Someone's in the Kitchen with Lao-Lao

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Where I stayed
Oudomphong Guest House Luang Prabang
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, December 14, 2012

Time for my Lao-tian cooking class. As you already know, I've been enjoying Lao food  immensely. Thai-like flavours are back without the earth-shaking spice. Along the Mekong river,
fish reign supreme, but as a land-locked country they don't have other kinds of seafood. Sticky rice is a special glutinous grain that's actually grown on the hills and doesn't need paddies. Served in beautifully woven baskets and eaten with the hands it gives a very comfortable and homey feeling to your meal.

This cooking class was very different than any I have taken so far. Much more formal (we actually wore matching aprons) and directed by a chef of one of the top-end restaurants in Luang Prabang. Flashy and fast, it was run like a cooking show. Everything was already measured out in little bowls and within 15 minutes he had demonstrated 4 different dishes for us as well as a famous chilli paste and sticky rice. What was really nice though, was that we got to taste each of the four dishes and then choose which 2 we would like to cook ourselves to eat. My favourite was the laap (one of the most famous dishes.  Considered a salad but it's made of meat – finally, a salad Brian will eat!). Compared to any other's I've eaten, this one had so many flavours and even contained banana flowers (didn't manage to eat ant eggs, but I have eaten banana flower)! We were also shown how to make Jeow Bong which is a famous chilli paste  unique to Luang Prabang. Fearing that it might be spicy, it was a pleasure to find that it wasn't as they used large peppers without the seeds for the powder. Just full of flavour. So tasty in fact, all the participants added it to every dish and dipped our sticky rice in it. I was practically scooping it up with a spoon. Must, must make this at home!

More food adventures took place at the food market. The evening food market was a tiny alley crammed with lights and sizzles and smells. Everything from fruit, buffalo sausage,  dumplings...A wonderful buffet style meal for 10,000 kip a plate (approximately $1.50). You can also buy these amazing sandwiches in Laos. We first found them in Vang Vieng, but have found them everywhere since. In Luang Prabang there's a whole street of women with stalls making them. I am eating sandwiches for breakfast and lunch every day. Stuffed with vegetables and meat on fresh baked baguettes, we aren't starving at all!

Found another BBQ/hot pot dinner, only this one worked off of coals, not gas, so it was also a heater during the cool evening as well. We're going to have to make something like this when we get back to Canada.  Grilling meat on top, all of the lovely juices drip down into the soup that's brewing below. So much flavour! Who knew broth soup could taste so amazing? Maybe it was the jeow bong...

Such a sophisticated town there's boutique restaurants in old french buildings everywhere you look. We're able to find freal coffee and milk as well as WINE! I haven't had wine in so long it was a pleasure to sit and watch the sun-set over the river while sipping. I've resigned myself now to probably not have any more until we get to Singapore...

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Bonnie on

Merry Christmas Sharilyn and Brian. Your weather look good to me. We are swaped with snow

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