Tasty Lao desserts tourists should try

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Lao food is one of the greatest and healthiest cuisines. The herbs (hot or spice) used are credited with preventative and curative properties. Here are some of the most well-known and delicious desserts that tourists should not miss while traveling Laos.

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Overview if Lao cuisine

Lao cuisine is unlike some others in the region, partially due to its location – it is landlocked and has no trading ports. The staple of traditional meal is sticky rice and its rolled into little balls and eaten with fingers – chopsticks are only for noodle dishes. A typical meal consist of sticky rice, jeow, spicy vegetable dipping sauces similar to salsa. But Laotian cuisine is influenced greatly from Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Local markets are overflowing with chicken, duck, pork, fresh water fish, water buffalo and goat. They also cook with a number of ingredients such as pea eggplants – tiny, bright green eggplants the size of blueberries that grow on branches. They use lots of herbs and try to balance the flavors of their dishes with bitter, salty, sour and spicy things.

 Jeow Mak Keua (via New York Food Journal)

Lao Eggplant Dip – Jeow Mak Keua

These jeow recipes are really easy to prepare, and it can be mild or very spicy. Lao Eggplant Dip – Jeow Mak Keua is made eggplant or garlic bulbs, tomatoes, whole shallots and chili peppers onto skewers, and roasted them right on top of red-hot coals until they were blackened.

Nam Vam (Na Va) – Tri Color Drink

Nam Vam is a nice treat commonly served at celebrations and big events. It’s also good on a hot summer day or as a dessert. Traditionally it has multiple parts (color beautiful layers) with different variations and degree of difficulty. It can be as complicated or simple depend on who make it. Boil the Tapioca, drain and add fruit (mango, lychee, …), and diced coconut jelly, kaong, macapuno strings. Put into some honey to coconut milk until sweetened to taste. Nam Vam is quite same to Vietnamese desserts for summer.

Nam Vam (via MPR News)

Khao tom

Khao tom is a Laos and Thailand dessert of seasoned steamed sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. this Laos traditional dessert is sweet and savory it hits the spot all time!!

This dessert can be either savory (with pork fat and mung bean inside) or sweet (with coconut milk and banana inside). In Thailand, Khao tom is sometimes colored blue with Clitoria ternatea flowers. The khao tom variety with black beans is known as khao tom mat.

Khao Tom (via Foraging Seattle – blogger)

Meekatee

This is one of three recipes for gaeng naw mai from the cook book “Food from Northern Laos”. Lao recipe uses yanang juice and fresh bamboo shoots. The recipe was recorded in ant egg season (April – May), thus ant eggs and acacia fronds were added. Lao recipe is perfectly fine without the ant eggs. This is a mix of beans, mak buab (or zuchini), squash tendrils, sawtooth herb and Lao basil.

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