Lao streetfood: Khao Kop

This week's streetfood is another boat racing festival special. Khao Kop (pronounced ko-p) is essentially deep fried crispy rice but I don't know the exact translation so we'll stick with the Lao name. Regardless, it is a favourite, as evidenced by my maeban's expression of delight when I presented her with a bag.

Khao Kop is made using cooked rice. The rice is shaped into a circle about 20cm across, and flattened. It is then deep fried, pulled out of the oil and quickly drizzled with sugar syrup in a circular motion. The syrup burns into the rice creating its distinctive and pretty cool pattern.


It tastes much like you'd expect - the rice is crispy and lightly toasted. The smell reminds me of my favourite tea, genmaicha. There's a slightly burnt flavour and the sugary sweetness is subtle rather than cloying. It's quite moreish and, as is typical for Lao foods, is great for sharing.

Khao Kop is made in advance and bagged when cool, which means it's an easy product to transport and sell. These ones were 2 in a bag for 10,000 kip ($A2).


I'm hoping I don't have to wait until the next festival to sample Khao Kop again.

Eat Drink Laos is an independent food blog created by Australian freelance writer and web designer, Lilani Goonesena. Got a foodie tip or question? Reach out or connect on social media @eatdrinklaos.