The Lao originally came from the north in a region that is now part of China. As they moved southward, they brought their traditions with them. Lao (or Laotian) cuisine is very different from that of other Southeast Asian countries. Despite bearing influences from the Thai, Cambodia and French cuisine,
Lao food retains its pure and original tastes. Lao cuisine is rustic, subtle and earthy. The food varies greatly from region to region due to availability of ingredients and cooking methods. Popular cooking ways include grilling, boiling, steaming, searing and mixing (as in salads). Stir frying is not as popular as in Vietnam or China. The most favorite cooking way is grilling (or ping).
Due to its affection for fresh vegetables and herbs, which appear in almost every Lao meal. Both meat and fish are usually grilled or steamed and as a result, the flavors are fresh and the dishes are low in fat.
Unlike western cuisine, Lao greens and herbs are usually eaten raw and served undressed on the side. And unlike other Asian cuisines, Lao food is never sweet. Staple of Laos is sticky rice (luk khao) and other essential ingredients include Lao fish sauce (padaek), galangal and lemongrass. Like in Vietnam the food also utilizes a wide variety of herbs, vegetables and spices.
Lao food is traditionally eaten with sticky rice using fingers. In the countryside, people all eat as family style, sitting on the floor, sharing a few dishes. Lao traditional food is dry, spicy and very delicious based on fish, buffalo meat, pork, poultry and especially herbs. It is always freshly prepared.
Laap is a traditional dish made from chopped meat, chicken or duck. The finely chopped meat, spices and broth is mixed with uncooked rice grains that have been dry fried and crushed. Laap is eaten with a plate of raw vegetables and sticky rice. A French legacy is still evident in the capital city, Vientiane, where baguettes are sold on the street,
This introduction has been sourced from the following sites: Please visit them for more information.