A delicious gourmet tapas-style dish. 


  • 300g or 2 small chicken breasts, plus extra skin if available – if thick, cut in half lengthways

  • 400ml can coconut milk

  • ¼ cup short grain rice

  • 2 lemons

  • 1 banana flower

  • Dressing

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • ½ tablespoon caster sugar

  • 1cm galangal, peeled

  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced, including seeds

  • Salad

  • Small handful mint, leaves picked and washed

  • Small handful coriander, leaves picked and washed

  • Small handful Thai basil, leaves picked and washed

  • 3 sprigs saw tooth coriander, leaves picked

  • 2 banana shallots, thinly sliced

  • 2 lime leaves, shredded finely

  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced white & light green only

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, finely shredded, tender white part only

  • 2 tablespoons fried garlic

  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots

  • 1 tablespoon peanuts, toasted

  • 12 betel leaves

  • Indian Milk Punch 

  • 50ml Bombay Sapphire

  • 60ml Australian Rice Milk

  • 20ml Nestle Condensed Milk

  • 3ml Bitter Truth Pimento Dram


  • 1.

    Place chicken breasts into a medium sized saucepan and pour over the coconut milk. Add a little water if necessary to just cover the chicken. Bring to gentle simmer, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes before turning off the heat. Cover and allow to complete cooking in the hot milk for 15-20 minutes. Leave to sit, preferably until cooled completely in the coconut milk, if you have time.

  • 2.

    Place the rice into a small non-stick frying pan and toast slowly for 5-6 minutes over a medium heat, stirring or tossing regularly to ensure the rice cooks evenly and is a light golden brown. Cool and pound in a mortar and pestle to a fine powder, Set aside.

  • 3.

    To prepare banana flower, cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice of 1½ lemon’s into a large bowl of water. Throw in the squeezed lemon halves. With the remaining ½ a lemon, squeeze and rub the juice over the chopping board and blade of the knife, this will help to ensure your leaves don’t turn brown.

  • 4.

    Remove the tough dark outer leaves of the banana blossom and discard. Gently reveal the undeveloped banana leaves layer by layer, discarding the long stamens as you go. Rub any cut or torn surfaces with the lemon half as they will oxidize and go dark brown quickly. Stack the leaves and shred finely with a sharp knife, placing into the lemon water immediately to prevent the shredded leaves from dis-colouring. Set aside for 15 minutes in the fridge. Drain onto paper towel when ready to use.

  • 5.

    Meanwhile to prepare dressing, place the juice of the lime into a small bowl, add the fish sauce and caster sugar. Grate galangal on a micro plane and place into the dressing. Add chili and stir to combine and dissolve sugar.

  • 6.

    To prepare salad, drain chicken from the coconut milk and finely slice. Place all the herbs, sliced banana shallots, toasted rice, lime leaf, spring onions, drained banana leaves and lemongrass into a large bowl. Add the chicken slices and toss to combine. Drench with dressing and toss to coat.

  • 7.

    To serve, place a tablespoon or so of Laab in the center of each betel leaf and allow 3 leaves per serve. Finish with a scatter with crisp garlic, fried shallots and peanuts.

  • For the punch:

  • 1.

    Infuse rice milk with T2 Autumn Tea, lemon peel, star anise and cinnamon

  • 2.

    Combine Bombay Sapphire, infused Australian Rice Milk & Nestle Condensed Milk into a cocktail shaker

  • 3.

    Add 2 dashes of Pimento Dram

  • 4.

    Shake ingredients and serve

  • 5.

    Garnish with a cinnamon stick

  • 6.

    Serve in a small wine glass


This recipe is a part of Project Botanicals, a distinctly different pop-up bar and dining experience, happening in Melbourne from 24 July - 11 June. Tickets $45, including two cocktails and two matched dishes.

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