Facebook Pixel

Best Local Food in Laos – 10 Best Traditional Dishes in Laos You Should Try

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor May 17th, 2020 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Restaurant and Recipes, Travel Blog No comments

Do you have any idea about the local food in Laos? If not, then we got you covered! This delicious local food in Laos will surely make you crave for more.

Best Local Food in Laos
Simon Matzinger


Southeast Asia is a popular backpacking destination. There are so many places to explore and the low cost of living makes anyone want to go there to execute their adventurous soul. One of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia is Laos. This country is famous for its preserved culture. It can be seen from Laotian daily life, the symbols, historical sites that are still well preserved, and many others.

Best Local Food in Laos
Photo by Christian Bowman CC BY-SA 2.0

One of those cultures that have been preserved is it’s culinary. There are so many dishes that were passed down from generation to generation and it still has the same deliciousness. Laotian cuisine also got influence from its neighboring countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam. But it still has its uniqueness that is worth trying. Here we have a list consisting of 10 best local food in Laos that you have to try when you come here.

1. Larb

Best Local Food in Laos
Photo by Bryon Lippincott CC BY-ND 2.0

Larb or Laab is Laos authentic minced meat salad. It can be chicken, duck, beef, fish, or any other meat. Sometimes mushrooms seasoned with extract lemon, fish sauce, and other spices are added on the salad to make the taste richer and more delicious.

This dish is usually served along with fresh vegetables and you can eat it anytime, whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And since Laotian proper meal is sticky rice, they usually enjoy eating Larb together with it.

2. Khao Piak Sen


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cindy Her ? (@c.hawjcreations) on

If Vietnam has Pho, Laos has Khao Piak Sen. Laotian cuisine has some influence from its neighboring countries. It’s not something peculiar if you find similar dishes in these countries.

The stock of this dish is made from chicken or beef broth and is seasoned with Laotian spices before pouring onto the rice noodles. Shredded chicken or seafood and vegetables are used as a topping on the dish, complete with a lime slice in which you can squeeze if you want a more sour taste. Compared to Vietnam’s Pho, Khao Piak Sen has a more savory and strong taste.

3. Khao Jee


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chris Frankel (@chris.frankel) on

Khao Jee has an appearance like a sandwich and Vietnam’s Banh Mi. It is often enjoyed during breakfast. There are so many places in the market that sell Khao Jee in the morning. This is one of the most popular Laotian street food, so you have to try it at least once when you’re staying in this country.

Khao Jee filling is usually made from tomatoes, cheese, carrot, and meat. You can choose the meat that they will use as a filling, it can be chicken, pork, smoked beef, or even avocado if you’re vegetarian. The bread is made from rice flour so it is gluten-free and healthier than any regular bread.

4. Ping Kai


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Koji Iwama (@koji_iwama) on

There are so many local food in Laos that are made from meat, that is because Laotians love their meat. One of the most popular meat dishes is Ping Kai. You can find Ping Kai everywhere in Laos.

This dish is made from chicken that is seasoned with black pepper, minced garlic, ginger, coriander leaves and roots, galangal, fish sauce, and salt. The seasoned chicken wrapped in banana leaves and grilled in charcoal. Ping Kai is usually served along with sticky rice and raw fresh vegetables.

5. Tam Mak Hoong


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Social Delicious (@socialdelicious) on

If you like Som Tam from Thailand, then you might also like Tam Mak Hoong. Both of the dishes have similar ingredients and gaining popularity in their own countries.

This dish is made from young shredded papaya, tomatoes, peanuts, and beans that are processed to make a salad with seasonings like brown sugar, lime, fish sauce, chilies, and fermented fish juice. It has a sweet, sour, and salty taste. The lime represents the fresh flavor in this dish.

6. Mok Pa


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Arisa Phackdy Bimat (@cafe_bimat) on

Mok Pa is another Laotian dish that might be difficult to find in other countries, especially outside Asia. It is made from fish seasoned with galangal, lime leaves, fish sauce, shrimp paste, chilies, and dill leaves. After being marinated with those spices, the fish is wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed. Laotian usually enjoyed it along with sticky rice as a main dish. It has a delicious and heavenly taste and aroma.

7. Nam Khao Tod


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Little Lao Kitchen (@little_lao_kitchen) on

Nam Khao Tod is a Laotian version of fried rice but it does not only consist of fried rice, but also salad, peanuts, shredded coconuts, and slices of pork sausage. It’s seasoned with fish sauce, lime extract, dried chilies, and other spices. Usually, it’s also completed with lettuce, coriander leaves, and green onion.

The way to eat this dish is similar to Korean ssam, wherein one piece of fresh lettuce is filled with salad and fried rice and then wrap it before you eat it. Nam Khao Tod is usually enjoyed as an appetizer by Laotian.

8. Or Lam


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by orogramme (@orogramme) on

Or Lam or pronounce it as aw Lahm is usually made from animal fat, buffalo skin that has tough texture yet flavorful, and mai sakaan or spicy chili wood in English. But for vegetarians, Or Lam nowadays is also made from vegetables.

The seasoning that is used in this dish is dill or holy basil. It’s best paired with a bowl of sticky rice and each place always serves it together when you order it. You can find the best Or Lam dish in a high-end restaurant, and Phamsai Houngchalern in Luang Prabang is one of those best restaurants which served Or Lam on their menu.

9. Khao Lod Chong


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Food Of The Day ? (@alikhatoon) on

Khao Lod Chong is a dessert made from rice flour colored in green and served along with coconut milk. This similar dessert can also be found in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia with the name Cendol. It has a savory taste that comes from the coconut milk and milk texture from the rice flour that is shaped like a tear-drop.

The philosophy of the name itself is Lod which means through, and Chong means hole since the tear-drop rice flour is made with putting the dough in the long hole. It’s served along with ice and brown sugar. That combination produces a fresh and sweet taste that will reduce your thirst right away. This dessert is usually sold in the street stall vendors in the morning market in Luang Prabang.

10. Lao Lao Whiskey


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jeff Grace (@graceonpace) on

This drink has a tough appearance since it is made from rice whiskey that is usually used to soak the noxious snakes or bugs. This drink is called Lao Lao and the whiskey is made from fermented sticky rice. You can see the production of this whiskey in the small village not far from Luang Prabang.

Although it has a tough appearance, this drink has a delicious and strong taste. Moreover, it has a low price. You can buy and bring it as a gift for relatives back home. It will become a unique souvenir from Laos.

There are so many local foods in Laos that are influenced by other Southeast Asian countries. But it still has its uniqueness and you will never regret trying it. So, which one is the most intriguing for you?

Line seperator

Are you on Pinterest? Pin these!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER:Many of the articles on Two Monkeys Travel Group are guest posts by a number of Approved Contributors and are hosted by Two Monkeys Travel Group. Approved Contributors control their own work and post freely to our site. This includes all text and images that they use within their own work. All contributors are instructed to follow internationally recognised copyright and intellectual property guidelines. Two Monkeys Travel Group takes its own responsibilities very seriously, so if you feel that any part of this work is abusive in any way, please send us an email so that we can investigate - [email protected]

DISCLOSURE: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links. So when you make a purchase we sometimes make a small commission, at no extra cost to you. The cost to you remains the same, sometimes even cheaper if we have negotiated a special deal for our readers.We use all of the companies we have listed here and that’s why they are in this list, but of course we need to keep Two Monkeys Travel Group running as well as it can, which is exactly what you’re helping with if you do decide to buy or book something through an affiliate link! If you have any more questions about the companies we use or any other companies you’re looking at, just email us and we’ll be happy to help.Please see our full disclaimer page for more information.

Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]