Laotian food is best described as punchy, aromatic, and full of delicious flavor. I got all of that when visiting Kra Z Kai's, a spot in Stanton, California that celebrates all different kinds of Laotian BBQ meats.
What I didn't expect to get, however, was one of the juiciest and tastiest sausages I've ever tried in my life.
This pork sausage is packed with lemongrass, leeks, and tons of other savory flavors that complement the meat perfectly. Served with a side of Kra Z Kai's chili dipping sauce, it makes for a great standalone meat option, or solid served with house sticky rice and papaya salad.
What stood out to me about this sausage was how juicy and moist it was inside. On just the first bite, it gushed with flavor and left a trail of aromatic dipping juices that found a home in the rice and accentuated it.
The secret to this literal explosion of flavor? Owner Musky Bilavam — who makes, stuffs, and spins the sausages by hand regularly — opted to deep fry the Lao sausage instead of grill it, meaning the outside gets crispy while all of the juice stays inside the meat.
The Lao Sausage is available on its own, but you can also get it as part of the Lao BBQ Mix, which Bilavam recommends trying if you've never had Laotian food or Laotian BBQ before. It comes with grilled chicken and beef short rib, a Lao sausage, and a slow-cooked rib that gets finished on the grill.
While you can't go wrong with any of the meats here at Kra Z Kai, I definitely recommend you come and try the sausage at least once. It's easily one of the top five links I've consumed in my lifetime.
To learn more about Kra Z Kai, their Lao sausage, and Laotian barbecue, check out the full video on the restaurant at the top of this story.