Laos Cuisine is unique, just like its people. A variety of flavours and dishes are available in both the north and south parts.
Have a look at the 20 tasty dishes that you must try in Laos:
1 Tam Lao
Tam Lao is a spicy version of papaya salad. It has ingredients like dried shrimp, black crab, pungent Lao fish sauce called padek, and tomatoes. It is served with lots of dried red chilies to give a spicy twist. Other ingredients like citrus and sugar are added to cut down the spicy flavor.
2 Yam Patu
Yam Patu is a tuna salad in Lao style. Since Lao has no ocean, the dish is made with canned tuna which is mixed with lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, ginger, and garlic. Other ingredients like chilies, lemongrass, cilantro, onions, scallions, and tomatoes are added in large quantities, which are then topped with the tuna mixture.
3 Laam Naam Tok
Laam Naam Tok is a Laos’ version of diced meat salad made with medium-rare beef. It is eaten by hands where the salad is scooped out with sticky rice rolled into a ball. Other than beef, fish sauce, shallots, lemongrass, cilantro, and mint are added to enhance the flavor.
4 Pak Bung Fai Dang
Pak Bung Fai Dang is a staple diet among the people of South East Asia. Morning Glory (Water Spinach) is stir-fried with garlic and red chilies. The sauce is also prepared, which has a savory taste which includes oyster sauce, oil, sugar, fish sauce, and sometimes pork stock is also added.
5 Ping Kaa Muu
Ping Kaa Muu is also known as grilled pork neck and is served with dipping sauces which are spicy. The meat is chewy and is often served with green vegetables as sides.
6 Ping Gai
Ping Gai, also known as the grilled chicken, is a famous Laos street food that is sold at roadside stands. The chicken is grilled between bamboo skewers where head and feet still attached.
7 Luk Sin Pa
Luk Sin Pa are fish balls served either as a part of meat medley in khaopiak soup or on a skewer. The meatballs are made with spices and minced fish. They are mixed until a paste-like texture is formed. It is then hand rolled and fried or boiled.
8 Khaopoon Pa
Khaopoon Pa is a traditional Laos soup served at ceremonies and weddings. It is made from fermented rice noodles called Khaopoon and orange fish broth. It is served with lemongrass and galangal as they add flavor. Other ingredients like sprouts and other green leafy vegetables are also added.
9 Khao Pat
Khao Pat is a delicious dessert from Laos. It is a fruit custard which is topped with powdered sugar.
10 Coconut Khaopoon
Coconut Khaopoon is a famous Laos coconut curry which is served over fermented rice noodles. It is flavored with lemongrass, galangal, and chilis. The usage of coconut milk dulls the spiciness of the chilis and adds sweetness to the curry. This dish is served with cabbage, bean sprouts, or basil.
11 Khaopiak Khao
Khaopiak Khao is a traditional rice soup made from khaopiak noodle soup (wet rice). This white rice is served in a pork or chicken broth with meats such as chicken, beef, or pork. The soup is served and garnished with cilantro and lime.
12 Tam Taeng
Tam Taeng is a salad made from cucumber that can be eaten alone or mixed with khaopoon which is fermented rice noodles or with Khao niao, also known as sticky rice. Apart from cucumbers, other ingredients like long beans, shrimp, peanuts, and tomatoes are added, while the dressing has ingredients of citrus and chilies.
13 Yam MakKuea Nyao
Yam MakKuea Nyao is a famous Laos salad where the green eggplants are charcoal grilled which are then cooked until they turn black. The skin is peeled out, and the strips are tossed with boiled eggs, fish sauce, citrus, and chili dressing. Other ingredients like cilantro, shallots, and dried shrimps are also added.
14 Yam Het
Yam Het is an umami-rich mushroom salad made with wild mushrooms or grilled oysters. It is then seasoned with shallots, cilantro, mint, soy sauce, lime, and lemongrass. It tastes best when it is served warm.
15 Thot MakEw
Thot MakEw is a deep-fried pumpkin. A variety of delicious pumpkins are available in Laos. The pumpkin is cut into cubes before it is stir-fried with garlic, chilies, shrimp paste, and onions. The result is that it is not mushy; rather, it has a crispy texture despite being fried.
16 Pa Duk
Pa Duk is made from catfish. The fish is grilled and chopped into small pieces. It is then served with galangal, lemongrass, kefir leaves, and citrus. Many Lao farmers dig their fishing ponds where they raise catfish or other fish to eat and sell.
17 Sai Oua Kuang
Sai Oua Kuang is delicious food from Laos. It is a seasoned herbal pork sausage. The texture is extremely crumbly, but the aroma makes it perfect for consumption. You can have it plain or dip in jeow.
18 Kaeng Jute
Kaeng Jute is also known as plain soup. It is not at all spicy. The chicken or pork broth is seasoned with cilantro, lemongrass, and garlic. They are often served with glass noodles. People also prefer to add sugar, dried chilies, chili paste, or sliced chilis in vinegar to enhance the taste.
Phor is a noodle soup prepared from beef broth, served with chilis, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime. It is a common soup available throughout the country, and the tastes vary according to the Northern or Southern part of Laos. You can choose from thick or thin noodles and add chillies or sugar as per your taste.
Larb is a minced meat salad, also considered as the national dish of Laos. Larb is made with beef, duck, chicken, pork, or fish. It includes flavors of lime juice, fermented fish juice, fresh herbs, fish sauce, and ground rice. It comes with chili peppers which can be avoided if you cannot handle spicy food. It is paired with sticky rice.