Laos is not a country rich in resources but the food of this country is extremely attractive. Combining Vietnamese and Thai cuisine, with the ingredients from the virgin nature, Laos cuisine is not only rich in flavor but also extremely unique. The food and drinks of Laos are very simple, both in terms of ingredients and decoration but you will love it immediately. Here are 11 foods and drinks that you should try when coming to Laos.
I. Laos Food
1. Sticky rice
It is a daily dish of Laotians. Usually, Laotians eat sticky rice every meal, but not much. Laotians make glutinous rice from mountain-grown ingredients, so the rice is very soft, sticky and has the color of ivory. Laotian glutinous rice has no black or multicolored color like other countries.
Laotians usually eat sticky rice with grilled chicken, boiled vegetables and “Cheo bong” – a delicious sauce similar to the fish sauce in Vietnam. Rice can be packaged in bamboo baskets, so its aroma becomes more attractive.
Price: about 15,000 kip/bowl (about 1 euro)
When it comes to Laotian cooking, the most famous dish is “lap”. This dish is very popular in all the regions of Laos and represents the luck for the visitors. When you arrive at the home of a Laotian, the owner is always ready to serve you a plate of “Lap”.
The raw materials of this dish could be beef, pork, chicken … mixed with chopped liver and spices like lemon juice, chili pepper, galangal, … After mixing, “lap” will be served with raw vegetables like lettuce salad, green beans … all are mixed together to create extremely attractive aroma. “Lap” – a beautiful mix, an unforgettable experience.
Price: about 30,000 kip/plate (around 2 euro).
3. Savannakhet chickens
The Savannakhet grilled chicken (a southern Laos province) is famous for its splendid flavor. However, you don’t have to go to Savannakhet to enjoy it. In Vientiane and LuongPrabang there are many cooked chicken stalls. Using chickens that live on pasture, these chicken’s meat is very good. They also use a special type of charcoal to burn – the old charcoal.
Chicken is served with hand sticky rice and “cheo bong” – an excellent blend.
Price: around 50,000 kip/plate (about 10,000VNĐ).
Khausoy is a famous dish in Luang Prabang, which is somewhat similar to Pho from Vietnam but its ingredient is simpler. The dish is just a mixture of boiling water, pasta, vegetables (such as shallots, pepper, chili) and minced pork mixed with garlic, tomatoes, herbs, and spices.
A special feature of the Khausoy: They do not use stewed bone broth during mixing, however, its taste is still very attractive, charming and sweet.
Price: 15,000 kip/bowl (about 1 euro).
5. Crackling and vegetable rolls
This dish is unique in Laos, salad crackling roll is made for picnics or outdoor villages. It contains varied fried crispy vegetables available at market stalls. This dish is wrapped in lettuce and used with papaya salad, raw vegetables and “cheo bong”.
Roll of cracklings and vegetables has a strange taste for all tourists, do you have the courage to try it?
Price: 10,000 kip/package (about 20,000 VNĐ)
6. Laos “Pho”
Laotian Pho is different from Vietnamese pho. They do not put cinnamon and anise in stewed bone broth, customers can put spices according to their taste. In the pho bowl, they always have 2-3 pieces of pork blood pudding and meatballs. The fresh vegetables of Lao pho are basil, lettuce, fresh-cut string beans used with shrimp sauce. Peppers and other vegetables and pork bone give will give an unique soup.
Prices range from 30,000 kip to 35,000 kip (small, medium or large bowl) (from 60,000 to 105,000 VNĐ).
7. Green papaya salad
Laotian papaya salad called Hung Tam Maak. The selected papaya is not green, but it is also not too ripe. After grating, they put papaya in the blender jar to pierce. Condiments include lime juice, shrimp paste, eggplant, pepper, chili.
In Vietnam, papaya salad is usually dry, but the Laotian one is always used with sauce.
Price: about 30,000 kip/plate (about 2 euros).
II. Laos Beverage
Lau Lao and fanthong is light liquorice based on fermented glutinous rice mixed with a little lemon and Pepsi. Laotian wine is easy to drink, hard to get drunk but does not cause headaches when drunk. According to custom, the Laotians drink Lau Lao with a long tube and porcelain vase-like other peoples in Southeast Asia.
2. Coconut water
Above all, grilled coconut is a unique drink in Laos. They put fresh coconut fruit on the grill, take its lining and then chill it. The coconut water becomes very sweet and strangely scented, its copra becomes soft and crunchy. Coconut water is found in many meals, Laotian people have the habit of mixing the coconut water with other beverages.
Laos coffee is delicious, most of the Laotian coffee is grown on the Bolovens highland in southern Laos. Laotians like to drink strong and sweet coffee, so people from this country often add sugar and milk to coffee. Coffee is often made in every cup, drunk together with a cup of Nansha, a Chinese tea – an interesting mix, right?
Laos also has its own brand of beer, Laotian beer is light, sweet and good for health. Let’s try Beer Laos, with Danish technology, the best and unique beer brand in Laos.