Padaek (fermented fish sauce) is an original Lao sauce that is made from chunks of fish, mixed with tiny grains of rice bran and salt and preserved in a container for a few months to a year which releases a strong smell when opened. It's similar to a fish gone bad or a smell of a garbage bin left for weeks.
Although padaek looks disgusting, it is an important ingredient used in many traditional Lao foods such as tum maak hoong (papaya salad) and laap (meat or fish salad) to bring out the authentic Lao flavour.
If you have never tried Lao foods with padaek then you should try it and your taste buds will thank you for the experience.
Padaek is the national pride of Laos.
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