"Runaway Chef"
(NY Times 2005)
Traditional Recipes of Laos  
By Phia Sing, Royal Cook in  the Royal Palace at Luang Prabang;  b. 1898, d. 1967
Available from Food Words, Box 42568, Portland, OR 97242-0568

The following list of 15 recipes was selected from a much lengthier list of 114 that appeared in the ledgers that Phia Sing, the king's cook, used to compile a record his culinary masterpieces. They reflect older cooking techniques and traditional ingredients found locally, in particular the wide variety of fish found in the Mekong river just below the site of the royal palace, which today is a museum.  The manuscript was reproduced in facsimile and provided with an English translation in a book entitled Traditional Recipes of Laos, edited by Alan and Jennifer Davidson and published in 1981 by Prospect Books.  The book has since been reprinted in an inexpensive paperback edition with the English translation only.  Since our purpose here is to provide authentic Lao language materials, we have kept the original handwriting of Phia Sing.  Judicious use of copyright materials limits the number of pages that we can present.  Learners are encouraged to go to the first edition of the book itself for further study.  A letter of permission from Propect Books contains needed information to contact them.

Lap Pa Keng  -   minced raw fish
Lap Kai Pa  -  minced wild chicken
Ua No Mai  -  stuffed bamboo shoots
Keng No Mai Sai Yanang  -   soup made with bamboo shoots and yanang leaves
Jaew Bong  -  bong sauce
Or Lam Nok Kho  -   Quail Stew
Sousi Pa Gnon  -  a hot dish of small catfish
Keng Tom Yum Pa Kho  -  fish soup made with snakehead fish (pa kho) and chopped lemon grass
Sa Ton Sin Ngua  -  beef  Sa Ton
Or Bon Waan  -  a stew made with sweet Bon
Or Lam Sin Kuay  -  Or Lam of water-buffalo meat
Sai Ua Moo  -  pork sausages
Khao Poon Nam Phik  -  rice vermicelli with chilli pepper sauce
Yum Kai Tom  -   boiled chicken yam (mixture)
Pon Pa Leum  -  a dish of pounded catfish
Common utensils
Lao Eating Habits and Attitudes to Food
Lao Food Slide Show