LAOS CULINARY INTRODUCTION
Lao food is distinct from its neighbours, Vietnam and Cambodia, although it is somehow similar to the food in the north east of Thailand.
Lao traditional food is spicy and dry basing on buffalo meat, fish, poultry and pork. Vegetables and herbs appear in every Laos meal. Laos people usually use fresh ingredients to cook the dishes as they believe this makes their food more delicious.
Sticky rice is a staple of Laos food and it is traditionally eaten by using fingers. Traditionally, spoons were used only for soups and white rice, and chopsticks were used only for noodles. Most food was handled by hand. The traditional eating manner was family style, with diners sitting on the floor and sharing dishes. Though this tradition is still common in the country side, it is not widely seen in urban areas nowadays.
Another daily favourite is noodle soup (called feu also spelt pho) which is a hearty soup incorporating meat, noodles and vegetables. Don’t be surprised if when ordering your noodle soup, a huge plate of local salad vegetables arrives at the same time, together with a range of sauces and condiments.
Laap is a traditional Lao food is made from chopped meat, chicken or duck is a favorite. The finely chopped meat spices and broth is mixed with uncooked rice grains that have been dry fried and crushed. Laap is eaten with a plate of raw vegetables and sticky rice.
Tam Mak houng or Papaya salad is a type of salad made from sliced raw papaya, garlic, chile, peanuts, sugar, fermented fish sauce and lime juice.
Padeck is the distinctive and unique Lao traditional food. It’s a mixture of fish and salt that is marinated and preserved in a jar for minimum of a year up to 3 years.
WHERE TO EAT: Vientiane Restaurant: There are various choices of riverside restaurants serving traditional Thai and Southeast Asian dishes and even European cuisines. Luang Prabang Restaurant: Like Vientiane, there is a various choice of restaurant in this small town from European cuisine to Indian, Laos cuisine. Savannakhet: it is easy to find a smaill restaurant run by locals and street food can meet the needs of those who wish to try the original taste of traditional Laos cuisines. Xieng Khouang: Eating options are not particularly varied in Xieng Khouang; the vast majority of restaurants serve traditional Asian fare. French cuisine can be easily found, and the most obvious French influence - baguette sandwiches are sold on most streets while Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese dishes are easy enough to find. Champasak: Eating options are limited here and they are often attached to restaurants of hotels or guesthouses. Noodle and standard Laos dishes such as laap with sticky rice can be found on main street.
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