Laos – Pad Khee Mao

by Fauzan Anandika

Racing is one of the Asian people’s favorite sport. In Asia, we can watch various kinds of races, not only using cars or motorcycles you can also see buffalo races, plow, elephant, and cow races. Not only in the land, but Asian people also held a boat race like in Laos. Luang Prabang is one of the boat racing festivals in Asia that held around August and October every year in Laos.

Luang Prabang is also known as Boun Souang Hua. This boat race is usually held on the weekend to attract people to watch. Each participant should compete with each other. They compete in a one on one 400 meters race. Usually, the participant needs to win 4 to 5 matches to become the competition winner. Besides racing, each participant also decorates their boat and wears a special uniform to distinguish them from another participant.

Luang Prabang festival is not only about boat race on that day the Laotian also held a water market along the Chao Fa Ngum street. On that market, the visitor could enjoy Lao traditional culture like cloth, handicraft, and food. For a food traveler, Luang Prabang is a festival you cannot miss when visiting Laos. You can enjoy many kinds of Lao delicious dishes like Pad Khee Mao.

Pad Khee Mao or also known as the drunken noodle, is Laos traditional dish. That dish uses wide noodles topped with grounded pork and bay leaf, then pour with spicy, sweet, and salty sauce. This authentic taste comes from mixing rice vinegar and sweet soy sauce.   

Even it is known as a drunken noodle, but Pad Khee Mao does not contain any alcohol. Pad Khee Mao gets its name because of its spicy taste. The Lao people believe that someone needs to be drunk to enjoy this spicy noodle and the only way to reduce the hot flavor is by drinking alcohol.

To cook this tasty food, you need an extra effort to find the ingredient in the Asian market. But no need to worry, Pad Khee Mao’s taste is worth trying. In the recipe below, you will learn how to cook Pad Khee Mao with a side of Kaipen.


Pad Khee Mao

  • 4 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 15 ml of sweet soy sauce
  • 10 ml of rice vinegar
  • 6 clove of garlic, thin sliced
  • 5 piece of Thai chili, sliced
  • 15 ml of vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, thin sliced
  • 300 gram grounded pork meat
  • 1 piece of bell pepper, sliced
  • 150 gram of rice noodle
  • 30 gram of basil
  • 1 lime juice
  • Sliced lime for garnish


  • 100 ml of vegetable oil
  • 50 gram of chopped ginger
  • 8 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 50 gram of sugar
  • 2 tablespoon of sliced dry chili
  • 50 ml of Thai fish sauce
  • 1 sheet of dried seaweed, cut into 2 by 4 square

How to cook


  1. Heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a frying pan.
  2. Add ginger and garlic, cook until turn yellowish.
  3. Ground the ginger and garlic with mortar and pestle until becomes a paste.
  4. Prepare a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, heat with medium fire.
  5. Add sugar, chili, and fish sauce, cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the ginger paste, cook, until thickened.
  7. Adjust the taste with chili and fish sauce. Turn off the heat and wait until the sauce cools down.
  8. Fry the seaweed until crispy.
  9. Apply some sauce to the fried seaweed.

Pad Khee Mao

  1. Soak rice noodles in warm water for one hour.
  2. Add vinegar, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
  3. Stir slowly and set aside.
  4. Prepare cooking pan and heat with medium fire.
  5. Add vegetable oil, chili, garlic, and onion.
  6. Cook until fragrant for 3 minutes.
  7. Add grounded pork, finely mix it. Cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add rice noodle and bell pepper, mix finely.
  9. Cook until the sauce thickened.
  10. Add bay leaf and lime juice.
  11. Pad Khee Mao is ready to be served.
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