Laos, as the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, borders China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. Therefore, Laotian food remains many characteristics of the cuisines of different countries in Southeast Asia. But, Laotian food also has its distinguishing flavors. People in Laos have a simple and light diet. Most of the dishes are seasoned with spices, which mainly taste sour, spicy and sweet. If you have a trip in Laos, you may want to taste the most popular food in Laos. Some of the most popular foods in Laos are recommended here.
Sticky Rice (Khao Niao)
Khao Niao is the most favorite staple food in Laos. The making progress of Khao Niao is complicated and particular. In general, the sticky rice should be soaked in the water a night in advance. And the height of the water needs to be at least 2 cm higher than that of sticky rice. On the morning of the next day, the sticky rice will be pulled out of the water and be placed in a funnel-shaped container which is weaved with bamboo. Then, the container will be put on a port and the sticky rice will be steamed for 30-40 minutes. Made by this process, the sticky rice is chewy and luscious. At restaurants, the steamed sticky rice is placed in small bamboo basket. You can make the sticky rice into small pieces with your fingers and eat them with special sauces.
Laap (Larb, Larp or Lahb)
Laap is a local delicacy in Laos, which features a distinctive flavor. Laap is made of chopped fish, chopped pork, chopped chicken, chopped beef and chopped duck which are seasoned with pepper, coriander, lime, green onion, garlic, salt, fish sauce and so on. Laap can be divided into three categories. They are rare Laap, medium Laap and well-done Laap.
Lao Rice Noodle
Rice noodle is one of the commonest street foods in Laos. Many local people take rice noodle as their breakfast. The soup poured over the rice noodle is very delicious. Different kinds of meat are added in the dish, such as chicken and pork. And a plate of raw vegetable is offered along with this dish. You can also add other seasonings by yourself, such as fish sauce, lime juice, chili sauce, etc.
Baguettes (Khao Jee)
Because Laos was colonized by France in the past, baguettes gradually became a popular snack in Laos. Nowadays, baguettes are widely sold in the restaurants and on the street in Laos. The baguette is cut into two pieces and is stuffed with meat, eggs, vegetables and some sauces. Lao baguette is not totally the same as French baguette. It is a favorite food for Lao.
There are many rivers in Laos, of which the water is of good quality. Therefore, the rivers abound in fish. People in Laos like to eat grilled fish. The fish stuffed with lemon grass and other seasonings is grilled into golden yellow. It is very delicious to eat the grilled fish with special sauces.
Lao Grilled Sausage
Lao Grilled Sausage, made of chopped pork, is one of the most popular foods in Laos. Lao Grilled Sausage has a unique flavor because it is seasoned with some tropical herbal spices. You are recommended to try Lao Grilled Sausage when you travel in Laos.
Lao Spring Roll
Lao spring roll falls into steamed spring roll and fried spring roll. The wrapper of the spring roll is very thin. Shrimps, mint leaves, peanuts and other stuff are rolled in the thin wrapper. You can eat the rolled wrapper with sweet and salty sauces.
Lao Barbecue& Hot Pot (Sindad)
The traditional Lao Sindad is combined with barbecue and hot pot. The pan used for Sindad is specially designed. The center of the pan is raised which is used for barbecue and the periphery of the pan is used for hot pot. It must be a special experience to enjoy traditional Sindad along a river in Laos.
To some extent, pancake is similar to India Flying Cake. It takes crispy and sweet. The fillings of the pancake are different kinds of fruits. Bananas, pineapples, mangos, lemons and other fruit fillings are offered. Condensed milk can be scattered on the pancake at last. You can see the pancake sold on the street in Laos.
Fruit Shake is one of the most popular drinks in many Southeast Asian countries, including Laos. You can buy a cup of Fruit Shake either at street stalls or at restaurants. The making process of Fruit Shake is simple. At first, put some fresh fruit and ice in a blender and add some honey, condensed milk or coconut milk in it. Then, mix them together and the tasty and refreshing Fruit Shake is done. There are various kinds of Fruit Shake, such as Mango Shake, Pineapple Shake, Watermelon Shake, Banana Shake, Mix Fruit Shake and so on.
Green Papaya Salad (Tam Mak Houng)
Unlike other fruit salad, Green Papaya Salad tastes spicy. The main ingredient of Green Papaya Salad is shredded green papaya. Some other seasonings, such as lime juice, chili, salt, sugar, garlic and fish sauce, will be mixed up and be added in the shredded papaya. At street stalls, you can buy Green Papaya Salad with seasonings chosen by yourself.
Beer Lao is the pride of Lao people. Of high quality and rational price, Beer Lao is also very popular with foreign tourists. You can see Beer Lao sold everywhere in Laos. It is delight to drink a bottle of ice-cold Beer Lao on such a hot day.