Laos Among CNN’s Top Picks for Asian Street Food

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Ping Khao (or Khao Jee) and Naem Khao, two Lao dishes, are on the list of the best street food in Asia.

Two delectable dishes from Laos have made CNN’s list of the 50 best street foods in Asia.

Ping Khao (or Khao jee) and Naem Khao, two street food dishes, have been selected by Cable News Network Travel as among 50 of the best street foods in Asia.

Khao Jee is grilled sticky rice on a stick, with the rice dipped or coated in egg and occasionally seasoned with Padaek (fermented fish sauce) and chili flakes to spice the rice.

“It looks simple — a grilled sticky rice patty on a stick — but there’s more to this street food staple than meets the eye,” the CNN article readsdescribing the Lao street food known as Ping Khao or Khao Jee.

A stick of Khao Jee costs from LAK 2,000 to LAK 5,000 (USD 0.13-0.33) and is found at street corners in major cities and provinces across the country.

Another street food that shares the same name as Khao Jee is Khao Jee Pate (a Lao-style baguette sandwich, similar to a Vietnamese banh mi) filled with pork liver pâté, pickled carrots, cucumber, papaya and sometimes with chili oil or a local chili paste called Jeow Bong.

Lao restaurants also cook Naem Khao, a crispy rice salad made from a crispy rice ball with pork skin, peanuts, fried shallot, fried chili and more. The dish is served with fresh vegetables and spicy and sour sauce.

“It’s a balancing act of brilliant flavors, aromas and textures starring crispy deep-fried rice balls made with a base of red curry paste, coconut flakes and egg, ” CNN writes.

A dish of Naem Khao costs LAK 20,000-25,000 (USD 1.31-1.64).

Some other celebrated street food from neighboring ASEAN countries include Asam laksa (Malaysia), Banh mi (Vietnam), Chili crab (Singapore), Crab omelets (Thailand), Gado gado (Indonesia), Getuk (Indonesia), Halo-halo (Philippines), Iced coffee (Vietnam), and Kaya toast (Singapore/Malaysia).