Laap Thao Sai Hoy (Larb Thao Sai Hoy) for dinner in Vientiane, Laos. I can’t quite explain this dish fully in English. I have only eaten this once in my life. But as a little kid living in Vientiane, Laos, I followed my grandmother to a rice paddy where she collected this green algae.

laap thao

My grandmother then turn this green algae into a warm salad, mixed with string bean, round green eggplant, cooked freshwater shellfish, seasoned with herbs and spices. She didn’t let me eat it for fear of health risk from the uncooked algae.

When I was in Luang Prabang, my relatives made Laap Thao (ລາບເທົາ), using the freshwater green algae (chloropbyceae) from the Mekong River. They didn’t put any Hoy in the dish but it was delicious enough for me to try eating again in the near future.