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Foodies laap up Lao fare

Update: January, 05/2015 - 16:51

Laap of luxury: Many kinds of laap welcome guests when they visit Laotian homes.

by Lifestyle Reporters

Count on seasoned travellers to sample traditional dishes and Laos offers a wide variety from north to south.

Laap, a dish made of finely chopped meat or fish mixed with herbs, will invariably be the centrepiece of a meal that has been prepared to welcome guests to one's home, as this popular staple is believed to bring good luck.

There are many kinds of laap to be found throughout Laos, but all varieties contain several essential ingredients. These are padaek (fermented fish), khao khua (ground and fried dried rice), makphet phong (minced and fried dried chillies), mint, and galangal. If you're preparing laap and miss out one of these three ingredients, you won't end up with quite the right mix of flavours.

When a household is making food for a large party, the laap will usually be based on beef, pork or chicken, but fish is also popular.

Laap can be made from either raw or cooked meat, but the former is more popular as it is generally considered to be more tasty. Accompaniments include sticky rice of course, as well as fresh vegetables such as lettuce, eggplant, long beans, cucumber, chillies and other seasonal vegetables. And more often than not there will be a large bowl of soup made from the boiled bones of the animal used to make the laap.

Khaopoon

Another traditional food is khaopoon (rice noodles). This dish is also popular at house parties and at weddings because it's believed that eating it will strengthen family bonds and bring long life.

Meal of fortune: Larp sin, one of many laap dishes, believed by Laotians to bring good luck.

Khaopoon almost always features at a party because it's easy to cook and diners like it because it's very tasty and contains plenty of vegetables.

Khaopoon is a flavoursome blend of coconut milk, fermented fish, galangal, bergamot leaves, chillies, red onions and garlic. It's served up with rice noodles, sliced cabbage, papaya, cucumber, morning glory, beansprouts, banana flowers, and mint. After mixing the noodles into the soup and stirring in the vegetables, some shrimp paste and chilli flakes are added to give it a bit more pep.

There are plenty of other traditional dishes throughout Laos but the ones mentioned here are the most commonly served and visitors should not leave the country without tucking into at least one of them.

Visitors could find khaopoon menu in the morning in particular at local fresh markets or some khaopoon stall along the road but central city of Vientiane and other central city of other provinces would have many kind of khaopoon but you will definitely find it in a party of each house in Laos. Vientiane Times

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