Padaek, sometimes known as padek, or Lao fish sauce(Lao: ປາແດກ), is a traditional Lao condiment made from pickled or fermented fish that has been cured. It is a thicker, seasoned fish sauce that often contains chunks of fish. The fermentation takes a long time, giving padaek an aroma similar to cheeses like Époisses.
Unlike other versions of fish sauce in Southeast Asia, padaek is made from freshwater fish, owing to the landlocked nature of the former kingdom of Lan Xang. Padaek is used in many dishes, most notably tam maak hoong, a spicy Lao papaya salad.
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