Lao food

  I have worked in the Chinese embassy in Laos for several years, and I have eaten Lao food many times. There are some unique Lao food that left a deep impression on me.
  Sticky Rice
  Sticky rice is the favorite staple food of the Lao people, accounting for 70% of the total food. The Lao way of making glutinous rice is: soak the glutinous rice with water the night before, pick the rice into a bamboo-woven funnel-shaped container with a lid the next morning, put it on the mouth of a pottery pot filled with water, and steam it on fire. This kind of glutinous rice steamed rice is sticky, moderately soft and hard, sweet and delicious. In daily life, Lao people put glutinous rice in a small bamboo-woven rice basket called “Dip Khao”. When eating, open the lid of the rice basket, grab a small ball of glutinous rice, squeeze and squeeze it with your hands, and then eat it with the seasonings made with fish sauce and pepper. It is said that the tighter the rice ball is squeezed, the more fragrant it tastes.
  Lao people eat sticky rice with their hands. The first time I attended a banquet after working in Laos, I encountered the problem of grasping sticky rice. I didn’t dare to grab it with my hands because I was afraid it would be unsanitary, so I just scooped it with a spoon, but because the sticky rice is very sticky, it was very difficult to scoop. Although Lao friends have repeatedly signaled to grab with my hands, I still don’t have the guts. Later, I had more opportunities to eat Lao food. In order not to let Lao friends see the outside world, I followed the local customs and learned to grasp it with my hands, but I was still not as free as the Lao people, and I could eat with my hands without any scruples. In order to protect myself, I gradually mastered some measures to safely eat with my hands. Another Chinese friend told me a last resort: first grab a ball of glutinous rice and rub it in your hands, dab some of the dirt on your hands, then throw the dirty glutinous rice away, and grab new glutinous rice and eat it.
  Bamboo rice in Laos is also a delicious food. Add glutinous rice or purple rice with salt, or add sugar, shredded coconut, etc., put it in a bamboo tube, pour water, seal it, soak it for a period of time, and then cook it on a charcoal fire. After splitting the bamboo tube, a layer of bamboo film sticks to a long strip of rice, and it tastes unique.
  wild vegetables
  On the Lao table, in addition to the boiled chicken, steamed fish, roasted pig, kebabs and other foods that Laos usually use to entertain guests, fresh leaves, wild vegetables, wild fruits, etc. are often placed on the table. Not to mention common wild vegetables such as mint, especially some leaves and wild fruits that I have never seen in China, which made me feel deeply. With curiosity, I imitated the Lao people. I grabbed wild vegetables with my hands and dipped them in the sour, sweet, spicy, fragrant and salty fish sauce. different. Among them, there is a purple-red leaf with a slightly bitter taste; a wild fruit the size of a pea is more bitter, and I named it “bitter bean”; there is also a tree with a ruler long and an inch wide The large lentils are extremely bitter. Lao friends said that these wild vegetables have medicinal functions of dispelling diseases and strengthening the body. After eating them a few times, I really liked these wild vegetables. Later, when I got to know the weeds that grow “bitter beans”, I often went to the streets and fields to find and pick “bitter beans” to eat.
  Once, I saw a Laotian worker invited by the embassy to dig a drainage ditch to sit by the roadside for lunch. He had a glutinous rice ball in a small bamboo basket, a small dish of fish sauce pickled peppers, and a fresh twig next to it. I saw him pick off the leaves from the branches, dip them in a little chili fish sauce, grab a piece of glutinous rice, and eat them with relish. I asked him what branch it was, and he pointed to a carambola tree next to it. It turned out that the branch had just been broken off from the carambola tree. Ah! I didn’t know that carambola leaves could still be eaten like this!
  ”Lap” is the transliteration of the Lao language “Lap”, which is a kind of Lai cuisine with Lao national characteristics. The first time I ate lapu was at a Lao friend’s house. The method of making Lapu is: mince fresh fish or pork, chicken, beef, venison, etc., and mix with pepper, coriander, mint, lemon, onion, garlic, salt, fish sauce and other ingredients to make them, respectively. For “Fish Lapu”, “Pork Lapu” and so on. There are three kinds of Lapu: raw, cooked, and half-rare. Lao people not only like to make Lapu at home, but also use Lapu as a must-have food for entertaining guests. They explain that rap is not only delicious, but a lucky word. There is a proverb in Lao: “Mirap, Misuk”, which means “good luck, good health”. Because the two words “lap” and “luck” are pronounced similar in Lao, eating lapu has the meaning of “good luck”. This is probably one of the reasons why people love to eat Rapp! Of course, the most important reason is that Rapp is delicious and delicious. According to Lao friends, there is a lot of attention to eating Lapu. Lapu is usually eaten during entertaining guests and festive days, but it is not allowed to eat Lapu at funerals.
  Ant eggs I
  have long heard that Laotians eat ant eggs, but have never had the opportunity to taste them. Finally one day, when visiting a friend’s house, I ate a dish made with ant eggs. The dish had finely chopped green leaves, interspersed with white, bulging ant eggs the size of rice grains. The ant eggs didn’t have any strange taste, but made a “crunching” sound. Later, I was also treated by a friend at a Lao restaurant, and I tasted the taste of ant egg sour soup. There were ant eggs and some ants floating in the soup. It had a special sour taste, which was said to be the taste of formic acid.
  The ant eggs eaten by Laotians are the eggs of a large red ant. The big red ant is called the golden ant, which is 1 cm long and lives on big trees in the tropics. They make their nests on trees with broad leaves such as mango trees, magnolia trees, etc. I was fortunate enough to see the spectacular scene of golden ants making their nests. They work together to pull the two large leaves together, and some of the ants use their teeth to bite and grab one leaf with their front two feet, and the back feet grab another leaf, like a row of staples. Tightly attached, the ants behind the leaves use a white mucus secreted to hold the leaves together. After the leaves are glued together, it becomes a rain-tight, round nest with passages for the worker ants to go out for food. Some ant nests are very large, 30 to 40 centimeters square, and there are tens of millions of ants inhabiting them. According to Lao friends, the methods of collecting ants and ant eggs are as follows: (1) Pick off the ant nest from the tree, open it and shake it on the plastic sheet, collect the ants crawling around to make ant sour soup, and leave it in The ant eggs in the middle are collected to make a dish or soup. (2) Use a bamboo pole to pierce the ant nest, and the ant eggs will fall out of the hole and be caught by a container tied to the bamboo pole. It is said that ant eggs contain high protein, and eating ant eggs has a health care effect. Formic acid can soften blood vessels and relieve diseases such as cerebral thrombosis.
  ”Dammahon” (Tam Mak Hunq) is a favorite food of the Lao people. In Lao, “Dam” means pounding, and “Mahon” is papaya. In translation, “Dammahon” means pounding papaya.
  There are two important steps in making dhammahon. The first step is to chop papaya shreds. Ripe papaya skin is yellow or red, and the flesh inside is also yellow or red, the flesh is delicate, soft and sweet; while the unripe papaya skin is green, the flesh is white, and the flesh is crisp and slightly sweet. The papaya used to make dammahon is unripe papaya. Many Lao women are experts at making dammahon. They hold the peeled papaya in their left hand, and use a small kitchen knife in their right hand to chop the papaya in their left hand rhythmically. A bunch of filaments. Chop and slice layer by layer until the whole papaya becomes shredded papaya. The chopped papaya shreds are uniform in thickness and moderate in length. It’s simply an art! The second step is to pound the seasoning. They put fresh peppers, tomatoes, lemons, salt, sugar, monosodium glutamate, fish sauce, etc. into a stone mortar, pound it into a paste with a stone pestle, and then mix it with shredded papaya, sour, sweet, spicy, salty and with a special fish sauce. The savory dammahon is made, and its deliciousness is unforgettable.