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Jun 24, 2013 06:28 PM

Laotian Chowdown Report: Boun Prawad Festival 2013, Wat Lao Saysettha, Santa Rosa

On Saturday four chowhounds gathered at Wat Lao Saysettha for the food fair fundraiser at the Boun Prawad festival. Each time I visit the temple, I see changes and upgrades that show our chow dollars put to good use. The temple sports a new coat of paint and a colorful decorative border.

Boun Prawad (also spelled Pravade or Pra Vad) celebrates the incarnations of Buddha. Offerings are made to dedicate household goods to ancestors on display here,

We shared some of the standards we’ve reported on before: beef lab, beef fer noodles, fried bananas and yams, pandan waffles, chrysanthemum, and iced red tea.

New this time:

Whole Grilled Hen – The Etruscan classic, pollo al mattone, wishes it could grow up to be as delectable this golden skinned bird. Fragrant with Lao spices, spatch-cocked and grilled, this little poulet was fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy of flesh with crisp skin.

Tum Mure – Dressed and spiced (two chiles, please) the same way as green papaya salad, this brightly colored variant also includes rice vermicelli, morning glory vine, cabbage, bok choy, long beans, tomatoes, scallions, and likely other delicious tidbits. Even at two chile-power strength, this was too fiery for me to eat comfortably. Delicious though, especially with the sticky rice.

We were invited to take part in the baci ceremony.

After making donations and sharing a meal, each of us received a blessing for good luck and happiness from the monk and now sport baci threads on our wrists. Another vacation in Laos!

Wat Lao Saysettha

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  1. Good lord, that chicken looks edible! Thanks for the report.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grayelf

      Eminently edible, ma'am!

      I arrived a bit late. Marlon and his friend had already ordered and dug in. They raved about the chicken. When I scanned the table, all I saw of their bird was a paper plate with a pile of well-gnawed bones.

    2. Nice report! That is a carved watermelon in your photo?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dave MP

        Yes, that is a carved watermelon cut to different depths to catch the white, pink, red, and green colors. There were two of these on the alter at the temple. Wondrous, no?

      2. What a great festival, thanks for posting Melanie. Have you run across Tum Mure any other place?

        1 Reply
        1. re: PolarBear

          No, I have not. Before the festival, I'd sent a note asking what it was. It's a phonetic spelling and googling didn't turn up any hits. The pronunciation is closer to Tom Moor, and I assume that "tom" is the same word as in tam maak hoong, the Lao name for green papaya salad (som tam in Thai).