The Boat Landing Guest House, Luang Namtha, Laos

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 Menu

Lao Food

Welcome to the Boat Landing Lao Restaurant. At the Boat Landing we serve authentic local Lao and, in particular, Luang Namtha cuisine. Here you will find the cuisine of the farmers and the village people. You will also find general Asian dishes with local flavor. And in consideration of vegetarians there are vegetarian options.

The Quintessential Lao Meal

Lao meals are traditionally served on a round rattan table low to the floor.

Few dishes are considered strictly breakfast, lunch or dinner dishes.

The essential components of a typical Lao meal are:

Sticky Rice

Chili Paste

A soup

A meat dish

A vegetable dish

Sticky rice is a variety of rice which is high in gluten and is the main staple of many Tai peoples. It is soaked in water for sometime before being steamed in a bamboo steamer. Once steamed the rice is allowed to breathe by stirring and turning it over. This allows the steam to escape which, if not allowed to escape, would result in very sticky rice.

Sticky rice is eaten by taking a small amount into the palm of your hand and squeezing it into a small ball, which you then dip into the chili paste, grab a piece of food or simply eat it plain.

No Lao table is complete without a chili paste. Chili pastes come in a wide variety. Some are quite spicy others not.

Noodle soups are an option to rice. There are two basic varieties here in the North - Phô or Kao Soi. Kao Soi is the local specialty of Luang Namtha which you can see people eating in the market in the morning. "Kao" means rice and "Soi" means to cut as with scissors. A large round noodle is made with rice flour and then rolled up. In some of the noodle stands in Namtha or Muang Sing you may see the vendors cutting these rolled up noodles with scissors as they prepare a bowl of Kao Soi. Another distinguishing feature of Kao Soi is the sauce spooned on the top is made with fermented soy beans (like miso or shoyu), chili and pork - vegetarian version available.