About the Household

Here, you will find a little (or a little too much) about my life and my passion, which revolve both around the subject of being Lao. Most of all, you will find out that my family loves to gather around great food on an almost weekly sacred ritual, where secret family recipes are passed down from my mother (who has learned them from her mother, aunts, and siblings), shared among sisters, cousins, and in-laws. The kitchen unmistakably becomes center stage, and the process leading to the dinner table is where the action really is: latest news, family updates, and of course gossips. The degustation starts without fail with a toast from my father, because there are always reasons to celebrate and causes to raise our glasses to.

Aside from getting from time to time a Lao traditional recipe to test out, learning about Lao arts and culture, you will also get a glimpse at my affinity for stinky cheeses, well aged wine, and delectable patisseries. I owe that much to the French after living 8 years of my life with them, for teaching me that having pâté without cornichons is like ordering a burger without fries, and that Cool Whip has got nothing on crème fraîche! Some things in life just naturally go together and some imitation just make for disastrous experiences.

Though I love the traditional ways of preparing food, I am also a practical and modern cook without a lot of time on my hand: I have grown quite attached to some of my kitchen gadgets. There are certain things, however, that I will not compromise, and shortcuts that I will not take on my culinary journey: I am a purist when it counts.

Welcome to my House on the Mekong!

ລາບໄກ່ – ‘Laab Gai’ or Chicken Salad

ເຂົ້າປຸ້ນ – ‘Khao Poon’ or Rice Noodle Soup

ມົກປາ – ‘Moke Pah’ or Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves

9 Responses to About the Household

  1. Khampho Ohno says:

    I enjoy reading your posts and looking at the Lao dishes with such high level of artistic presentation. I would like my children to get to know our Lao root, but I lack such writing and story telling skills. I am glad you do. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Another beautiful piece, such a good glimpse into your family and traditions. I think I need a lesson from you about how I can enjoy wine because anytime I drink one, it tastes like sour grapes and leaves a long lasting sour taste in my mouth. Perhaps, I’m just too baan nork to enjoy the fine things in life ;-))!

    Please keep writing because I truly enjoy reading each and every word!

  3. Khampho Ohno says:

    Pom, when is the Khao Poon recipe coming?

    • Khampho, I have not mastered my khao poon recipe, so as of now it is not good enough to share. I will keep on testing and adjusting the recipe so long as people are willing to be my guinea pigs 🙂 Stay tuned!

  4. Lauren says:

    Do you still live in the Pacific NW? I’m originally from Oregon, but am teaching English in VTE. Small world!

    • Sabaidee, Lauren, I still live in Seattle. Where in Vientiane are you teaching? I’ll be there with a group of students for our cultural exchange program in July! It is indeed a very small world!

      • Lauren says:

        My sister lives in Seattle 🙂 I teach at a small medical school but I’m hoping to be transferred to the University of Health Sciences near Talat Sow next year. That’s so great you’re taking a group! I’d say we should meet up in VTE, but I’ll already be gone. I hope you and your team have a great time!

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