All posts filed under: Cooking

Dreams and Diaspora: An interview with Alisak Sanavongsay

Alisak Sanavongsay is a classic example of quiet leadership in the Lao community. Soft-spoken and good-natured, he works tirelessly to build a revitalized Lao tradition, volunteering with a wide range of events and organizations from the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project, the Lao Artists Festival of Elgin, the National Lao American Writers Summit, and the Center for Lao Studies, just to name a few. He’s also become known for his role in shooting and editing the popular “Cooking with Nana” show on YouTube.  Currently a programmer at the University of California-Merced, Alisak traces his roots to Savannakhet, Laos, initially resettling in Tennessee and Illinois before moving to California with his family. We had a chance to discuss his journey with him: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What’s a part of your family’s story in coming to America that lingers with you the most,  especially as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Lao Diaspora? I was born in a village called Bane Thasano, in Savannakhet, Laos. I’m the oldest of three children. When I was …

Laomerican Cooking HalLaoween Edition: The 5-Layer Phi Dip!

It always happens, you spent so much time getting your HalLaoween costume ready for the big party, you’re just about out of time to bring over a dish for the hosts? What to do, what to do? Thanks to almost a year of trial and error experiments with our families and friends (Thanks for being the test subjects!) we can present the 5-Layer Phi Dip, which isn’t “fancy” but it’s saep lai and easy to fix on the run, if you’ve got the right stuff on hand. You’ll need: 1 tub of cooked beef laab (most guests hate raw laab in this dish) 1 can of refried beans or a can of chili with beans 1 white onion diced 1 tomato diced 1 green pepper diced 1-2 Lao chili peppers, diced 1 dash of ghost pepper powder, if you dare. 1 can mango habanero salsa or whatever good brand you can find. 1 package of shredded cheese (unless lactose intolerance is an issue.) Put the refried beans or chili on top of the cooked beef …