Laotian cuisine shares some parallels with neighboring Thailand and Cambodia, however, many dishes have their own unique, local twist.
Sticky Rice: Travelers love and get hooked on sticky rice, a glutinous rice squeezed between the fingers and used to scoop up whatever you are eating. The unique texture is addictive, as is the presentation (it’s often brought to the table in a steaming bamboo basket).
Laap: laap is pretty well the national dish in Laos. Roughly chopped meat (most often beef, chicken, pork, or duck) is blended with toasted rice and then seasoned with herbs, fish sauce, and lime.
Papaya Salad: Known locally as som tam, green papaya salad is a ride of texture and flavors. Crunchy, sour, sweet, spicy, and salty best describe this healthy salad. You’ll find green papaya salad all over Laos and Thailand.
Ping Pa: Ping pa consists of marinated freshwater fish grilled slowly until it becomes dry and stringy. Ping Gai, the chicken variant, is smoky and tasty.