Laos Gastronomy

Laos food

Laos food


Laos food


Laos food

Fiery and fragrant, with a touch of sour, Laotian food own its distinctive taste among those in Southeast Asian countries, with its closest relative being the cuisine of the Isan region of Thailand.


Laotian food is based on fish, buffalo meat, pork, poultry and especially herbs. It is always being freshly prepared and not being preserved. Other than sticky rice, which can be eaten either sweet or sour, or fermented and is eaten with fingers, Laotian food is very rich in vegetables and is  often browned in coconut oil.


Rice is the staple of Laotian food. The most popular plate of rice is “khao niao”, steam cooked sticky rice.


Laotian cooking not only uses cultivated vegetables, but often wild fruit or vegetables picked from the forests are used as well. Laotian food has a unique flavor and some dishes can be spicy to the un accustomed foreigner.


A few traditional Laos dishes you should know: the well-known paya salad “tamahung” which is made from sliced raw papaya, garlic, chile, peanuts, sugar, fermented fish sauce and lime juice – it can be extremely spicy, so be careful! If you have a fragile throat, ask for it without chilli, but it’s a pity.


“Feu” is one of the most popular dishes, a noodle soup with meat and vegetables. Another soup is “tom-yam’, with chicken or fish offered in a circular stove heated by charcoal.


“Lap”, traditional Lao salad, is made from mince meat or fish seasoned with green lemon and chilli. The finely chopped meat, spices and broth is mixed with uncooked rice grains that have been dry fried, and crushed. Lap means “happiness and luck”. It is eaten with a plate of raw vegetables and sticky rice.


As yet, Laotian cuisine has many regional variations, according in part to the fresh foods local to each region. Although Lao cuisine isn’t strongly influenced by that of its other neighbours, Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants have made their mark on the culinary landscape by opening restaurants and noodle stalls throughout the country, while the French introduced bread, pâté and pastries.


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