Is Khao Ji Different in Thailand and Laos?

Is Khao Ji Different in Thailand and Laos?

Traveling in Laos can be a little bit confusing if you are a Thai speaker! The languages are closely related, and in fact are mostly mutually intelligible. Even the alphabets are similar enough that Thais and Laotians can read each other's words! The problem is that sometimes the same word can have a completely different meaning, like in the case of this food; Khao Ji.

Khao Ji Thai

Khao Ji means "Grilled Rice". In Thailand, Khao Ji is a type of snack made from rice and coconut oil pressed into a cake and grilled over coals. The result is a chewy, sticky, sweet, and dense rice cake served warm on a stick. It's a tasty snack.

Thai grilled rice cake
Khao Ji - Thai grilled rice cake

Khao Ji Lao

The name "Khao Ji" in Laos means something totally different! In Laos, Khao Ji means the same thing as a Vietnamese "Banh Mi". It is a baguette sandwich, a holdover from French influence in the country, and a delicious and filling snack or lunch food.

khao ji, a Lao sandwich
khao ji, a Lao sandwich

Khao Ji is usually stuffed with cilantro, pate, barbecue pork, shredded pork, and more, and topped with chili sauce. Delicious!

So be careful when you are traveling! You may not know what you are ordering... but after all, isn't that part of the fun of trying food in a new country?