Khao soi or khao soy is a Burmese-influenced dish served widely in northern Laos and northern Thailand. The name means “cut rice” in Thai, although it is possible that it is simply a corruption of the Burmese word for noodles which is just “khao swè” which may account for the variations. Traditionally, the dough for the rice noodles is spread out on a cloth stretched over boiling water. After steaming the large sheet noodle is then rolled and cut with scissors. Lao khao soi is still made with the traditional noodles and in some markets in Luang Namtha and Muang Sing you can still see the vendors cutting the noodles. These traditional cut noodles can also be found in several places in northern Thailand.
Khao soi is very special. Sauce of ground pork and tomato layered on top pork broth. The soup is a fairly simple pork broth with medium wide rice noodles. The highlight is the pork tomato sauce that’s poured on top of the bowl. And it’s accompanied by fresh watercress leaves to balance the heaviness of the pork sauce. The watercress is commonly found Luang Prabang’s highland cool wet climates. Though some watercress can be found in Vientiane, not much is available and the leaves are not as vibrant as the ones found in Luang Prabang.