Lao Cuisine

Our Traditional Lao Cuisine

The Lao people have a unique cuisine.  Luang Prabang food is a taste sensation not to be missed.  It is a diverse cuisine and incorporates the Lao taste for sweet, sour, bitter and salty.  Also surprisingly it revolves around their liking for texture in their food.

The Lao love their food.  They are a convivial people who like nothing better than sitting around with friends and family eating and drinking.  Any excuse for a party… and as soon as two people are together, food is involved!

Lao food is diverse and the variety vast.  Their cuisine is unique and although the majority of ingredients are the same as other Asian countries, there is no relation to other cuisines.  The Lao have a way of mixing their flavours that is unexpected and unusual. 

Most Lao dishes are not highly spiced as they like subtle flavours in their dishes.  They do not cook with a lot of chilli, as their saying is “everybody’s chilli taste is different”, so they have an array of chillied side dishes.  These can be as uncomplicated as a dish of sliced up chilli, or grated garlic & soy with chilli, or mixed flavoured side-dips for sourness with lime and fish sauce.  They like squeezing lime juice on some of their dishes – for the sour taste.  They also have the more demanding chutneys such as the famous Luang Prabang jeowbong.  

Lao enjoy the mix of sweet, sour and bitter.  A favourite is green mango dipped in a mixture of salt, sugar, chili and fish sauce.  You will see people peddling around town with small carts selling sweet and sour fruit which is dipped in the above mixture.

The Lao also like texture in their dishes and add such ingredients as thinly sliced banana flower and an endless variety of dried buffalo skin and fungi such as woodear fungus.  They must be about the only people in world to add wood to their dishes… the Lao say it adds extra zing!!

The Lao are the only people in South East Asia who use "sticky rice" as a staple part of their diet.  No meal is complete without it.  Other cuisines in South East Asia use sticky rice only for special foods or sweets.  Sticky rice is often referred to in the West as "glutinous rice".

The above is a very brief overview of the Lao people and their food.  When you attend one of our Cooking Classes, you receive a Cook Book which has an introduction that explains in more detail about Lao people, their culture and their food.


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