par (fish sauce)
  • salt to taste
  • 10 spring onions, chopped
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves

Chicken Steamed in Banana Leaf (Lao PDR Mawk Kai) Directions

  1. 1. De-bone the chicken then chop the meat into bite-size cubes. Rub chicken cubes with salt and set aside.
  2.  2. Pound the lemongrass, shallots and dried chillies to form a fine paste (alternatively, use a food processor). Add nam par, salt, chopped spring onions, kaffir lime leaves and chicken pieces to the paste. Mix well.
  3.  3. Divide the chicken mixture into eight portions and wrap them in banana leaves or aluminium foil. Steam the packages for 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
  4. I prepared using chicken breast fillets which worked well.