What to eat in Laos? If you travel to Laos and wonder what to eat, let’s find wonderful and appetizing Lao specialties below in this post. So, what to eat in Laos? Let’s check out our suggested 15+ famous dishes, most popular food in Laos, traditional food in Laos and best food in Laos you must try as follows!

Laap, a must-try specialty of Laos. Credit: kitchen gatherings | best food in laos
Traditional Khao Soi noodles | best food in laos

Lao cuisine is a delicate combination of cultural elements, geography, and unique ingredients that create exotic and distinctive flavors. Talking about Lao specialties, you will enjoy dishes with the blend and influence of neighboring cultures such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, creating flavors familiar and unique at the same time.

Ping Kai chicken, a perfect choice for outdoors gatherings | best food in laos
Don’t forget to order Naem Khao Tod aka crispy rice salad
You’ll need some courage to try these snacks

Exploring Lao cuisine is a wonderful experience, not only to enjoy new flavors but also an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and lifestyle of the local people. Get ready to enjoy famous Lao specialties through the suggested list with us below!

Laap – Laotian lucky food (best food in laos)

| best food in laos

This dish is considered the “national food” of the Lao people because it is often served during festivals and parties. In addition, Laap is also a lucky dish made to give to one another as gifts during the New Year festival.

| best food in laos
Credit: kitchen gatherings | best food in laos

Laap is a grilled meat salad made from beef, pork, or chicken, mixed with raw vegetables and spices such as lemon leaves, chili, and sesame oil. Instead of eating it with raw vegetables, Laap can also be served with sticky rice. If you travel to Laos, remember to try this dish!

Tam Mak Hoong – Laotian papaya salad (famous dishes in laos)

Credit: hungryinthailand | best food in laos

Tam Mak Hoong is a traditional Laotian salad made from thinly sliced green papaya, mixed with garlic, chili, peanuts, and Laotian fish sauce. This specialty is similar to Thai papaya salad, the only difference is that it does not contain peanuts, and the fish sauce that comes with it is fermented. This dish offers a particularly sour and spicy taste and is often served with white rice.

| best food in laos
| best food in laos

Sai Oua – Laotian-style sausage

Credit: Saeng’s Kitchen | best food in laos

Sai Oua is a Laotian sausage made from chopped pork marinated with herbs before being steamed with galangal, kaffir leaves, shallots, cilantro, chili, and fish sauce. The sausage has a rich, delicious flavor and is often grilled over charcoal until it turns golden brown. This specialty is popular among many Laotians and tourists because it is easy to eat, can complement many dishes, and is absolutely enticing.

| most popular food in laos
| most popular food in laos

Mok Pa – Steamed fish in banana leaves (most popular food in laos)

| most popular food in laos

Mok Pa is a traditional Laotian dish known for its unique preparation technique and rich flavor. The prep involves wrapping fish (usually carp or catfish) with spices such as garlic, chili, ma khaen berry (a typical spice of Laotian cuisine), and lime leaves in a large banana leaf, then steaming the wrap over a charcoal fire.

| most popular food in laos
| most popular food in laos

When serving, you will feel the aroma of fish harmonized with the spicy taste of chili and ma khaen berry, creating an impressive and rich culinary experience of Laos.

Laap Naam Tok – Laotian minced meat salad (traditional food in laos)

| most popular food in laos

This is a traditional Laotian dish and a special version of Laap. Laap Naam Tok is made from minced beef or pork with spices such as lemon leaves, garlic, chili, and ma khaen berry. However, Laap Naam Tok’s unique feature lies in the addition of some grilled meat or bacon, creating a rich and distinctive flavor.

| traditional food in laos
| traditional food in laos

Naem Khao Tod – Laotian-style crispy rice salad

Credit: Lao Thai Nam | traditional food in laos

The food is also known as “crispy rice salad” because the main ingredient is crispy fried rice balls. A unique mixed dish in Laotian cuisine, the dish is made from crispy fried rice balls, pork sausage, peanuts, grated coconut, and spices such as fish sauce and dried chili, making an exotic and enchanting flavor.

| traditional food in laos

Naem Khao Tod is very popular and has been served in many Laotian restaurants abroad. However, to enjoy the most authentic and delicious flavor of the dish, you must definitely try it in its homeland, which is Vientiane, Laos.

Khao Soi – Laotian noodles

| traditional food in laos

Khao Soi is a traditional food of Laos made from chewy noodles and chicken or beef, cooked in a delicious broth of carrots, potatoes, and coconut water. The soup has the natural sweetness of vegetables and the rich taste of meat, delivering a unique and flavorful culinary experience.

Sien Savanh – Laotian beef jerky

Credit: khaoniewlaostreetfood

Sien Savanh is a typical dish of the Savannakhet region in Laos, made from thinly sliced beef marinated in spices and then dried in the sun. This beef jerky has a charming and incredible taste often eaten with white rice or beer as a great finger food. The food is also a specialty many visitors to Laos purchase as gifts for family and friends.

Khao Niew – Laotian sticky rice

Credit: Heritage Line

Khao Niew is an indispensable part of the daily meals of the local people. It is a soft-cooked white sticky rice, often prepared and served with grilled meat dishes such as grilled chicken, pork, or beef for a balanced meal of carbohydrates and proteins.

Khao Niew is not only a dish but also a symbol of solidarity and cohesion in the Laotian family and community. At many festivals and parties, Khao Niew is often prepared and served to share joy and create close relationships between people.

Or Lam – Laotian spicy stew

This dish originates from the ancient capital of Luang Prabang. It is usually made from pork or chicken, combined with many vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and spices such as ma khaen, lemon leaves, fish sauce, chili, and garlic.

A wide variety of vegetables blended in the spicy soup

Or Lam is often served hot, suitable for having on cold days or during festivals and family gatherings. The spicy flavor of this dish not only warms the body but also stimulates the taste buds, creating a special and unforgettable culinary experience.

Ping Kai – Laotian grilled chicken

Credit: Laos Simply Beautiful

Ping Kai is a renowned dish of Lao cuisine, often known for the natural juiciness of chicken blended with the rich flavor of spices. Chicken is marinated with spices before grilling until it has a crispy crust and a beautiful golden color.

Ping Kai dish is often grilled over charcoal and eaten outdoors in a warm atmosphere where family and friends can gather and enjoy memorable moments together.

Khao Piak Sen – Laotian specialty noodles

Credit: Serious Eats

This type of Laotian noodles is made from thick rice noodles often served with pork or chicken, green onions, and raw vegetables. The special feature of this dish is characterized by the broth’s flavor cooked from chicken or pork bones, combined with spices such as ginger, garlic, scallions, and lemon leaves. The noodle dish has a unique and flavorful taste, making it very popular in the daily meals of the locals and highly favored by many tourists.

Khao Jee – Laotian-styled bread

Khao Jee has landed at the top of CNN’s list of the world’s best street foods. In addition to the official name Khao Jee, this dish is also known by other names such as Khao Gee, Jee Khao, Khao Ping, or Laotian sticky rice cake.

The dish is simply prepared by skewering sticky rice on a stick and then grilling it on a charcoal stove. Covered on top of the sticky rice layer is a layer of egg, fish sauce, and sliced chili to add extra flavor. Khao Jee’s outer shell is a beautiful golden color thanks to the egg coating. The cost of each portion of Khao Jee is usually reasonable, only about less than a dollar.

Kaipen Fried Seaweed

For those who love seaweed, you must definitely try this special and incredible dish made from seaweed when coming to Laos. Crispy fried Kaipen seaweed is often served with sweet and sour fish sauce or chili sauce.

The food brings a salty sea flavor and the crunchiness of each piece will stimulate your taste buds. It is often eaten as a snack at drinking parties or as an enticing dessert during family meals.

Insect Dishes in Laos

In Laotian cuisine, insects are considered an indispensable ingredient. Insect dishes such as roasted earthworms, grilled mixed insects, and grilled crickets are tasty and nutritious. Insect dishes are not only a rich source of proteins but also part of daily meals and festivals.

Insect dishes are part of the diversity and creativity in Laos’ national cuisine and are also a unique culinary experience that attracts many tourists to this country.

Don’t forget to save this post now to make your food journey in Laos more interesting. In addition, you can find more useful and engaging travel articles on our website for your next trip.

The post first appeared on Klook Vietnam and was translated by Living Nomads. If you find any images or text that belong to you, please contact us, so we can credit you or give us permission to use them. Thank you very much!

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Luang Prabang seen from Phousi Hill

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