Preparing Laplap


Laplap is the national dish of Vanuatu. It's a doughy mixture made from Cassava or one of the various kinds of yam.

Pieces of pork, chicken or even Flying Fox are cooked in the laplap.

Slabs of Laplap are often sold in the markets as fast food. It can be delicious or a stodgy trial depending on where you get it.

We first had Laplap prepared by our friend Nellie at Port Resolution, Tanna - delicious.

Preparation Time: 1 hour


Preparing Laplap 1. Grate cassava or taro. Mix in coconut cream. (Thick coconut milk made by squeezing grated coconut or out of a tin).
Preparing Laplap 2. Prepare a large open cooking pan and line with banana leaves. Pour the grated cassava mixture into the bowl.
Preparing Laplap 3. Fold small pieces of Island Cabbage or young Taro leaves into cylinders and insert vertically into the cassava mixture creating small pockets. Sprinkle coconut cream over everything filling the cabbage tubes.
Preparing Laplap 4. Prepare a fire and heat fist-sized stones. Catch and pluck a chicken. Use the flames of the fire to singe the small feathers and make then easier to pluck.
Preparing Laplap 5. With the aid of a small child holding the head of the chicken, gut the chicken and cut up into pieces. Place the chicken pieces into a marinade made from soy sauce and some herbs.
Preparing Laplap 6. Place the chicken pieces on top of the cassava mixture and sprinkle everything with more coconut cream. Cover the mixture by folding the banana leaves over the top of the pan.
Preparing Laplap 7. Place the pan on top of the fire and, using two halves of a coconut, pick up the hot stones and place on top
Preparing Laplap 8. Place more coconut leaves on top of the pan and hot stones and place a weight on top to hold the banana leaves in place.
Preparing Laplap 9. Cook for about one hour. Cut the Laplap into big slabs and sprinkle with coconut cream. Serve hot with coconut cream in a separate bowl.