Have you ever tried Lao cuisine? The taste of the sticky rice with fresh vegetables, fish sauce, and spicy salads can make you head over heels for the Lao cooking techniques of the local people. These delicious platters of Lao meals cannot be presented without using the indigenous kitchen utensils the locals have used for ages.
Since you are traveling to Lao very soon, this is a sign that you should learn some words about cooking utensils in Lao, such as ຟັກ (Chopstick), ປູນ (Mortar), ມີດ (Knife), etc., and make your trip smooth sailing. Knowing these words will help you understand the Lao cooking culture deeper and allow you to concoct your Lao dish like the locals. So, want to learn more? Keep reading and explore the secrets of Laotian dishes.
The Lao Cuisine: Facts And Tips
Before we hop into some Lao vocabulary on kitchen tools, let us have a quick review of Lao cuisine to make your experience at restaurants effortless.
Facts About The Lao Kitchen
The first thing you need to know about the cuisine is that Laotian dishes feature sticky rice more than any other Asian country in the world. Served sweet, fermented, and sometimes sour, sticky rice- ເຂົ້າໜຽວ (khao niew) is the national staple of Laos, and no one else on the planet consumes sticky rice as much as the Laotian people do.
If you are a fan of coffee, Laos is just the right destination for you. It is the most significant agricultural exporter of coffee (ກາເຟ), and they still grow extensively throughout the country. Imagine having a cup of hot coffee made with high-quality country-grown beans, served with strong condensed milk with a mesmerizing mountain view. Fascinating, isn’t it?
One of the most famous Laotian dishes is Laap or Laab Ped. It is a spicy national dish made with meat and green herbs, topped with lime juice, and served hot with raw vegetables and sticky rice. Unlike western burgers and pizzas, Laotian dishes carry a Chinese influence by mainly serving noodles, rice, fermented fish sauce, etc. Nevertheless, French influence has also introduced sandwiches and bread to Laos, in case soupy noodles are not what you are looking for.
Laotian Dishes You Need To Try
From soup and glutinous pork rice to Lao eggplant with fresh ingredients, you will find all the flavors in the main dishes of Lao. So, here is a list of top Lao food you must try during your visit to serve your appetite with the most distinctive taste of all time.
- Khao Lam Bamboo Sticky Rice (Traditional steamed rice in a bamboo tube)
- Khaipen With Jaew Bong (Fried Seaweed sauteed with chilly paste)
- Laap (Sliced meat or fish flavored with lime and onion)
- Tam mak hoong (A famous papaya dish served with sticky rice)
- Khao Piak Sen (Thick meaty rice noodles)
- Beer Lao (Traditional beer made with rice)
- Lao Hai (Jar Liquor)
Cooking Utensils In Lao: Must-Have Tools
Now we will dive into the words and uses of traditional tools in the Lao kitchen. Later on, we will discover other devices we commonly see in every household with proper Lao and English translations to enhance your vocabulary. So, let’s get started.
1. ປູນ & ແມງສາບ (Mortar And Pestle)
The first most crucial utensil used to concoct dishes of Laotian cuisine is Mortar- ປູນ (pun) and Pestle- ແມງສາບ (aemng sab). You can also call it ຄົກ- khok and ສາກ- saak, respectively. A mortar and pestle is a crucial kitchen tool that helps make side dishes like hummus, guacamole, and spice powder. The Lao kitchen has been using it for hundreds of years, and locals use it to mix the spices, blend them, and add flavor to traditional items like soups, sauce, and even meat gravy.
Fun fact: Most utensils used in Laotian cuisine also account for equal importance when making Thai food. If you want to learn about the Thai language and cuisine, head to Ling App.
2. ເຕົາອົບ (Rice Steamer)
The next must-have kitchen utensil in Laos is a rice steamer, called ເຕົາອົບ (tao ob). How do you plan to make the delicious sweet sticky rice if you do not have a rice steamer? Mainly bamboo steamer known as ຫວດ (Haud) is used to make sticky rice in Laos as they soak moisture well, and it has been used as a tradition for years. The tall rice pot- ຫມໍ້ເຂົ້າ (mo khao) or ໝໍ້ໜຶ້ງ (mo nung) is a part of the steamer that you must have to make cooking easy.
You will also see bamboo containers ຖັງໄມ້ໄຜ່ (thang maiphai) that is used to store sticky rice. Instead of plastic containers, Laotian locals believe in the supremacy of traditional bamboo steamers and holding baskets that work much better than any other.
3. ກະດານຕັດ (Cutting Board)
Just like any other day in a week, a ກະດານຕັດ (kadan tad) in Laotian cuisine is an inevitable tool that you cannot miss. From cutting papaya for Tam mak hoong to slicing meat for Laap, a cutting board can make cooking more comfortable and much safer.
All essential ingredient mashup takes place on a cutting board. It is not only valuable for various recipes of Laotian cuisine but also in every other cuisine of the world. So, it was needed to add it to the list.
4. ລາບ (Ladle)
Another important tool you need to make bowls of Lao dishes is a ຈອງ- lab or jawng. As you know, it is a big spoon with a long handle that helps prepare food in large bowls. Especially in Laos, where locals prepare meals for large families like Soup bowls, meat curries, or even Khaipe, it can become a hassle if one uses a small spoon or spatula instead of a ladle.
However, smaller-sized spoons are also used when topping a meal with fresh vegetables to add flavors or pouring a small portion of soup from the pot into the bowl. The Lao kitchen is filled with different utensils that you will find baffling.
5. ມີດແກະສະຫຼັກ (Carving Knife)
Whereas European countries must have a bread knife, a Carving knife or mid kae sarak acts the same for a Laos Kitchen. As mentioned earlier, Laotian cuisine is filled with meat dishes. From chicken to pork, you will find different kinds of meat lovers items that can make any non-vegetarian foodie filled with happiness. So, to make slicing and carving thin meat pieces easy, a mid kae sarak becomes necessary in the kitchen.
Lao people also have a collection of carving knives with unique designs and materials. Some are also shaped differently and pointer than usual carving knives in the markets.
6. ການກັ່ນຕອງອາຫານ (Food Filter)
Another very essential tool used to make food in Laos is a ການກັ່ນຕອງອາຫານ (kan kan tong ahan) or ກະຊອນ (gasaan). It is mainly used to drain water from boiled rice or other dishes and filter broth and sauces. Since soups and broth make up a large part of Laotian cuisine, it is essential that the sauce or the soup is clear of any unwanted stuff and that only essential ingredient is present. Even Lao traditional drinks and coffee making require a filter. So, it is impossible not to have a food filter while making Lao dishes.
7. ວອກ (Wok)
One of the most prominent influences of China on Laos can be seen in the use of a Wok. Primarily used in making noodles and fried rice, nothing can beat the potency of a Wok and its consistency. Even in the streets, you will find many vendors cooking with woks and selling noodle soups and fried noodles at the lowest prices.
Different Cooking Utensils In Lao
In this section, we will discover all the utensils that we see in a conventional kitchen. Read them to increase your vocabulary in the Lao language.
|Baking pan||ຖາດອົບ||thad ob|
|Baster||ບາສເຕີ||ba s toe|
|Barbecue grill||ປີ້ງບາບີຄິວ||ping ba bi khiv|
|Bottle opener||ເຄື່ອງເປີດຂວດ||kheuong poed khuad|
|Coffee pot||ຫມໍ້ກາເຟ||mo kafe|
|Dutch oven||ເຕົາອົບໂຮນລັງ||tao ob ohn lang|
|Egg rings||ແຫວນໄຂ່||aevn khai|
|Food scale||ຂະໜາດອາຫານ||khanad ahan|
|Fruit bowl||ໂຖປັດສະວະຫມາກ||oth pad sauaa mak|
|Grill pan||ປີ້ງແຊ່||ping aes|
|Garlic press||ກະທຽມກົດ||kathiam kod|
|Hand mixer||ເຄື່ອງປະສົມມື||kheuong pasom mu|
|Ice bucket||ຖັງນ້ຳກ້ອນ||thang nam kon|
|Jar opener||ເຄື່ອງເປີດກະປ໋ອງ||kheuong poed kapong|
|Juicer||ເຄື່ອງປັ່ນນໍ້າ||kheuong pan noa|
|Kitchen scissors||ມີດຕັດເຮືອນຄົວ||midtad heuonkhua|
|Kitchen foil||foil ເຮືອນຄົວ||foil heuonkhua|
|Microwave||ໄມໂຄເວຟ||maiokh ve f|
|Measuring cup||ຈອກວັດແທກ||chok vadaethk|
|Mixing bowl||ຖ້ວຍປະສົມ||thuany pasom|
|Oven mitt||ເຕົາອົບ||tao ob|
|Pastry cutter||ເຄື່ອງຕັດເຂົ້າ ໜົມ ປັງ||kheuongtadkhao nom pang|
|Pie pan||ຖາດເຂົ້າຫນົມ||thad khaonom|
|Pressure cooker||ຫມໍ້ຫຸງຕົ້ມ||mo hung tom|
|Pot holders||ຜູ້ຖືຫມໍ້||phu thu mo|
|Roasting pan||ເຕົາອົບ||tao ob|
|Rolling pin||ເຂັມມ້ວນ||khem muan|
|Salad bowl||ຖ້ວຍສະຫຼັດ||thuany sarad|
|Steak knife||ມີດສະເຕັກ||mid sa tek|
Kitchen Phrases To Practice In Lao
|Can you pass me the rice pot?||ເຈົ້າສາມາດເອົາຫມໍ້ເຂົ້າໃຫ້ຂ້ອຍໄດ້ບໍ?||chao samadoao mo khao haikhony daibo|
|Mix the ingredients properly||ປົນສ່ວນປະກອບຢ່າງຖືກຕ້ອງ||pon suanpakob yangthuktong|
|Fry the meat for 5 minutes||ຈືນຊີ້ນ 5 ນາທີ||chunsin 5 nathi|
|Be careful with the steamer||ຈົ່ງລະມັດລະວັງກັບ steamer ໄດ້||chong lamadlavangkab steamer dai|
|Keep the sticky rice in the bamboo basket||ເກັບເຂົ້າໜຽວໃສ່ກະຕ່າໄມ້ໄຜ່||keb khaoniav sai kata maiphai|
|Cook the rice for 10 minutes||ແຕ່ງກິນເຂົ້າ 10 ນາທີ||aetngkinkhao 10 nathi|
|Use the carving knife to slice the mutton||ໃຊ້ມີດແກະສະຫຼັກເພື່ອຊອຍຊີ້ນແກະ||sai mid kae sarak pheu sony sin kae|
|Do you have a ladle?||ເຈົ້າມີຫີບບໍ?||chao mi hib bo|
|Keep the rice pot warm||ຮັກສາຫມໍ້ເຂົ້າໃຫ້ອົບອຸ່ນ||haksa mo khao hai obun|
|Where do you cook the chicken?||ເຈົ້າແຕ່ງໄກ່ຢູ່ໃສ?||chao aetng kai yusai|
Over To You
Are you enjoying the vocabulary lesson? If yes, it is a sign that you can discover more. Knowing a few facts and words in the native language can help you make the right decisions at the correct time. From choosing the suitable food in the cafe to cooking your Laotian dish yourself, you unlock a power that will bring in a lot of local comforts.
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