Today’s Friday’s Featured Food takes us to the country of Laos. It’s not a country famed for food and I remember being told “when you go to Laos you’ll end up eating a load of banana pancakes”. Well in the end I only had one banana pancake and actually found a lot more charm in the local Laos foods, which were easy to find. They may not be authentically “Lao” but they certainly went down well. It’s not a country I have fond memories off due to my disaster in Vang Vieng and the corrupt border dudes. But I couldn’t complain about my tasty Laap in Vientiane. Washed down of course with a bottle of ice cold Beerlao. A quality beer.
What is Laap?
Laap, which can also be spelt Larb is pretty much the national “dish” of Laos. It’s basically a salad with meat and vegetables. I headed to the capital city of Vientiane to try it out. Vientiane was my first port of call in Laos after coming across the border from Nong Khai in Thailand to Thanaleng. After a bit of sightseeing in Vientiane, it was time to test out the Laap.
What is IN Laap?
I had chicken in mine, with a range of greens. You can also get them with beef, pork and fish. Fish is actually pretty popular with the locals, but I’m not a big fan of seafood (I eat it, but don’t often enjoy it). It’s a tasty dish and it’s relatively light.
Where can you try Laap?
All over Laos. It’s pretty hard NOT to find it, BUT my tip is head to a cheap and cheerful local place. If you see foreigners in the restaurant, avoid it and find one that is more local and quiet. Myself and my travel buddy Chaz were eating out including beers for less than $4 US every time. We LOVED the wee restaurants by the seafront in Vientiane, a great place to relax and watch the sun sink as you stare at Thailand.
So if you’re in Laos, give those banana pancakes a break and try some tasty local Laap. I loved it and came back for more on my second trip to Vientiane.
Friday’s Featured Food is an ongoing regular feature on Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel. If you have a meal, bar, pub, restaurant, brand or idea that you would like reviewed or featured on Friday’s Featured Food, please get in touch via my contacts page or my advertising page. I’d love to hear from you! I’d also love a free pint and a meal, or a coconut juice, or even a Beerlao. Cheers!