Other Aquatic Foods

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By Phia Sing

Published 1981

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Kung (sometimes transliterated as koung) means shrimp. The freshwater species commonly taken in Laos is shown with recipe 51.

Kob is the Lao name for frog. Frogs figure in more than one of Phia Sing’s recipes and are a popular food in Laos. It is likely that several species are eaten, but clear information is lacking.

Hoi pang, the only freshwater mollusc to occur in Phia Sing’s recipes, is a univalve, a sort of water-snail whose scientific name we have not been able to establish.

Finally, this seems to be the place to mention water algae. In the market at Luang Prabang one used to see white enamel bowls full of a dark green semi-liquid stuff, which was algae collected from ponds and other stagnant waters during the rainy season. The name at Luang Prabang was thao; at Vientiane phak thao. These algae apparently belong to the genus SPIROGYRA. But the matter is uncertain. Vidal, in his Les plantes utiles du Laos, refers also to two kinds of algae in the north of Laos, both known as khai. The first of the two is described as a mixture including Cladophora spp. and also Spirogyra spp. Vidal believes that the second sort, which he identifies as Dichotomosiphon Tuberosum, is much rarer and found mainly in the vicinity of Luang Prabang.