The cuisine of Laos: features, popular dishes, fruits, drinks
The Cuisine Of Laos
Cuisine of Laos – a typical South-East, she has gathered the culinary preferences and the basic ingredients of the kitchens of neighboring countries: Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia. For example, everywhere you can find Thai soup Tom Yam (Tom yam) or Vietnamese Pho (Pho). Taste sensations food here is spicy, spicy and very flavorful. The Laotians in your diet even have meals with a bitter taste, in their opinion, the grief promotes healing, but the menu of cafes and restaurants such dishes you will not find. In most cases, Lao cuisine compare still c Thai.
The basis of the diet is rice (Khao), cooked in different ways: boiled, fried, steamed. Particularly noteworthy is the most common form - glutinous ricethat Laotians are very fond of and eat it with your hands, dipped in a sauce, but because one of the features of food is that served meals must be at room temperature. Mostly rice is consumed as a side dish with vegetables, meat or fish. Along with rice is daily food is rice noodles.
Another feature of Laos cuisine is the use of large amounts of vegetables, fresh greens and herbs, among which the widely used peppermint and galangal. Without vegetables is no traditional table of Laotians, and part of any dish, be it soup or meat, be sure to include vegetables: eggplant, tomato, cabbage, spinach, cassava, etc. In large cities, in particular Vientiane, Luang Prabang, there are vegetarian cafes, where for a fixed fee, about$ 1, you can try everything presented in the menu in unlimited quantities.
When cooking use a large amount of spices: coriander, peppermint, hot pepper, ginger, etc. as seasoning to dishes with lime, lemongrass, garlic, Basil, cilantro, and green onions. Salads often add peppermint, which gives the dish a spicy flavor and aroma. The flowers of banana, bamboo shoots are also part of the local salads.
Instead of salt use throughout Nampa fish sauce (Nam pa) or more thick fish paste, padek (Padaek) pieces of fish served daily with rice or any other dish.
The most common types of meat are beef, pork and chicken. However, instead of beef often "slip" the Buffalo meat, which is more showfoto. Laotians themselves do not often indulge themselves with meat, and only significant in their life events. In the Outback can eat meat caught wild animals and birds (lizards, squirrels, ducks).
As access to the sea, the country is missing, and the selection of imported seafood a small, mostly caught river fish. However, steamed or grilled in banana leaves, it is amazingly delicious and cheap.
One of the cheapest and popular dishes in Laos are the soups. Vegetable and meat soups - the food is quite simple, in addition to soup you can buy rice. The majority of the population during weekdays is exactly what it feeds on.
It is customary to eat bread, he firmly established since the colonization of the country by France. Today, French baguettes and pastries can be found everywhere on the streets and in bakeries. Quick bites "sandwich" of a baguette stuffed with meat or fish, vegetables and sundries, walking to the next sight is a good option.
Exotic food in Laos
Among the exotic dishes, in addition to all sorts of deep fried grasshoppers, pupae, roaches, spiders and others, is particularly noteworthy fried rats. Today will not meet them in cities and tourist areas, but they can get caught in the remote villages. Do not disdain some Laotians and dogs, although, of course, this is not food for every day.
It is worth to mention that in the tourist towns in some cafes you can find dishes with the addition of local mushrooms and opium, can cause hallucinations: scrambled eggs, pizza, garlic bread. "Mushroom powder" and opium can add in tea, coffee, fruit shake. However, always keep in mind that the use of these "drugs" may not always provide the desired result, and sometimes, on the contrary, it's frowned upon by local laws.
Popular dishes of the national cuisine of Laos
There Mak hung (Tam mak houng) or Tam som - green papaya salad with garlic, hot pepper, fish sauce, lime juice, cane sugar, tomatoes, nuts, often served with rice. From the same Thai salad is different because is made with no added sugar.
LAAA or LARP (Laap, Larb), is a minced meat or fish, pre-marinated in lime juice with garlic, chili, mint, greens and herbs. Has a very pleasant lemon flavor and aroma. Served with sticky rice.
Som-mo (Som moo) - pickled sausage.
Hiring Niang - salad with meat, vegetables and herbs, it serves pancakes made from rice flour, which is proposed to wrap and salad mix.
Lam - spicy soup with meat, vegetables, greens, herbs.
Desserts, fruits in Laos
Dessert cravings Laotians somewhat unusual, and savory taste. Sweet food in Laos quite a bit, the basis is still the same sweet sticky rice in coconut milk or mango pulp. Common cakes, there are pastry shops with different cakes, puddings, baguettes, rolls, croissants (French influence is felt). Worth a try cookies made from rice flour. At street stalls you can meet colorful jelly with milk and flesh of coconut. In special cafes you can taste delicious ice cream.
A lot of fruit, you can buy them everywhere at the fruit stalls, as for the weight, and have been cleaned and stacked containers. The presence or absence of certain fruits may depend on the seasonality of maturation. The range is wide: pineapples, oranges, mangoes, bananas, melons, watermelons, dragon eyes, tangerines, durian, mangosteen, pomelo, papaya. Coconut, though a nut, but it will be ranked.
Drinks, alcohol in Laos
From soft drinks are very common fresh fruit juices (us Mac), fruit shakes with pulp, ice and sweetened condensed milk, coconut and sugar cane juices.
In Laos known and loved local coffee, which is grown in the area of Paksong (Paksong), this place has a reputation as the best in Southeast Asia for the cultivation of this drink. A very well-known such exquisite varieties such as Robusta and Arabica. Drink coffee in the country a lot, or strong, or with milk and sugar, both hot and cold. The tea is also quite common and is grown in the same place. Laotians prefer green tea, varieties of which are many, but black tea is also held in high esteem.
Local spirits in the first place, the famous rice wine with a strength of 45% called Lao-Lao. It is the best alcoholic beverage in all of Asia. The secrets of the production of Lao-Lao has long owns every Lao, and today the process is put on production flow. The manufacturing process is not tricky, but quite time-consuming. Some make wine from white and red rice, which gives the product a somewhat pinkish hue. In the remote Outback make rice wine – Lao-Hai, which you drink at celebrations from a common pitcher through a straw.
Still worth noting the local brew – Beer Lao, it is on a par with Lao-Lao, is very popular in Asia and is also considered the best and cheap. A large bottle (0,6 l) in the café from 12 000 Kip (90.03 USD), in stores from 10 000 (75.03 RUB).
In addition to the local alcoholic drinks in shops can be found and imported alcohol.
Where to eat in Laos?
You can eat almost everywhere because as in other Asian countries here do not like to cook at home and prefer to eat outside the home. In major tourist towns and with food problems will not arise: many cafes, restaurants, mobile "canteens" are everywhere and anywhere. Mostly widespread grilling (ping). As a quick snack can be found everywhere grilled skewers of meat and offal (offal), fish, vegetable and meat soups with rice packaged in bags.
Budget for local institutions in the province of cleanliness did not differ, but from the point of view of the quality of the food is quite safe. Problems may arise due to unusual or too spicy food. Tourists are happy to serve in such places, though not everywhere there is a menu, and even more in English. In this case, you can just book, pointing to the dish with your finger. The main dish without meat will cost around 20,000 Kip, with meat, chicken or fish – 25 000.
Eat in the cafe for tourists is nearly two times more expensive than places for the locals. Even more expensive in restaurants. In major tourist cities establishments oriented to tourists very much, but we can not say that they are all very different purity from the cafe to the local.