Lao Food – Cooked by local fish – its name “Pa Tong”

ລາບປາຕອງ Raw Fish larb - Credit - Lao Derm Restaurant

Credit Photo:   Lao Derm Restaurant


Wow! Wow!… it is time to explain my Lao favorite dish! Do you like to eat fish? Or you may be vegetarian; it is okay and doesn’t matter. If you can eat fish, please continue to read this below story. Furthermore, I am very happy and welcome any comments. When I talk or see photos about this menu, I am feeling hungry.

Lab Pa Tong - Nongnoi Restaurant

Credit Photo: Nongnoi Restaurant

What is Pa Tong and Lab Pa Tong? Where to buy Pa Tong?

Pa Tong is a type of fish in the river, for example, Mekong, Nam Ngeum river, or any river in Laos; it has big eyes, flat body, and big mouth, very small dorsal fin on its back.

Pa Tong types in Lao is “ປາຕອງ”. English words as feather back or Clown knife fishes, Featherback fishes. Latin call its name as Notopterus chitala (Hamilton).


Pa Tong
Pa Tong

Do you know how to cook by Lao people? If not; I will explain how to cook Pa Tong to be Lab Pa Tong following.

The Original Lao food for menu today, I would like to present about “Lab Pa Tong ລາບປາຕອງ”

What do these two words mean in English from Lao, Pa Tong? “Pa” means “fish”, Tong means “Banana leaf” or we call in Lao as “Bai Tong ໃບຕອງ or Tong ຕອງ”; I will translate to English as “Banana leaves fish” lol, just for fun translation from meaning in Lao. I guessed that due to its fish body is flat like banana leaves, so we call “Pa Tong” in Lao

The local people can cook as a yummy dish by local flavoring; this fish can make a lot of menus such as fish ball, Lab, Pickled fish … etc.

An easy to find this fish in the River and easier to find is at the fresh markets 

How to cook the Lab Pa Tong by yourself?

1) First, prepare the fish, take off the bone and skin out each other, then slice and chop skin.

Step1 - How to cook the Lab Pa Tong by yourself
Step1 – How to cook the Lab Pa Tong by yourself

2) Second, boiling the bone with hot water, put some flavoring such as salt, pickled fish (fermented fish) and lemongrass into the pot, after all, cook leaves it until the soup cools down.

3) Third, prepare the Herb such as mint, garlic, onion, chili, ginger, galangal, Eggplants (Generic) and grill all of these to make are having good smelted.

Onoin - Garlic
Onion – Garlic

If you have much Pa Tong, you don’t need to put Eggplants

4) Fourth, put herb into the mortar stir with a pestle and put fish that you chop into a mortar, and then stir, then refill soup into the mortar and stir to until adding more meal in your mortar and enough.

Pa Tong in mortar stir with a pestle
Pa Tong in mortar stir with a pestle

Finally, don’t forget to put in Lao called ‘’Kao Kua’’ roasted rice and mint. If you love to eat rarely it’s ready to serve, but you also can cook as fried.

**Remark Kao Kua is rice that you fried before you cook until the rice becomes brown color, after that put into a mortar and stir with pestle until it becomes pulpy.

Finally, this becomes the “Raw Fish Lab” menu; if you can eat raw food, you can eat it immediately. I would love to eat a ripeness of Lab Pa Tong it again, then it will be better.

How to eat it? How does it taste? Who can eat it?

Everybody can eat this kind of fish, except vegetarian may not. Normally, We (Lao) prefer to eat with two of bitters local vegetables like Khom Kadao, Mak Lin Mai. Please find the below photos.

Please find the below photos.

  • Pak Khom Kadao ຜັກຂົມກະເດົາ
Khom Kadao
Cr: ດອນໄຊບ້ານເກີດ
  • Mak Lin Mai ໝາກລຶ້ນໄມ້

Mak Lin Mai

Lao also eat this menu with another kind of vegetables for example chili, mint, cucumber, etc…

Where to eat many menus of Lab Pa Tong in a restaurant, Laos?

1) Restaurant Name: Nongnoi Restaurant

Hours: 9:00 – 23:30

Address: Phontong Chommany, Chanthabouly district, Veintiane Capital

Contact Number: +856 2055554341; +856 2022225835

Facebook Link: ຮ້ານອາຫານນ້ອງນ້ອຍ/Nongnoi Restaurant

Map Location: Nongnoi Restaurant Map Link


Nongnoi Restaurant - Lab Pa Tong

Credit: Facebook – Nongnoi Restaurant – Lab Pa Tong

2) Restaurant Name: Lao Derm Restaurant

There is 3 branches.561

Vientiane: 1st floor 450 Years building, Thongkhankham Village,

Chanthabouly District, Tel: +85621 255283

Savannakhet: Riverside of Luanglom road, Thahae Village,

Kaisone Phomvihan District. Tel: +85620 2818834

Luang Prabang: Souphattra hotel, Naviengkham village,

Facebook: LaoDerm Restaurant – ຫ້ອງອາຫານລາວເດີມ

Map Location:

Lao Derm Restaurant - Lab Pa Tong
Credit: Facebook – Lao Derm Restaurant – Lab Pa Tong

3) Restaurant Name: ອີ່ມແຊບເຂົ້າປຽກປາ by Routine

Hours: 7:00 – 15:00

Address: Anou village (In front of ST Bank – Sihom), ,Vientiane Capital

Contact Number: +856 20 55 557 273

Facebook Name: ອີ່ມແຊບເຂົ້າປຽກປາ by Routine

Map Location: Link

There will have Khao Piek menu here.

KhaoPiek with Pa Tong fishball
Khao Piek with Pa Tong fishball; Credit: Facebook – ອີ່ມແຊບເຂົ້າປຽກປາ by Routine


4) Restaurant Name: ຮ້ານອາຫານ ສຸດຍອດລາບປາຕອງ ເມືອງເຟືອງ

Hours: N/A

Address: Feuang district, Veintiane Province

Contact Number: +856 20 59 985 533

Facebook Name: ຮ້ານອາຫານ ສຸດຍອດລາບປາຕອງ ເມືອງເຟືອງ SOOD YORD LAP PAR TONG Restaurant

Map Location: N/A

There will have “Lab Pa Tong” menu here.

Pickled fish/Sompatong ສົ້ມປາຕອງ

Many of Lao like to eat pickled fish, we call pickled fish in Lao as “Som Pa”. The pickled fish cooked with raw Pa Tong, Garlic, and Salt together for a very long day and covered by banana leaves. Someone may not eat raw food, Sompatong will be cooked again.

Pickled fish/Sompatong ສົ້ມປາຕອງ
Pickled fish/Sompatong ສົ້ມປາຕອງ
Pickled fish/Sompatong ສົ້ມປາຕອງ
Pickled fish/Sompatong ສົ້ມປາຕອງ

Fish Soup/ Keng Pa Tong ແກງປາຕອງ

This menu is great, too. Because we will bring Pa Tong to become soup. So, we can have a new option for eating as well.

Fish Soup/ Keng Pa Tong ແກງປາຕອງ
Fish Soup/ Keng Pa Tong ແກງປາຕອງ; Cr: ດອນໄຊບ້ານເກີດ

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