Laos cuisine: features, popular dishes, fruits, drinks

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Cuisine Of Laos

The cuisine of Laos is typical of the South-East, it has gathered culinary preferences and the main ingredients of the cuisines of neighboring countries: Vietnam, ", Cambodia. For example, everywhere you can find Thai soup Tom Yam (Tom yam) or Vietnamese - pho (Pho). According to the taste sensations, the food here is spicy, spicy and very fragrant. The Laotians themselves in their diet even have dishes with a bitter taste, because in their opinion bitterness contributes to health, but in the menu of cafes and restaurants you will not find such dishes. In most cases, Lao cuisine is still compared with Thai.

Luang Prabang market salad bar

The basis of the diet is rice (Hao), cooked in different ways: boiled, fried, steamed. Of particular note is its most common type - glutinous rice, which Lao People love very much and eat it with their hands, dipping into the sauce, and therefore one of the features of the kitchen is that the dishes served on the table should be at room temperature. Basically, rice is used as a side dish with vegetables, meat or fish. Along with rice, rice noodles are considered an everyday food.

Another characteristic feature of Lao cuisine is the use of a large number of vegetables, fresh herbs and aromatic herbs, among which peppermint and galangal are widely used. No traditional Lao table can do without vegetables, and the composition of any dish, be it soup or meat, necessarily includes vegetables: eggplant, tomato, cabbage, spinach, cassava, etc. In major cities, in particular Vientiane, Luang Prabang, there are vegetarian cafes where for a fixed fee of about$ 1 you can try all the dishes on the menu in unlimited quantities.

When cooking, a large number of spices are used: coriander, peppermint, hot pepper, ginger, etc. As a seasoning for dishes add lime juice, lemongrass, garlic, basil, cilantro, green onions. Peppermint is often added to salads, which gives the dish a piquant taste and aroma. Banana flowers, bamboo shoots are also part of local salads.

Instead of salt, Nampa fish sauce (Nam pa) or a thicker fish paste Padaek (Padaek) with pieces of fish, which are served daily with rice or any other dish, is widely used.

Fresh rolls with fish sauce

The most common types of meat are beef, pork and chicken. However, instead of beef, buffalo meat is often "slipped", which is more dry. The Laotians themselves do not often indulge themselves with meat, but only on significant events in their lives. In the Outback, they can eat meat of caught wild animals and birds (monitor lizards, squirrels, ducks).

You can even try Peking duck

Since the country has no access to the sea, the choice of imported seafood is small. Basically it is caught river fish. However, steamed or grilled in banana leaves, it's stunningly tasty and inexpensive.

One of the cheapest and most common dishes in Laos are soups. Vegetable and meat soups-the food is quite simple, in addition to the soup you can buy rice. The majority of the population on weekdays is exactly what they eat.

It is customary to eat bread here, it has been firmly entrenched since the colonization of the country by France. Today, French baguettes and other pastries can be found everywhere on the streets and in bakeries. A quick snack "sandwich" from a baguette stuffed with meat or fish, vegetables and all sorts of things, strolling to the next attraction – a good option.

Bakery

Exotic food in Laos

Among the exotic dishes, in addition to all kinds of deep-fried grasshoppers, pupae, cockroaches, spiders and others, it is especially worth noting fried rats. Today they are not found in cities and tourist areas, but they can be found in remote villages. Some Laotians do not disdain dog meat, although, of course, this is also not food for every day.

Insects on the market in Laos

It is worth mentioning that in tourist towns in some cafes you can find dishes with the addition of local mushrooms and opium that can cause hallucinations: omelet, pizza, garlic bread. "Mushroom powder" and opium can be added to tea, coffee, fruit shake. However, it is always worth remembering that the use of such "drugs" can not always have the desired result, and sometimes, quite the contrary, is not approved by local laws.

Prepare a dog

Popular dishes of national cuisine of Laos

Tam mak hung (Tam mak houng) or Tam catfish - green papaya salad with garlic, hot pepper, fish sauce, lime juice, cane sugar, tomatoes, nuts, often served with rice. It differs from the same Thai salad in that it is made without added sugar or with its minimum amount.

LaaP or LARP (Laap, Larb) is minced meat or fish pre-marinated in lime juice with garlic, chili, mint, herbs and herbs. It has a very pleasant lemon flavor and mint flavor. Served with glutinous rice. The main and obligatory dish for the sample.

Som Moo - sauerkraut.

Hiring Nuang - salad of meat, vegetables and herbs, rice flour pancakes are served with it, in which it is proposed to wrap the salad mixture.

Lam - spicy soup with meat, vegetables, herbs, herbs.

LaaP or LARP

Desserts, fruits in Laos

The dessert tastes of the Laotians are somewhat unusual and not always sweet in taste. There are very few sweet dishes in Laos, they are based on the same sticky sweet rice with coconut milk or mango pulp. Baking is common, there are pastry shops with different cakes, puddings, baguettes, buns, croissants (French influence is felt). It is worth trying rice flour cookies. On street stalls you can find colorful jellies with milk and coconut pulp. In specialized cafes you can taste delicious ice cream.

Bakery in Laos

There are a lot of fruits, they can be bought everywhere on fruit trays, both by weight and already cleaned and stacked containers. The presence or absence of certain fruits may depend on the seasonality of ripening. The assortment is wide: pineapples, oranges, mangoes, bananas, melons, watermelons, Dragon's eye, Tangerines, durian, mangosteen, pomelo, papaya. Coconut, though a nut, but we will include it here.

Vientiane fruit market

Drinks, alcohol in Laos

From soft drinks, freshly squeezed fruit juices (Nam-Mak), fruit shakes with Pulp, ice and condensed milk, coconut and cane juices are very common.

In Laos, popular and loved local coffee, which is grown in the area of Paksong (Paksong), this place is reputed to be the best in Southeast Asia for growing this drink. Very famous are such exquisite varieties as robusta and Arabica. They drink a lot of coffee in the country, either strong or with the addition of milk and sugar, both hot and cold. Tea is also quite common and grown in the same place. Lao People prefer green tea, varieties of which are many, but black tea is also in high esteem.

Prepare coffee in the market

Local alcohol is primarily known for rice vodka with a strength of 40-45% called-Lao-Lao. In stores it is found under the name Champa.Local residents consider it the best alcoholic beverage in all of Asia, and the secrets of Lao-LAO production have long been owned by every Lao, and today the process is put on the production stream. The manufacturing process is not tricky, but quite time consuming. Some make vodka not from white, but from red rice, which gives the product a somewhat pinkish hue. In the remote hinterlands, rice wine is made – Lao-Hai, which is drunk on holidays from a common jug through straws.

But to be honest, not every European will like Lao Lao or Champa. It tastes and smells like the worst moonshine, which after a sip gives a few more unpleasant (or unusual) aftertaste, which are replaced one after another. You are unlikely to use it, except to try it once for the sake of interest.

Laotian moonshine Champa

Positively worth noting is the Local Beer-Beer Lao. It is considered the best and inexpensive. A large bottle (0.6 L.) in a cafe costs from 12 000 Kip (0.91 USD), in stores starting from 10,000 (0.76 USD). In general, the choice of local beer here is small, but there is imported from Thailand and Vietnam.

In addition to local alcoholic beverages in stores, you can find imported alcohol.

Lao beer

Where to eat in Laos

You can eat everywhere, because as in other Asian countries, they do not really like to cook at home, but prefer to eat in cafes outside the House. In large and tourist towns with food problems will not arise: a lot of cafes, restaurants, mobile "food outlets", Cook everywhere and everywhere. Basically, grilling (ping) is common. As a quick snack everywhere you can find grilled on coals skewers of meat and offal (giblets), fish, vegetable and meat soups with rice, packaged in bags.

Street food in Laos

Inexpensive establishments for locals in the province are not clean, but from the point of view of food quality they are quite safe. Problems can arise only because of unusual or too spicy food. Tourists are happy to serve in such places, although not everywhere there is a menu, and even more so in English. In this case, you can simply order, pointing at the dishes with your finger. The main dish without meat will cost from 20,000 Kip, with meat, chicken or fish – from 25,000.

Cafes for locals in Laoseo

Eating in a cafe for tourists is almost twice as expensive as in local establishments. Even more expensive in restaurants. In large tourist cities, there are a lot of tourist-oriented establishments, but we can not say that all of them are very clean from cafes for locals. Well, as usual in Asia, the cheapest way is to eat street fast food.

Street food in Laos
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