Taste the results and it will be clear why the jerky is a hit. The just right spicy version has a first taste of a sweet, sticky glaze that could be applied to barbecued pork ribs. Sesame oil works its flavor into the corner like a shy person in a group photo. Then, suddenly, the heat arrives like a lightning bolt, chile peppers stabbing and lingering long after the meat is chewed and gone.
We found that the pop-ups were the perfect medium to showcase our story, flavors and creative style. One of the staples that we would always sell was our beef jerky. People immediately connected with the jerky as it was a bit more familiar to them, helping to bridge the gap between what people are used to and Lao cuisine.
SAAP Lao Kitchen has discovered the secret recipe for finding and maintaining business success with their popular style of cooking that deliciously pays homage to family, heritage and the love of a very popular treat…remixed their way.
For those who crave Lao food’s school of flavor, there is Saap Lao Kitchen, the team-approach family endeavor that’s taken the pop-up’s guerilla approach to spreading Lao flavor.
“It happened organically,” says Cliff Douangdara, one of Saap’s all-in-the-family founders.
It started, in fact, with a New Year’s resolution: four male cousins who grew up in the kitchen learning from their mothers, who are sisters, determined that they would introduce others to the food they grew up with. Not quite two years and a couple more cousins later, under the name Saap Lao Kitchen they peddle vibrant street-style food at pop-ups and are a presence at farmers markets (Dallas, Grapevine, Grand Prairie), with their sights ultimately set on a brick and mortar.
Have you ever tried Lao cuisine? Embark on a culinary journey to Southeast Asia and discover the flavors of Laos. SAAP means “delicious” — and this family is on a mission to share their country’s incredible food with the world: crispy coconut rice with cured pork meat, spicy smashed papaya salad, and baked lemongrass chicken.
When they’re not hosting pop-ups in Fort Worth, you’ll find SAAP Lao selling handcrafted, Lao-style beef jerky (aka crack jerky) at the Dallas Farmers Market.