Lao Cuisine is the cuisine of Laos and the Northeast of Thailand which is distinct from other Southeast Asian cuisines. The staple food of Laos is steamed sticky rice which is eaten by hands. In fact, Lao people eat more sticky rice than any other people in the world. Sticky rice is considered the essence of what it means to be Lao. It has been said that no matter where they are in the world, sticky rice will always be the glue that holds the Lao communities together, connects them to their culture and country. Lao people often refer themselves as “Lookh Khao Neow” which translates as “Children or Descendants of sticky rice”.
The most famous Lao dish is “Larb”, a spicy mixture of meat or fish sometimes are prepared raw like “Ceviche” with a variable combination of herbs, green, and spices. Another Lao invention is a spicy green papaya salad dish known as “Tum Muck Hoong” more famously known to the West as “Som Tum”. Lao cuisine has many regional variations, corresponding in part to the fresh food local to each region.