Laab

Laab is a traditional dish of Laos, and depending on what village or province the dish is from, ingredients can vary.

Khao Piak Khao

A great warm soup filled with delicious vegetables and comforting rice. Perfect for a cold day!

Vegan Fish Sauce

An essential ingredient to many Lao dishes. Enjoy this version made with shiitake and kombu.

Featured Recipes

Laab Lettuce Wraps

Laab Lettuce Wraps

Laab, pronounced “laab,” is considered the unofficial national dish of Laos. It is known for its mix of protein, lime juice, mix of fresh herbs, and spice. This delicious version of laab is served with lettuce and made with tofu and mushrooms.
Khao-Poon

Khao Poon (Curry Soup)

This mouthwatering sweet, salty, spicy, red curry and coconut soup broth is served with rice vermicelli noodles and is a delicious traditional soup of Laos.

Thum Muk Hung

Thum Muk Hoong (Papaya Salad)

One of the most popular dishes of Laos, papaya salad (also known in Laos as “thum muk hoong”) is known for its elegant combination of salty flavors, chiles, lime juice, and fresh unripe papaya.

Lao Omelette

Lao Omelette

Lao omelettes can be served any time of day! This fluffy omelette packed with cooked shallots, dill, green onions, and tomatoes, is great with sticky rice and a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. Also pairs well alongside papaya salad.

Food Empowerment Project’s team (including Sharon Daraphonhdeth, our first intern and current board member) created VeganLaoFood.com as a way to share flavors from Laos with vegans and the vegan-curious.

Vegans avoid animal ingredients such as “meat,” sea life, eggs, dairy, and honey, all of which are products of suffering and exploitation. Fortunately, many foods from Laos are in fact vegetable dishes and dairy-free, with the staple dish being sticky rice. Lao food uses flavors like citrus and spice and ingredients like fresh herbs to make delicious combinations of flavors that also taste exquisite without the use of animal-based ingredients.

Laos was colonized by the French in the late-19th to the mid-20th century and was also devastatingly impacted by the “Secret War,” during which the U.S. dropped more than 270 million cluster bombs on the country. This tragic war makes Laos the most-bombed country per capita in history, and there are still more than 80 million cluster bombs in Laos that have not detonated. There are a few grassroots organizations dedicated to fighting for justice for the people of Laos by physically removing cluster bombs one by one.

Despite these tragic circumstances, Khon Lao (Lao people) are resilient and continue to honor Lao traditions, including their food. We hope you enjoy delicious versions of some of your favorite Lao dishes—or try new ones!

A big thanks to everyone who contributed recipes for this site.

Ma der, ma der (come over, come over)! Khop jai lai lai (thank you very much)!