Introduction to Laotian Cuisine

Laos and Albuquerque are far apart, but Kinna Perez of Kinna’s Kitchen has bridged the gap with her Laos Chile Paste (regular and vegan), a recipe that has been in her family for four generations. Her husband, Manuel, grasped the paste’s uniqueness and market potential after eating it on sticky rice at his in-laws’ house in Albuquerque almost daily. “I was addicted to it,” he says. Manuel finally decided to try making it himself, buying all the ingredients in a local international market. “My wife tasted it, and said it came out good,” says Manuel. Within a short time, the two were in business. What makes this paste so good?  Its fiery heat is balanced with just the right amount of organic cane juice and a subtle smokiness. Kinna’s Kitchen’s equally versatile Tamarind Chile Sauce and Mango Salsa (both vegan) can be used to flavor stir-fries, tamales, pesto sauces, ketchup, mayonnaise, and much more. Order them online or find them at local stores like Whole Foods, La Montanita Co-op, Keller’s Meat Market, and Talin; (505) 228-7345.