Daily Life :: Food
Typical meal: The essential components of a typical Lao meal are steamed sticky rice (khao niaw), chilli paste, soup, a meat dish (usually fish) and a vegetable dish (usually fresh raw greens).|
Manner of eating: The traditional manner of eating was communal - diners sit on a mat on the floor around a raised rattan platform called "ka toke". Dishes and baskets of sticky rice are arranged on this food platform. Nowadays, eating at a "ka toke" is the exception rather than the rule and is maintained mainly at temples.
The meal is eaten using the hand. Using your right hand, pinch off a bit of rice, roll into a ball, dip into the chili paste, grab a piece of food and munch away.
National dish: The national dish is laap (sometimes spelled larb), a "salad" of minced meat/fish mixed with herbs, spices, lime juice and chilli. Other favourites include the spicy green papaya salad (tam maak hung) and spicy grilled chicken.
Uniqueness of Lao food: Lao food differs from neighboring cuisines in multiple respects.