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Laos forum

Allergies

Posted by gkman on 7/6/2008 at 01:08

Hey everyone,
So in about 1 month I should be well on my way to Laos, but I've been hearing some worrysome things about the food. I have a severe allergy to fish (swelling of the throat and hives etc...) which if bad enough can be fatal. Now I have heard all about how fish sauce is in EVERYTHING, and vegetarian meals can be a bit difficult, but will I experience many problems if I bring around a card of some type in writing how allergic I am? And also in general, do the vegetarian dishes also have fish sauce in them also? I know it's going to be a challenge, but just looking to see how hard it's going to be. Thanks in advance.

#1 gkman has been a member since 7/6/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by Rufus on 7/6/2008 at 07:01

It will be a problem if you want to eat lao food. You will be ok in Vte and LP as you can eat in restaurants serving western style - manly French food.
You would have to get your card written in Lao. Bringing one in English won't be of much use to you.

#2 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973


Posted by gkman on 7/6/2008 at 07:18

Yeah I was thinking about getting a Bi-Lingual local to help me out with the translation. I find food to be a large part of the culture, and I really want to experience it, not french food in a different culture. Is it completely absurd to eat Lao food with no fish, or do I have a chance?

#3 gkman has been a member since 7/6/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by Rufus on 7/6/2008 at 15:36

My wife, (Laos), said you really will have problems. Not all dishes have it, but it "is up to people". If your allergy is really that serious I would stick to western food.

#4 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by Tilapia on 18/6/2008 at 21:20

Fish sauce and the fermented fish paste go into many of the dishes, as well as marinades for grilled meats.

I don't think that many of the Chinese dishes use fish sauce. But you'll be safer sticking to the French food, as mentioned before. Hopefully, you're not French.

#5 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,495
 Where has Tilapia been? 

Posted by somsai on 19/6/2008 at 06:30

"I don't think that many Chinese dishes use fish sauce"

Naman Hoi = Oyster sauce

#6 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568

Posted by somsai on 19/6/2008 at 06:37

Gkman can you tolerate that English condiment Worcestershire Sauce? If so you would probably be ok with the fish sauce in Laos as it contains less anchovies than Wocestershire Sauce.

I'd forget about restaurant food, just buy rice and eat fresh fruit. Laotians put fish sauce on veggies because it tastes good and there's always a chance some well meaning cook will put it on. Why bother.

#7 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568


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