Laotian cuisine may not be outstanding in comparison to other culinary cultures like Vietnam or Thailand,… but there are always impressive foods that will leave you unforgettable experience once trying.
1. Sticky rice (Klao niaw)
Rice is a very important food in Laos, especially sticky rice, although Khao Chao rice and rice noodles (Khao Poon) are very popular here. The members of Lao family usually eat rice from a common bowl or use a separate bowl of rice. Sticky rice is usually eaten by Lao people. When eaten, Lao people will take a small piece of sticky rice, and then use it as a spoon to dip and slice the food on the plate into the mouth or point to the sauce.
The secret to making perfect sticky rice is soaking the raw sticky rice overnight before using, then rinsing it several times before steaming it in a pot. In addition, when coming to Laos, you will also have the chance to enjoy the famous Khao Lam sticky rice (sticky rice will be put in a bamboo tube and baked on the fire).
In Laos, Laap (also known as “lạp”) means luck, symbolizing the wish for peace of Lao people. The main ingredients for this dish can be beef, pork, chicken,… mixed with liver which is minced and marinated in lemon juice, chili, galangal,…
After being cooked, the dish will be eaten with raw vegetables such as lettuce, cowpea,… all mixed together will create a very attractive aroma, with the sour taste of lime juice, spicy chili, the aroma of spices,… all together will give diners an unforgettable feeling.
3. Tam Mak Houng
Papaya in Laos is called Tam Maak Houng. Papaya is not too green but also not so ripe. Once the papaya is scooped into the yarn, it will be put into the mortar for a slight touch. Seasoning ingredients include lemon juice, shrimp paste, paprika, pepper, chili.
When you eat Laos’s papaya salad, the aroma of spices mixed with sour taste will give you a taste, not like any food that is sold anywhere else. Most restaurants, eateries in Laos serve this dish. So, don’t worry if you want to try this dish but have no idea where to go, ok!
4. French crispy bread
Due to a long time of French colonization, French cuisine is also popular in Laos and can be easily found everywhere, particularly in restaurants in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Especially, French crispy bread or baguette is a popular dish for Lao people. Lao people often dip baguette in milk coffee to eat, or eat with fried eggs or stuffed pate like the sandwich.
Khausoy is a famous dish in Luang Prabang, with the same noodle look but the ingredients are much simpler and the taste is also very delicious. The khausoy broth is made from bone stewed water added a bit Khausoy sauce, the noodles eaten along are often thick.
This dish will be served with vegetables, fresh spinach, dried onion, pepper, chili sauce. Khausoy sauce is the most important ingredient of this dish, made from pureed pork mixed with garlic, tomatoes, spices of all kinds.
Tips for discovering food tour when traveling to Laos:
- If you are interested in learning how to cook Lao foods, there are many cooking centers in Vientiane and Luang Prabang for you to choose.
- To experience more culinary styles and get to know how to create food resources in Laos, you can visit organic farms in Vang Vieng.
- For those who love street foods, do not miss a small alley located in the West of Luang Prabang night market, commonly known as “Street Food”. Here, you will be spoiled for delicious dishes of Laos cuisine at extremely cheap prices.