Cooking School in Luang Prabang

For my birthday, celebrated in Luang Prabang, Laos, we all went to cooking school. It was such fun, and of course very, very delicious. Any good cooking school starts with the local market–in which we had an extensive visit. It was so fascinating, super colorful, and full of smells, both good and bad! The actual school was set in the jungle outside. Laos cooking involves two major components: a mortar for the mixing and a fire for charring. Laos food is surprisingly smokey in flavor and this would explain why. We each made our own food, so we could each decide how much spice we’d add; I usually added three red chili peppers. The food was so good as was the company. It was a really neat way to spend my birthday. And speaking of cooking school, all this week, I’m away on a school trip with 20 students in Chang Rai, Thailand for some Masterchef classes. I love cooking, so I think I scored with this school trip. I’ll try document some of what I learn. In the meantime, enjoy these colorful pictures of the market and some family fun from our trip to Luang Prabang. And if you travel there, make sure to take the Tamarind Cooking Class.

*Warning: there are A LOT of pictures in this post!

For a ton of market pictures keep scrolling through…

This lady was so smiley. She appears to be very at peace in her work.

Temple goods were everywhere in this very holy, Buddhist town.

I am not kidding: these dried beings are squirrel and rat!!

All the butchers are female. It would be considered unlucky for a man to touch the meat after the kill.

There is sooooo much rice, and it all has a different value.

Another item in abundance is chili pepper and powder.

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  • Mummabstylish Mummabstylish

    Wow what a great adventure, hope the food was as good as it looks. x Jacqui

  • OMG that looks amazing!! And your photos are absolutely stunning, Annie! It certainly looked like you had a great time. I bet it all tasted divine <3
    Suzy xx

  • Judy Gramith

    Your photos are educational as well as beautiful!! I am a bit familiar with the people of Laos because many of the Hmong mountain people came to Minnesota as refugees following the Vietnam War. They contribute so much to enrich Minnesota culture and when I was still teaching I had many second and third generation students who were descendants of those original refugees. Farmers markets during the summer were actually dominated by their harvest.
    I always LOVE to see photos of your family Annie!! Have you ever eaten any of the more exotic meats offered here?

  • Cindy

    Awesome pics! Love!!!!!!