The exotic taste of Laos.
We’ve all heard of minced meat salad laab (or its sliced meat equivalent koy), the quintessentially Lao salad dish made by mixing select meats and fresh vegetables tossed in fermented fish sauce and lime. Koy paa (fish salad) and koy ngoua (beef salad) tend to be popular on traditional Lao menus and serve as common introductions to Lao cuisine. But for the most daring taste buds, we recommend the exotic koy khai mot daeng, or weaver ant egg salad.
Koy khai mot daeng is your typical Lao salad featuring a melange of ants and their eggs. Because the ants feast on mango tree leaves, they emit a sour flavor. The eggs, however, are juicily fatty and mildly sweet. Local cooks typically season koy pa with weaver ants to give the dish a distinctively tart tang.
For a hygienic and delicious experience, we recommend trying the ant egg salad at Kualao Restaurant. Be sure to tailor the level of spiciness to suit your buds. These high-protein insect pupae are worth a try, if not for vinegary taste then for that priceless Instagrammable shot!
Kualao restaurant is open daily 11 am – 2 pm
and 6 pm – 10 pm
Text BY Aditta Kittikhoun
PHOTOGRAPH BY Phoonsab Thevongsa