Laotians enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs, for this reason they appear in almost every Laos meals. Meat and fish are usually grilled or steamed as a result, the famous are fresh and the dishes low in fat. This is top 5 dishes visitors should try in Laos.
Khao Poon (Rice Vermicelli Soup)
Lao noodle soup, made with long-simmered chili-and-meat-based soup (e.g. fish, pork, chicken). This soup is ladled on the cooked rice vermicelli and a bed of chopped up vegetables such as shallots, spring onion, coriander, mint leaves and string beans. Add fish sauce to taste and enjoy.
Also known as ‘sai oua’, Lao sausage makes a pleasant appetizer or snack. Chopped pork meat, seasoned with herbs such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, cilantro, galangal and flavoured with fish sauce. Good with sticky rice and fresh vegetables.
Or Lam (Lao Stew)
Original to Luang Prabang, this tasty stew comprises mainly vegetables. Beans, eggplant, lemongrass, basil, chilies, woodear mushrooms, cilantro, green onion and locally grown vine called ‘sa kaan’ go into the dish, with optional meat (classically prepared water buffalo meat).
Som Moo (Sour Pork Sausage)
This appetizer is made from chopped, fermented raw pork – sometimes includes rump and skin – and wrapped in green leaves. Fresh chilies are usually inserted into the meat, adding a spicy kick to each bite. You can eat it raw or cooked (e.g. grilled), depending on the menu. The raw version is good with raw cabbage leaves and string beans.
Sin Savanh (Lao Beef Jerky)
Sundried beef strips, good with Beer Lao or as a snack. Made from beef flank steak (sometimes water buffalo meat is used), marinated in a mixture of garlic, fish sauce, ginger, sesame seed, sugar, salt and black pepper.
The strips are then left to dry in sunlight, then deep fried until lightly crispy and served with sticky rice or jaew maak len (tomato-based chili dip).