local eats: market lunch

Since we haven’t done a lot of cooking in our first few days (or weeks) here, we’ve set out exploring to see what local eats we could find.northern laos morning market

It didn’t take long to discover this long aisle in the large covered building at the market full of wonderful pre-made lunch dishes.

northern lao market foodIf you’re there at the right time, both sides of the aisle are lined with little plates topped with a jeow ແຈ່ວ, a dish to be eaten with sticky rice.  The choices seem endless.  There are meats, greens, mushrooms, snails, innards, and many jeow that we have yet to identify.  The vendors are even happy to let you sample a dish before purchasing.2014-01-10-DSC_4548The girls are often recipients of free samples, like from the lady snipping her freshly made rice noodles.

2014-01-10-DSC_5448Each plateful costs only 5,000 kip (around $0.60).  Some of our favorites so far are the bamboo shoots (left) and greens.

2014-01-10-DSC_5440As well as the rattan shoots (yes, the same wood used to make furniture!) and mushrooms.

2014-01-10-DSC_5456So far, we’ve shied away from the intestines and other less-identifiable items.

2014-01-10-DSC_5459These smoked pork sticks are incredibly delicious and a great protein addition to the lunch purchase.2014-01-10-DSC_5464There are also these homemade sausages.  Each vendor has their own recipe.  We’re still working out which is our favorite.


Finally, there are the thermoses full of steaming hot sticky rice sold by the 100 grams.  2014-01-10-DSC_4804The morning market provides a delicious, inexpensive lunch for people with all diet preferences.  From vegetarian to paleo and everything in between.  Over the past two years, I’ve drastically improved my health through dietary changes alone.  Now, we eat a modified paleo diet…. no grains (except some rice), only natural sweeteners (like honey), and lots of veggies, good meats and fats.  More on that another time.

What’s your go to lunch if you don’t make it yourself? 


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