During our week in Laos we enjoyed many foods and noticed both a Thai and French influence in the cuisine. Most of the fruits and vegetables are the same as in Thailand and because of the previous French occupation, the people of Laos enjoy French bakery items such as croissants, baguettes, and cakes.
Rice – The principal food in this country is steamed sticky rice, which is stickier and drier than in Thailand. One way to eat this rice is to take a small handful and dip it in a sauce. We enjoyed sticky rice dipped in a thick, spicy tomato dip at one restaurant.
Yogurt – Just like in the US and many foreign countries, fruit and plain yogurt is available in Laos. Unintentionally I also tried a flavor of yogurt that included red kidney beans, nuts, corn, dried fruit, and fresh fruit. It was interesting, but I wouldn’t say tasty. Now I look at the pictures on the front of the package more carefully if the ingredients are not written in English.
Long Bean Salad – Long beans are a common vegetable in Laos. At one restaurant the bean salad was made with blanched and sliced long beans, peanuts, and a spicy, oily dressing. Very tasty!
Laab – It is a spicy, sour protein dish often made from meat or poultry. It includes lime juice and fresh herbs. The name means good fortune in the Lao language and is considered the national dish.