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Local Food in Laos

Local food in Laos relies on the jungle, foraging and local production of vegetables and meat.  Laos and Cambodia are the least developed and more rural of the South East Asian countries.

Rural Laos countryside

Rural Laos countryside

Often trade links are sparse and moving around difficult.  Furthermore electricity in more remote places is sparse at best, which means that in Laos fresh food is prepared every day.

Eating local food in Laos is almost always a family occasion and a social affair where passers by are invited in.  Some of these dishes can be re-created at home and are incredibly tasty and yet different from what is prepared in the west.

Laos chicken laap with sticky rice

Laos chicken laap with sticky rice

The villages in southern Laos are well connected and close to the trading hub of Pakse. Goods from all over Laos and Cambodia can be found in this area, which makes the ingredients richer than other parts of the country, in particular the far north.

Loads of sticky rice!

Loads of sticky rice!

That said sticky rice in Laos is popular throughout the country and the backbone of the food eaten in Laos.  Eaten with hands and always eaten with the local chili sauce called jeow.

Tad Lo rests on the bolavan plateau, a stark elevation with vertical cliffs on most sides. This unique position means the temperature is slightly lower here.

The rainfall and the amount of water available to crops on the other hand is higher, which can be seen from the number of spectacular waterfalls that cascade off the plateau. The result is the ability to grow gourds like pumpkin and salad ingredients like cucumber, in an otherwise tropical climate.


Plentiful pumpkins at the pumpkin festival Laos

Plentiful pumpkins at the pumpkin festival Laos

The beautiful freshness and unique flavours that can be found in Laos is like nowhere else in the world.  The reliance on the jungle and knowledge that comes with being able to head out and come back with an armful of herbs and wild vegetables is amazing.

It is this lifestyle that makes local food in Laos unique and healthy.

The growing number of recipes from Around the World Travels focus on the less well known dishes that are local from the regions we found them.  Many are taken from our book “Sharing the world’s local food”, which you can buy below.

If you have a recipe you would like to share we would love to hear from you even more! Please comment below, share and we would be more than happy to credit you and your website.


Order our recipe book “Sharing the World’s Local Food”

…where all of these fine recipes have been taken.

A feast of delights in our recipe book of dishes based on 2 and 1/2 years research, signed as a thank you. Online price is now only £24.99.

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Laos salad stacked salad tuna and citrus sauce

Laos Salad

Mamma Pap introduced us to the Laos salad recipe when we stayed with her in her family run guesthouse that sits near the waterfalls. Quickly becoming a tourist attraction in an otherwise sleepy village where buffalo cool themselves off in the river while people wash their clothes further downstream. She recommended Laos salad accompany other …