Fresh vegetables and herbs appear in almost every Lao meal as Lao people enjoy eating them. As a result, meat and fish are usually steamed or grilled, the famous dishes are fresh and low in fat ones.
Due in part to the fresh local foods to each region, Lao scuisine has many regional variations. You can either spend a morning to cook delicious Laos dishes for your lunch or enjoy an authentic Laos meal (khao niew or sticky rice is a staple) in many of the restaurants.
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Traditionally, Laos food use fingers to eat sticky rice. All people in the countryside eat as family style, sharing a few dishes together while sitting on the floor. Based on pork, buffalo meat, fish, poultry and especially herbs, Laos traditional food is spicy, dry and very delicious. Other than sticky rice dish, which can be eaten either fermented, sour or sweet with fingers, Laotian food, which is always freshly prepared and not preserved, is very rich in vegetables and is often browned in coconut oil.
Khao Piak Sen in Laos
Even though khao piak sen is not really the official breakfast of Vientiane’s locals, it is so popular in the capital city that it seems like it. Every morning on the way to work, you can go through many carts, sidewalk stalls or shops serving up Khao Piak. You will surely find that all of bowl to prepare for the hard-working day ahead. Khao Piak comes in two main broth styles: chicken and pork broth. Served with a sticky white noodle, it comes in regular or thick size.
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Khao Poon (Rice Vermicelli Soup)
Made with long-simmered chili and meat-based soup (e.g. chicken, pork, fish), Lao noodle soup is ladled on the cooked rice vermicelli and a bed of chopped up fresh vegetables such as string beans, mint leaves, coriander, spring onion and shallots. To enjoy its best taste, don’t forget to add fish sauce.
Khao soy is a fairly simple pork broth with medium wide rice noodles with sauce of ground tomato and pork layered on top pork broth. It is the pork tomato sauce that’s poured on top of the bowl that is the highlight of this dish. And to balance the heaviness of the pork sauce, it is accompanied by fresh watercress leaves. In Luang Prabang’s highland cool wet climates, the watercress is commonly found. However, in Vientiane, some watercress can also be found, though the leaves are not as available and vibrant as the ones found in Luang Prabang.
Or Lam (Lao Stew)
Tasty Lao stew, which is original to Luang Prabang, consists mainly of vegetables. Going into the dish are green onion, cilantro, wood ear mushrooms, chilies, lemongrass, basil, beans, eggplant and locally grown vine called sa kaan with optional kinds of meat (classically prepared water buffalo meat).
Khao Poon Nam Jeow
Along with a wide variety of pork innards parts, khao poon nam jeow is also accompanied with a garden variety of vegetables such as green papaya, cabbage, banana flower and thinly sliced bamboo shoots.
Khaipen (Fried Seaweed) with Jaew Bong
Kaipen is such a popular snack made of freshwater green algae, peppered with sesame seeds and naturally dried under sun into paper-thin sheets. Normally, they store these raw Kaipen in rolls. To be edible, the Kaipen sheets should be flash-fried in a pan and often served together with jaew bong (chili paste).