5. Baguette Paté (Khao Jii Paté)
Due to its French influence, delicious baguettes are commonly found on many streets in Laos. This baguette sandwich largely resembles a Vietnamese Banh Mi, but instead of using cilantro and pickles, the Lao version consists of watercress, grated carrots, and a good amount of chile-garlic sauce. It is a quick meal that can be enjoyed on the go for either breakfast or lunch.
6. Wet Noodles (Khao Piak Sen)
Khao Piak Sen is a chewy noodle soup that has a similar consistency to Udon, but it is made with rice instead of wheat. It is considered to be a comfort food in Laos, typically made with pork or chicken, lemongrass, galangal, shallots, garlic, chopped coriander leaves, bean sprouts, and served with freshly sliced limes. The most crucial factor is the broth, which should be slowly cooked with bones for the best flavor. At many restaurants, you will be encouraged to add in your own amount of sugar, chili sauce, dried chili powder, fish sauce, or soy sauce.
7. Crispy Rice Salad (Naem Khao Tod)
Nam Khao Tod is a fresh salad from Laos that is made with deep-fried rice balls, chunks of soured pork sausage, peanuts, grated coconut, fish sauce, dried chili peppers, and other ingredients. It is traditionally eaten as a warp by filling the individual lettuce leaves with the Nam Khao mixture, topped with fresh herbs and dried chilis. Crispy Rice Salad is usually served as an appetizer and it is slowly gaining popularity in the West. However, we recommend eating this dish with locals in Laos for a truly authentic experience.
8. Lao Sausages (Sai Uah, Sai Gok)
Lao-style sausages are an herb-infused meat that are unlike any other sausage you have tried before. These pork sausages are mixed with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves, shallots, cilantro, chillies, and fish sauce. You may also find another variant of this sausage in Laos, known as Soured Lao sausage. In addition to the above ingredients, sticky rice is included and the sausage sits outside for a couple of days before it becomes sour. Sausages are essential to many dishes, and must be eaten by hand with sticky rice.
9. Noodle Soup
This noodle soup is prepared in a beef broth, and served with alongside a basket of fresh herbs, chilis, limes, and bean sprouts. It is one of the most common soup dishes to find in the country, and the ingredients vary depending on if you are visiting the North or the South of Laos. When ordering a bowl of Pho, you will usually be asked if you want thin or thick rice noodles. After being served, add in some sugar or fresh chilis to match your desired taste and enjoy!
10. Lao Beer
While Lao beer is not technically food, it is an essential companion of any dish when your in the country. It is the most famous brand of beer found in Laos, and widely considered to be the best tasting beer in the region. Lao beer is traditionally served with ice in small glasses, where it is enjoyed amongst friends and families. If you find yourself invited for a glass, be prepared to finish a few more bottles than you may expect!
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