A delightful afternoon snack with dips made from roasted eggplant, sweet tomatoes, and cilantro. The dark mixture in the spoon is jaew bawng, a sweet-spicy sauce made from roasted chilis (Audrey calls it the Luang Prabang barbecue sauce). The dark strips are khai paen, pressed river weed (think of it as downscale version of nori) fried with sesame seeds. Roll it with sticky rice and you're set.
Sticky (or glutinous) rice is the staple of Laos. With a few tasty varieties on offer and a rich, nutty flavor found nowhere else in the rices of Southeast Asia, we were hooked.
We welcomed late afternoons as an excuse for a snack of khai paen, jaew bawng, and sticky rice washed down with a cold Beer Lao.
Learn more about Lao cuisine and markets.
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