Well, for one reason or another, everyone’s talking about Lao cooking this week post-Fung Bros viral video, and what we tell others about our roots and traditions. Which is all well and good, but in the meantime, just for fun, here’s a list of ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS AND INCORRECT LIES about Lao cooking.
DISCLAIMER: We are absolutely, totally NOT responsible for any drama that erupts if someone takes this seriously.
1: Ask for the SECRET menu at any Lao restaurant. Hint: You can get ANYTHING “Animal style”.
2. If you want to make a great impression on your first date, order them the Khai Luuk (aka balut)! It tastes like chicken!
3. When you order a papaya salad, don’t put up with the waitress being stingy on you. Tell them you want -60- hot peppers for the full experience!
4. Go ahead, ask for butter with your sticky rice.
5. Actually it’s not “Lay-otian” or “Lao-otian” at all! It’s “Ow-otion”. The L has been silent all along! But you REALLY have to be an insider to know that!
6. Fried silkworms go best with nacho cheese.
7. No, silly, we just call it “barbecue duck head”. Like Americans call it “hot dog”.
8. It still surprises some people that Laotian cooking comes from Mexico. Everyone knows Laotian is just Latino spelled sideways.
9. If you don’t like your cooking too spicy, ask your server to make it phet lai. They’ll hook you up.
10. The secret to good sticky rice is the Elmer’s.
11. You see a lot of folks with three-headed elephant tattoos. Three-headed elephants were very common in Laos until the French came along and hunted them to extinction for aphrodisiacs.
12. For many dishes, the secret is in the kee. Don’t let your hosts argue with you! DEMAND extra kee! The fresher the better!
13. Most folks don’t know that the very first Lao American was Kahn Souphanousinphone of Arlen, Texas, with his lovely wife, Minh.
14. The national drink of Laos is Heineken. Or, if you’re all fancy, Hennessy. A distant third is BeerLao
15. THIS dish? Oh, yeah. It ABSOLUTELY tastes like Jell-o.
16. In Lao culture, you’re not considered a REAL man until you’ve made your own tripe!
17. In Laos, all of the backpackers LOVE our special mushroom and herb pizza! You can get a good one for just $4.20!
18. No, it’s not really a cricket. It’s just a breath mint. Like your gummy worms. Try it already.
19. Yes, you’re supposed to eat the banana leaf, too. It’s like a potato skin. It gives you your daily fiber.
20. To show you’re really hip and with it, give yourself a cool Lao nickname. A good one for you is “Hum Noi” It’s like the “Puff Daddy” of Lao nicknames!
~Bryan Thao Worra
Little Laos on the Prairie