Lap Lap – The national dish of Vanuatu

Lap lap – Vanuatu’s National dish

Filled Lap LapLap lap is the dish most commonly associated with Vanuatu.

The basic recipe is made from a grated starch base – usually taro or plantain – and some kind of meat or vegetable ingredient with loads of coconut cream and wrapped in leaves from the lap lap or banana leaves.

It is traditionally cooked in coals or hot stones, although it can be baked in an oven. I prefer in coals as it does gather a particular smokey flavor which is truly delicious. Learn how to make Lap Lap as part of our Vanuatu Food Adventure. when you visit the Port Vila Markets you can see a number of vendors that specialise lap lap. Mostly they will be slabs of  yam, taro or plantain starch topped with chicken, fish or vegetables and of course lashing of coconut cream.

I’m not sure which is more interesting, the range of colorful Aelan (Island) dresses worn by the vendors, or the range of delicious versions of their lap lap.

Given my Portuguese background I love to make ‘filled lap lap’ with local pork or chicken. My version does of course include the use of tomatoes and paprika!

How about a pulled pork lap lap …

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