The food of Laos is not well known outside of the country, although it is delicious. Lao cuisine has influences of Chinese, Vietnamese, and even Thai flavors.
The national dish of Laos is Laap. This a salad dish with a meat component and a refreshing and zingy dressing which uses lime juice, garlic, fish sauce, mint, spring onions and toasted rice. The meat part of the dish can vary and can consist of chicken, duck, pork, beef, or fish. If you don’t eat meat, then sometimes this can be swapped out in favor of mushrooms or tofu.
Or Lam is a kind of Lao stew that would have been prepared with buffalo meat traditionally. It also includes basil, chilies, lemongrass, mushrooms, and eggplant.
Similar to the Papaya Salad eaten in Thailand, this uses unripe fruit that are grated to make a salad. This is then usually pounded in a pestle and mortar with beans, tomatoes, peanuts, salted shrimp, lime juice, sugar, and chilies.
This Lao noodle soup has a slow simmered broth made from pork or chicken. This is then cooked with rice vermicelli noodles and vegetables and herbs like mint and coriander.