Essential Lao Noodles

by Saeng Douangdara

No. 1

Khao Poon Nam Paa | Lao Fish Vermicelli Curry Noodle Soup

There are many variations to khao poon, but I want to highlight the fish broth since fish is eaten often with many fish from the Mekong. This noodle dish has a creamy thick fish curry soup with vermicelli noodle and topped with many fresh herbs like mint, long bean, cabbage, and lime.

No. 2

Kua Mee | Lao Caramelized Fried Rice Noodles

Kua mee is the dry noodle dish that is very popular for its caramelized sauce. The rice noodles soak up the richness and then it is topped with cut up omelet, fresh herbs, and fried peppers. It is best served at room temperature and can even be eaten as a lettuce wrap.

No. 3

Khao Soi Lao | Fermented Bean Wide Rice Noodle Soup

There are many types of khao soi around Southeast Asia, but the Lao khao soi is different from the others. It is made with fermented beans and is a dish that is very popular in Luang Prabang. You will find this dish served with a ground meat sauce on top with wide rice noodles.

No. 4

Khao Piek Sen | Tapioca Rice Noodle Soup

Khao piek sen is the essential comfort noodle dish for many Lao people. It is made with tapioca and rice flour with either a chicken or pork broth. It is topped with the freshest herbs. Most Lao households will make their own hand cut noodles.

No. 5

Pho Lao

This dish may be controversial for you since it is not the traditional pho. It is made to the Lao palette and that means more funkiness, sweetness, and spiciness. You will find pho Lao served with sugar, shrimp paste, all the parts of the cow, and a darker rich broth. Once you give it a try, you will notice the big difference.

No. 6

Mee Katee | Egg Red Curry Noodle Soup

Mee Katee has elements of other noodles dishes put into one. This dish uses pho noodles, with egg curry, fermented beans, and a rich pork broth. You will want to drink all the broth since it will have delicious broth cooked egg.

No. 7

Thum Khao Poon | Lao Vermicelli Salad

Lao people don’t just love noodles in soup, but they also love to smash everything in a mortar and pestle and that includes this vermicelli noodle salad. This dish gives all the delicious thummakhoong flavors in noodles. You want to eat this dish fast since the noodles will soak up all the juices fast.

No. 8


This noodle dish is topped with a delicious peanut sauce that we call sukiyaki sauce. It is typically eat with clear mung bean noodles and often topped with seafood.

No. 9

Lard Na

This stir fry dish uses wide rice noodles covered in a rich gravy sauce and topped with vegetables and meat. It’s a popular street food that is covered with mushrooms, carrots, and Chinese broccoli.

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