Larb, lahb, laab, lahp, lap, laap – all you do is talk.

“You should try the larb,” Charlie tells a first time guest. “It’s the national dish of Laos.” He’s referring to chicken larb, or┬álarb gai, the restaurant’s take on the popular marinated meat salad. The larb is finely minced chicken fragrant with herbs, a small dousing of fish sauce, lime juice, chilies, and scallions, complimented with […]

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On Making Padaek

1. Early in our friendship Svenja and I gifted Chris and Charlie with some home brew fish sauce that just hit a year. The first time we tasted it we were excited by the rich, nutty, herbacious complexity of the brown liquid; it was salty, umami, incredibly round in the mouth, like a large copper […]

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Fermentation pt. 2

It’s been established in the last two posts that water bath canning preserved food by creating an isolated environment, protected from oxygen, hostile to bacterial growth. On the other hand, fermentation using lacto acid bacterias are open to exchanges with their environment – they change and develop character according to their conditions. Like us as […]

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Jeow house rock

The Lao condiment game goes hard. At every table set to eat you can find at least one jeow (pronounced like you’re trying to say ‘jail’ with gum in your mouth). These can be loosely defined as dips that you’d apply to your food, or eat just straight up with khao niao. They accentuate and […]

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Khao niao

Our previous post on glutenous rice introduced the most important plant in Lao cooking, with it’s varied applications and cultural significance. From that plant the most important preparation in Lao cooking, khao niao (pronounced cow neil), is prepared. Khao niao is the plain, unseasoned steamed sticky rice, used as an affordable filler and utensil in […]

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