Lao cuisine is the cuisine of Laos, which is distinct from other Southeast Asian cuisines. The Lao originally came from the north in a region that became China, but moved southward and brought with them their Lao traditions.The staple food of the Lao is steamed sticky rice which is eaten by hand. In fact, the Lao eat more sticky rice than any group or people in the world; sticky rice is considered the essence of what it means to be "Lao"aoimany Lao even referred to themselves as, "Luk Khao Niaow", which can be translated as, "children/descendants of sticky rice". Galangal, lemongrass and padaek (Lao fish sauce) are important ingredients. The most famous Lao dish is Larb, a spicy mixture of marinated meat and/or fish that is sometimes raw (prepared like ceviche) with a variable combination of herbs, greens, and spices. Another of Lao people's delectable invention is a spicy green Papaya salad dish known as tam mak hoong or more famously known to the West as som tam.