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Learning the Secrets of Laotian Home Cooking

May 14, 2018 by Khiri Travel | Filed Under: ,

Khiri Travel Laos has been helping to set up a local cooking school in a rural village just outside the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang. The authentic village is quietly nestled on the banks of the Mekong River and remains a charming hideaway, where life has changed little over the centuries.

Cooking class host family

The cooking classes will be given by Mrs. Noy, an experienced cook who used to work for a restaurant, but has now moved back to her village to look after her family. The full-day excursion will include a visit to the local market where Mrs. Noy will help your clients in selecting the freshest ingredients for the cooking class, while they take in the sounds and smells of busy market life.

After the market it’s a 30-minute drive to Mrs. Noy’s village, which includes an atmospheric boat ride across the mighty Mekong River. Mrs. Noy will then give your clients a tour of the village, before delving into the world of Laotian cuisine!

Your clients will learn how to cook on a traditional charcoal stove preparing some authentic Laotian dishes, including the famous sticky Lao rice and papaya salad. Once all the dishes are prepared, everyone sits down together in the family living room or on their porch to chat and enjoy the delicious home-made meal.

Kaipen drying

Kaipen

We then say goodbye to Mrs. Noy and climb on board our boat for a picturesque journey down the river to another village famous for harvesting a fresh water algae from the Mekong River that is used to produce a Laotian snack called Kaipen. During the hot, dry season, when the river is at its lowest, the green algae, or kai, is harvested from the riverbed.

It is then washed and mixed with vegetables, such as green onions, galangal, garlic and tomato, and sprinkled with sesame seeds, before being pounded into thin sheets and hung to dry. Your clients will have the opportunity to learn more about the different steps needed to produce kaipen and will be able to try the variety of kaipen snacks – directly from the source!

In the late afternoon we climb back on board our boat and return slowly to Luang Prabang, while enjoying a Lao whiskey tasting, paired with some other local snacks.

This is a great day out for foodies who want to learn more about authentic Laotian cuisine, its production, as well as rural village life and traditional Lao culture.

For more information about cooking classes and other interesting local experiences, please contact [email protected]

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