Lao Cuisine – Ethnic Food & Recipes

Laos is a central country of Southeast Asia but Lao cuisine is very different from food of other countries in this region.

Although this country is located in between China, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and Cambodia and this country is considered as the pivot of Southeast Asia but still, Laos has unique culture and tradition.

The food in this country is rich in taste and color and in this article is everything you should know about Lao cuisine.

Lao cuisine Facts and History

The food of Lao people developed with their migration to neighboring regions of Thailand, Cambodia, and China. These people learn the art of cooking and adopted some aspects of foreign culture. When Lao people came back to their land with diverse dishes, cooking technique, and norms, it developed a whole new cuisine.

• Sticky rice is very popular in Laos and people of Laos love to eat sticky rice dishes. Other Southeast Asian countries also have sticky rice dishes in their food but in Laos sticker rice, therefore, Lao people are also referred as “luk khao niaow” which means kids of sticky rice.

• Laap is the most popular dish of Lao cuisine which is a very delicious spicy dish with marinated meat, herbs, and fish. Meat is chopped in small pieces which makes this dish easy to eat for people of all age groups.

• Rice is the most popular ingredient in Lao cuisine. Desserts also contain glutinous rice with tropical fruits. Western people may find it strange combination but it is worth trying.

• Cooking in Laos is also closely related to games like the hunting of river fish and wild boar. Some people hunt their fish and boar on different family events.

• You will always get Laotian food at room temperature because here people consider very hot and cold meal unhealthy. It is scientifically true and doctors also recommend to eat food at mild temperature.

• Laos has no connection with ocean, therefore, ocean fish is very rare in this country. You will not find ocean fish in any reputed restaurant of Laos because people in this country even disgust the taste of ocean fish.

• Lots of dishes in this cuisine are cooked and served in big leaves. Usually, banana leaves are used for this purpose. Some examples of these types of dishes are Mok gai and Mok pa.

• Sweet taste is not very popular in Lao dishes as Laos people prefer bitter dishes over sweet dishes. They also don’t mix sweet and sour taste together and consider it bizarre therefore you will not find any “sour and sweet” dish in this area.

• Lao cuisine has a very strong relationship with Thai food because thousands of Lao people live in Thailand and they brought their traditions and food to Thailand when they migrated to this region.

Lao Cuisine Menu

Breakfast

• Feu
• Kaeng galee
• Kaeng jeut
• Kaeng sen lon
• Khao niao
• Khao piak sen
• Khao poon
• Lard na
• Mok gai
• Mok khai
• Pad sen lon
• Ping hua ped
• Ping theen gai
• Tom padaek

Lunch

• Khao jao
• Khao khua
• Khao piak khao
• Khao ping
• Mee haeng
• Mee kati
• Mee nam
• Nam khao
• Or lam
• Pad see ew
• Suki
• Tom jeaw pa
• Tom kha gai
• Tom yum
• Ua dok kae
• Yum sen lon

Snacks

• Kaipen
• Khai khuam
• Khai nug
• Khua pak bong
• Look seen
• Mekong river moss
• Miang
• Sai kok
• Sai oua
• Seen hang
• Seen savanh
• Seen tork
• Som khai pa
• Som moo
• Som pa
• Som phak kad
• Yaw
• Yaw jeun

Dinner

• Khua mee
• Mok kai pa
• Mok pa
• Pad ki mao
• Pad Lao
• Ping gai
• Ping moo
• Ping ped
• Ping seen
• Seen dat
• Titi gai

Desserts

• Khanom kok
• Khanom maw kaeng
• Khao lam
• Khao niao mak muang
• Khao pard
• Khao tom
• Lod xong
• Nam van
• Sangkaya
• Voon

Drinks

• Beerlao
• Ca fay – coffee of Lao
• Lau-hai – rice wine
• Lau-khao – rice wine.
• Lau-lao – whiskey of Lao.
• Nam mak pow – it is basically a coconut juice
• Nam oi – special type of sugarcane juice.
• Nam pun
• Oliang – it is iced coffee
• Saa – it is special tea of Laos

Holiday Menus

On different national and local holidays different dishes are prepared in different areas of Laos. Usually grilled dishes are eaten with green vegetables and sauce on special occasions. Mixed dishes and stew are also popular on holidays. No matter what they cook but they make sure to make it in abundance because they consider it humiliating to have limited quantity of food especially when some guests arrive.

Most Popular Dishes

• Khao Niaw which is Laos’s most famous Sticky Rice dish
• Khao Jee also called as Baguettes
• Tam Mak Houng which is a Spicy Green Papaya Salad
• Larb, this dish has several name including Laap, Larp and Lahb
• Or Lam which is basically a Stew
• Lao Barbecue also called as Sindad
• Sai Oua also known as Lao Sausage
• Ping Kai which is Grilled Chicken

Most Used Ingredients

• Rice
• Noodles
• Asian basil
• Coriander
• Bamboo shoots
• Ginger
• Galangal
• Eggplant
• Tamarind leaf
• Turkey berry
• Water spinach
• Yard long beans
• longan
• Jackfruit
• Durian

Traveling Foodie – What to eat when you travel to Lao
Streets of Laos is filled with lots of diverse dishes but you must taste following dishes whenever you visit this place.

Street Food

• Baguettes also known as Khao Jee
• Fresh Spring Rolls locally known as Yall Dib
• Green Papaya Salad as called as Tam Mak Hoong
• Lao Beef Jerky known as Sien Savanh
• Lao Noodle Soup also called as Khao Piak Sen.
• Lao Sausage, other name of this dish is Sai Oua
• Minced Pork Salad locally known as Laab Moo

Restaurant Food

Mok pa: this is very special dish with steamed fish. They use banana leaf to wrap steamed fish which creates extraordinary presentation.

Mok gai: this dish is same as Mok pa but this dish contains steamed chicken in banana leaf instead of steamed fish.

Titi gai: this is meat steak and very popular in Laos.
If you visit this place, then you must taste these street food and restaurant dishes to enjoy the real taste Lao food.

*****

Are you from Laos? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on Lao ethnic food.

M. Saechao

Vietnamese Ethnic Food & Cuisine History and Facts

Vietnamese cuisine is the traditional food of Vietnamese people and it is unique because a single meal of this food contain all five fundamental tastes which are very uncommon is other parts of the world. It is one of the most nutritious cuisines not only in the region of Southeast Asia but also in the whole world.

 

 

The most important thing about this cuisine is that it is not only about taste and color of food but also focus of the fragrance of food therefore long coriander, mint, Saigon cinnamon, lemongrass, lime, and ginger are frequently used in the food of this country. In this piece, you will find out popular dishes and some interesting facts about this food.

Vietnamese Cuisine Facts and History

Vietnamese traditional dishes are more than just food. These dishes represent the philosophy of Vietnamese people. They cook food not only to fill their belly but also to cure their body. They literally use their food as medicine to cure diseases.

• The use of oil and dairy items is very limited in this cuisine. Mostly vegetables and herbs are used to obtain desired texture and taste.

• The usage of the fresh ingredient in this cuisine is so high that it is considered as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.

• Since the philosophy of this cuisine is to make the body healthier, therefore, contrasting flavors and textures are used to acquire the right combination for the body.

• Cooling and heating properties of ingredients are taken into account before cooking any dish, therefore, some dishes are not cooked during certain seasons. For instance, duck meat is cool therefore it is usually served only in Summer.

• Seafood is considered hot therefore seafood is not considered suitable for Summer season. During Winter seafood becomes more popular and you can find various seafood dishes easily on streets of Vietnam in that season.

• Although food in Vietnam is very delicious but there is one thing that you may not want to taste which is shrimp paste. Vietnamese people like this paste but it is not popular among foreigners. Dog meat, Bun Dau, and Mam Tom are some of those dishes which contain shrimp paste.

• Most popular drink in Vietnam is snake wine, especially among visitors. This drink is considered good for bones, therefore, old people drink it a lot.

• There are more than 100 brands of tea in Vietnam. The most famous tea in this country is Thai Nguyen tea. On average, every person in this country drinks tea at least once in a day.

Vietnamese Cuisine Menu

Breakfast

• Bánh phở
• Bún ốc
• Bún Thịt Nướng
• Bánh canh
• Bún riêu
• Cao lầu
• Bún bò Huế
• Hủ tiếu
• Mì Quảng
• Pho

Lunch

• Bánh cuốn
• Bánh tôm Hồ Tây
• Bánh ướt
• Bánh khúc
• Bánh tôm
• Bánh nậm
• Bánh xèo
• Cha gio
• Bánh ít trần
• Rice noodles
• Bánh tráng
• Rice Vermicel
• Bánh rế
• Bánh mì

 

 

Snacks

• Nước chấm
• Beef noodles
• Papaya salad
• Hoisin sauce
• Sticky rice
• Maggi
• Fish sauce
• Broken rice
• Roll cake

Dinner

• Balut
• Chạo tôm
• Tiết canh
• Bánh đa
• Cơm tấm
• Bánh lá
• Canh chua
• Giò lụa
• Chả
• Bánh chưng
• Cha gio
• Lò trấu
• Cốm
• Bánh gối
• Gỏi cuốn
• Cơm nắm
• Thịt Kho Tàu
• Congee
• Thit Bo Cuon La Lot

Desserts

• Bánh bá trạng
• Bánh rán
• Bánh bèo
• Bánh phu thê
• Bánh bột lọc
• Bánh tẻ
• Bánh bao
• Bánh đúc
• Bánh bột lọc trần
• Coconut candy
• Bánh cam
• Bánh phu thê bột bán
• Bánh căn
• Bánh trung thu
• Bánh khọt
• Bánh ít
• Chè trôi nước
• Bánh pía

Drinks

• Vietnamese wine
• Soy milk
• Vietnamese tea
• Soda sữa hột gà
• Rượu cần
• Vietnamese iced coffee
• Chanh muối
• Snake wine
• Rượu thuốc
• Vietnamese lotus tea
• Rượu đế
• Hue Beer
• Nước mía
• Rau má
• Bia hơi
• Nước sâm

Holiday Menus

• Sticky Rice
• Honey Ham
• Sweet Tofu Custard
• Baked Char Siu Bao
• Fancy Cookies
• Baked Sweet Potatoes
• Fresh Jackfruit
• Wontons in Broth
• Taro Puffs
• Braised Mushrooms Stuffed
• Sizzling Rice Crepes

 

 

Most Popular Dishes

It is very difficult to take out few popular dishes from this cuisine because there are dozens of dishes in this cuisine which are popular all over the world.

Bún bò Huế: Huế is a royal city of this country and this dish is actually a special noodle soup which originated from this city. This noodle soup contain beef especially beef bones. other ingredients of this dish are dried chili, lemongrass, shrimp paste, mint leaves, lime wedges, and beans. This dish is so popular that you can find it on food streets and restaurants. The quality of taste may vary a bit but naturally this dish is very delicious and healthy.

Cơm gà rau thơm: This is a rice dish with chicken. The combination of rice and chicken is very common in Southeast Asia but this dish is special because it does not contain oil and too many spices. It is a simple but delicious dish with mint and some other herbs.

Banh Xeo: This dish is also known as sizzling pancakes and it is one of the spiciest dish in this country. This pancake contains bean sprouts, shrimp, eggs and pork. All these ingredients are then wrapped in the paper with sauce and rice. Banh Xeo is easily available on the streets and restaurants of Vietnam and you must taste it whenever you visit this country.

Most Used Ingredients

• Natural spices
• Rice
• Fish
• Lemongrass
• Mint
• Cilantro
• Tropical fruits
• Banana
• Mango
• Papay
• Rambutan
• long coriander
• Saigon cinnamon
• Lime
• Ginger

Traveling Foodie – What to eat when you travel to Vietnam

Street Food

• Bánh canh cua
• Bào ngư
• Da tê giác
• Vi cá
• Bún chả (bun cha)
• Bún thịt nướng (bun thit nuong)

Restaurant Food

• Bánh Cuốn
• Phở
• Gỏi Cuốn which is basically are Spring Rolls
• Bánh Mì
• Bánh Xèo
• Banh Chung
• Cơm Tấm

All these dishes are very delicious and you must give them a try whenever you visit to Vietnam. Most of these dishes are available in other parts of world. You can visit any Vietnamese restaurant in your country to enjoy these popular dishes of this colorful cuisine.

****
Are you from Vietnam? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on Vietnamese ethnic food.

D. Nguyen

Indonesian Ethnic Food Recipes & Cuisine Facts

The only cuisine which can compete with Indian and Chinese Cuisines in terms of variety of colors, tastes and ingredient is the Indonesian cuisine. This cuisine has overwhelmingly large number of dishes ranging from sweet and versatile Kolak to spicy Sambal.

 

The best thing about this cuisine is that it focuses on the preserving the nutritious value of the food. There are very few dishes with deep fried ingredients. You will not need hot oven to make majority of dishes in this cuisine. Here is some facts and information about this amazing cuisine.
Indonesian Cuisine Facts and History

• There are 6000 islands in the archipelago of Indonesia and more 300 ethnic groups live in this region therefore Indonesian Cuisine is one of the most versatile cuisine.

• The number of traditional dishes in Indonesian Cuisine is about 5350 which is the most number of traditional dishes in any cuisine.

• The modern adaptation of these traditional dishes are also part of Indonesian cuisine.

• In 2011, three dishes of this cuisine got a place in the list of 50 most delicious dishes in the world. These dishes were Satay, Nasi Goreng, and Rendang.

• Indonesia has serious influence of Chinese culture which is clearly apparent in the food of Indonesia. Several Indonesian dishes looks and sound like Chinese with ingredients like noodles, rice, and meat balls.

• Some Indonesian dishes are very difficult to make. They require bamboos and clay pots for steaming and heating. These taste of such dishes are very unique.

Indonesian Cuisine Menu

Breakfast

• Mie Ayam
• Mie Goreng
• Mie Rebus
• Nasi Goreng
• Nasi Padang
• Nasi Tim
• Babur Manado
• Sate Lilit
• Seblak
• Tauge Goreng
• Gudeg
• Nasi Pecel

 

Lunch

• Krengsengan
• Selat solo
• Roti cane
• Ketupat sayur
• Papeda
• Pepes
• Krecheck
• Telur pindang
• Oncom
• Tempe
• Sambal Tempoyak
• Tumpang
• Satay
• Bakso
• Soto
• Nasi Goreng
• Tekwan
• Ayam kalasan
• Perkedel Jagunhg
• Bebek Goreng
• Ikan Goreng
• Pecel Lele
• Pempek
• Rica-rica
• Bakso
• Kwetiau Goreng
• Mie Aceh

Snacks

• Cimol
• Panada
• Kerupuk
• Krupuk Kulit
• Emping
• Kerak Telor
• Martabak
• Otak-Otak
• Pempek
• Batagor
• Siomy
• Pastel
• Mendoan
• Rujak
• Serabi
• Terang Bulan
• Bakcang
• Burasa
• Lemper
• Tempeh Bacem
• Lumpia Semarang
• Risoles
• Kembang Tahu
• Tahu Gunting
• Rujak Juhi
• Asinan Betawi
• Pangsit Goreng

Dinner

• Lga Penyet
• Ayam Bakar
• Ikan Bakar
• Cakalang Fufu
• Lontong Sayur
• Empal Gepuk
• Rendang
• Gulai
• Empal Gentong
• Opor Ayam
• Pallubasa
• Rawan
• Soto
• Saksang
• Sop Buntut

Desserts

• Angsle
• Bakpia Pathok
• Brem
• Bubur Candil
• Bubur Ketan Hitam
• Cendil
• Dodol
• Geplak
• Klepon
• Kolak
• Kue Putu
• Lapis Legit
• Lupis
• Mochi
• Nagasari
• Onde-Onde
• Roti Buaya
• Wingko
• Pisang Goreng

Drinks

• Acar
• Pecei
• Seruundeng
• Tumpang
• Bawang Goreng
• Kecap Manis
• Sambal
• Dabu-Dabu

 

Holiday Menus

Following dishes are the specials on public holidays in Indonesia

• Acar Kuning
• Ayam Kari
• Bami Goreng
• Gado-Gado
• Gulei Kambing
• Krupuk and Samba
• Lodeh
• Nasi Kuning
• Nasi Putih
• Rendang
• Satay

Most Popular Dishes

Satay: Everyone of us heard the name of this dish if not eaten it. this is a grilled meat dish which is served with sauce. You can use any kind of meat as per your preference which make this dish very special and versatile. This dish is served in lots of high-end restaurants all over the world. The sauce of this dish usually include tomato and common spices. This dish is very popular in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Nasi Goreng It is fired rice dish which is usually cooked in margarine. Eggs, prawns and chicken are also added in it to make it more rich and delicious. Some people use salted fish and shrimps in it instead of prawn. the taste of this dish depends a lot on the sauce in which it is cooked. The sauce typically include garlic, shallot, chili, shrimp paste and tamarind. Indonesian serve this dish on various events and you can easily find it on the streets and big restaurants of this country.

Rendang: This is very unique dish especially for Western people. This dish was developed by an Indonesian ethnic group, Minangkabu. The is not a regular dish and people usually serve it only on special occasion but you can get it easily from good restaurants and food stall in the country. This is basically a spicy meat dish which you should taste at least once.

Most Used Ingredients

• Sea creatures are widely sued in most of Indonesian dishes especially fish and prawn are most popular

• noodles

• chicken

• Rice

 

Traveling Foodie – What to eat when you travel to Indonesia

Street Food

Street food of Indonesia can be categorized into three categories including snacks, beverages and proper dishes. Some of the most popular street food of Indonesian cuisine are Pempek, Bubur Ayam, Satay, Nasi goring, Soto Mie, Mie Goreng,Tauge Goreng, Laksa, Serabi, Bakpao, Tempen and Bakwan.

Restaurant Food

Indonesian restaurants are very diverse as per its cuisine. Every restaurant has its specialty as one place just can’t provide all high-end dishes of Indonesian cuisine. If you visit Indonesian restaurant then you must try Beef Rendeng, Sate Kambing, Dendeng Balado, Soto Madura, and Gule Kambing.

 

*****

Are you from Indonesia? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on Indonesian ethnic food.

Dea Suharto