Laos is a famous tourist attraction with a variety of delicacies, so tourists are always interested in Laos’ long-standing culinary culture. Some dishes are popular with not only locals but also tourists. This article will introduce the most delicious Laotian dishes that often appear on Laos private tours. Scroll down for more information.
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Great Dishes In Laos
Khao Poon – Spicy Noodle Soup
Khao poon (or Kao pun or Kapoon) is distinguished by the type of noodles used in this soup. It is tubular and slender. The noodles resemble spaghetti in appearance. Pork bones are used to make broth. Some places use fish or chicken for sweetness. Besides, the fermented vermicelli noodles have created a sour taste for the dish.
The meat in Khao poon is pounded before simmering. The broth is then seasoned with galangal, garlic, chili, kaffir leaves, chives, and coconut milk. This dish has a mildly sour taste, the taste of coconut milk. When eaten, the aftertaste will have a sweet taste from the meat. At first, you may not be used to the sour taste of noodles. But once you get used to it, you will be addicted to this taste. Leuat (pig blood), which gives the soup an intriguingly creamy texture, is a common addition to Khao poon. Simply mention “baw sai leuat” (which translates to “don’t use blood”) if you don’t want any pork blood in your soup.
Larb – Minced Meat Salad
Larb (or laap) is the national dish of Laos. Since this dish means “good luck”, it appears in many celebrations.
This minced meat salad is made with minced pork, fresh herbs, mint leaves, toasted rice, crushed garlic, and lime juice. Besides pork, it can be made from beef, duck, or fish meat.
This protein-rich dish is often served with sticky rice and is usually eaten with your hands. Larb ingredients often vary from place to place. Especially the herbs of each locality are different. In particular, in some places, larb contains offal. So make sure the larb is cooked to avoid intestinal diseases. As a national dish, you should not miss it when participating in Laos private tour. If you want to taste different flavors of larb or experience its distinctive flavors, head to the mountainous areas of Laos.
Kaipen – Fried Riverweed
Kaipen (known as Kai paen) is a famous Laotian snack made from river weed. This kind of seaweed is a freshwater alga harvested during January and March in the Mekong river. After being washed, the algae is pressed into some big, thin sheets and dried on a bamboo frame. They are also marinated with garlic, onion, and sesame seeds. They are usually left to dry in the sun for a few days.
Before being fried, the sheet is sliced into little pieces once it is dry. Jaew bong, a dipping sauce prepared from roasted peppers and strips of buffalo skin, is eaten with kaipen. Its taste can remind you of Japanese nori. This is a perfect snack for drinking because of its deliciousness and crunchiness. Kaipen is also a souvenir you buy for your loved ones when traveling to Laos.
Sai Gok (or Sai oua) is a Laotian pork sausage that is a popular appetizer. It is often served with sticky rice, tomato jeow, and fresh vegetables. It is usually made with minced pork, lemongrass, galangal, cilantro, chives, chili, kaffir leaves, and fish sauce. However, what makes sai oua special is the herb. It is then left to dry in the sun for a few days. When you come to Laos, you can see sai Gok being dried anywhere.
With the sour flavor, sai oua goes well with beer. Although sausage is a popular and traditional dish in many countries, Sai Gok still creates a distinct flavor. Because of its special flavors, it often appears in Laos private tours.
Khao Jee – Baguette
Khao jee is a popular breakfast in Laos, similar to Vietnamese banh mi. This is an affordable street food you can find everywhere in Laos. The word “Khao jee” means bread. It only costs 20,000 kip (about $2) for a full-topping Khao jee.
The outer layer of the bread is baked hot and crispy. This layer of baguette plays an important part in Khao jee. Because if the bread is not hot, Khao jee has lost half of its deliciousness. Inside the Khao jee are toppings like moo yor (or pork), ham, pâté, pork floss, pickled, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, carrot, onion, and chili sauce. You can have a full-topping Khao jee or choose a few toppings you like. Khao jee is an affordable breakfast in Laos. It also goes well with a cup of coffee.
Or Lam – Lao Stew
Or lam is a popular dish from northern Laos. This is a slightly spicy stew that contains mai sakaan (spicy chili peppers). The main ingredient of this dish is buffalo meat, which is usually nowhere to be replaced by another type of meat. Besides, the ingredients of or lam include beans, lemongrass, eggplant, basil, cilantro, chili, wood ear, and scallions. However, the unique element of this dish is mai sa kaan. This is a type of wood of the vine. Although this ingredient is not edible, it is added to give it a spicy taste. This stew can be served with rice or vermicelli. Or lam is a dish loved by all Laotians.
We have introduced some special Laotian dishes that appear in most Laos private tours, including national dishes. Do not miss these dishes when coming to Laos. You will surely find at least one of your favorite dishes.
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