National Dish of Vanuatu Lap Lap
|green bananas (peeled and grated)||2|
|large sweet potatoes (peeled and grated||3|
|Chinese cabbage (rinsed and chopped)||1|
|bunch spinach (rinsed and chopped)||1|
|onion (peeled and finely chopped)||1|
|chicken (spatchcocked)||1 (1.4kg)|
|vegetable oil||2 tbsp.|
|coconut milk||2 cups|
|bunch chives (sliced)||½|
|large banana leaves (spines removed)||5|
|cloves garlic (minced)||2|
Lap Lap is a baked casserole, predominantly made from grated root vegetables, bananas, and coconut milk. There are many variations including vegetarian versions, and others made with pork, chicken, or flying fox meat. The casserole is wrapped in banana leaves and traditionally baked in an earth oven called an Uma. LapLap is considered to be the national dish of Vanuatu. This dish is usually prepared for special occasions on the island.
Directions for Preparing Lap Lap
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Soften the banana leaves by blanching them in hot water or bypassing them over an open flame for thirty (0:0:30) seconds.
- Arrange the leaves on a large baking tray, overlapping them to create a base for a parcel.
- Set aside.
- Mix the grated bananas and sweet potatoes in a bowl, and season with black pepper and salt.
- Mix the spinach and Chinese cabbage in a separate bowl, and season with black pepper and salt.
- Combine half of the coconut milk with the onions and minced garlic cloves.
- Set aside.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the chicken.
- Brown the chicken on both sides, skin side down.
- Set aside the chicken after cooking.
- Assemble the Lap Lap by arranging half of the spinach and cabbage mixture in the center of the banana leaves.
- Spread the sweet potato and green banana mixture over this.
- Place the chicken, skin side up, on top of the sweet potato and banana layer.
- Cover the chicken with the remaining spinach and cabbage.
- Pour the coconut milk and onion mixture over the filling.
- Wrap the banana leaves tightly over the filling, and secure it with a string.
- Place the package in the preheated oven
- Bake the Lap Lap for about one (1:00) hour or until the chicken is cooked.
- Remove the package from the oven and untie the string.
- Unwrap the banana leaves and pour the remaining coconut milk over the top.
- Garnish the Lap Lap with the sliced chives and serve immediately.
National Dish of Belize
Serving Size: 6
Calories Per Serving: 158