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Learn how to make Larb and Nam Tok, Laos’ National Dishes

Lao food is certainly one of the tastiest around.  One of the country’s most famous dishes is larb (minced meat salad).  It also comes in sliced meat form, and this is called nam tok.  These dishes go very well with som tam (papaya salad) and glutinous rice (sticky rice).

The larb/nam tok variation is one of Laos’ national dishes and its popularity has spread to the Northeastern provinces of Thailand (Isaan) as well as other parts of the country.  Some of the meats used in larb/nam tok include pork, chicken, beef, duck or even fish.  It is flavored with fish sauce and several minty leaves.

So, what makes this dish so popular?  Why not cook it yourself and find out!

Make sure you have these ingredients ready (for a serving of 2 people):
•    1 tablespoon of cooking oil
•    2 tablespoons of water
•    3 tablespoons of fish sauce
•    650 grams of minced meat of your choice (replace with sliced meat for nam tok)
•    2 finely chopped fresh chilies (add more for a burning tongue sensation)
•    ¼ of thinly sliced shallots (can be substituted with red onions)
•    1 lime (2 for a zestier taste)
•    ¼ tablespoon of ground dried chili (add more for additional burning tongue sensation)
•    3 springs of spear mint (optional but highly recommended)
•    1 tablespoon of chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

First, squeeze the juice out of the lime and onto the meat.  Mix it around and let the juice marinate on the meat for only a couple of minutes.  While waiting, you can heat up a pan or pot with the cooking oil until it is very hot.  Then, pour in the water followed by the meat.  Cook the meat to your desired preference.

Then, pour the meat onto a bowl.  Add in the rest of the ingredients in and mix it well .  Garnish your larb with the spearmint.  The dish is now ready to be served.  Bon appétit!

Laos is certainly one of the world’s most enigmatic destinations.  Exotissimo is more than happy to introduce you to a country filled with scenic landscapes, beautiful temples, friendly people and of course delicious food!  Our Taste of Laos tour is a detailed program that takes you to all the major cities, towns and sites.  You will dine at some of the country’s finest restaurants and also learn how to prepare the country’s cuisine.  Our Green Tour of Laos is another highly recommended program.  It is designed for you to make the most of your six day stay in the country.  Visit the unsung treasures of Vientiane and immerse yourself in the sleepy culture and spectacular scenery of this unique capital city.  You will also get to explore Luang Prabang by electric bicycle, meet colorful hilltribes and refresh yourself at Kuang Si Waterfall.  You can also see our Laos tours page for other interesting options into this laid back and wonderful country.

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