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02 of 09

Laap

9 Dishes to Try in Laos

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Whether you call it laap or larb, this traditional dish retains its essential Lao identity despite its popularity in Thai restaurants.

Laap essentially consists of chopped meat and innards—pork, water-buffalo beef, duck, or chicken will do—mixed with fish sauce, coriander, mint, chili, spring onion, and lime juice, along with dry-fried rice grains that impart a subtle nutty flavor, then cooked. Sticky rice and fresh vegetables accompany a hearty serving of laap, wherever you go in Laos.

Tourists tend to have their laap freshly cooked, but purists in Laos and northern Thailand occasionally like to have laap served bloody and raw, called laap seua, or tiger laap (presumably because this is how tigers prefer their food—heavy on the gore).