Khai Paen literally means "skin of the stone". A green algae is collected in the streams in and about Luang Phrabang. This filamentous algae grows most prolifically in the dry season when the streams run clear.
The filaments are then laid out on flat boards and additional flavourants such as tomato, shallot and sesame are sprinkled over the surface. The sheets are then sun dried.

The sheets are sold in the markets of Luang Phrabang, by street vendors, various retailers and as a dish supplied in many restaurants in the city.

Preparation of Khai Paen.

  • Khai Paen sheets. Cut into 10 x5 cm (4x2 in) squares.
  • Veg oil
  • Jeow Bong
  • Fine strips of steamed Beef skin. (Fine strips about a match stick  or less, in width and about 2.5 cm (1 in) long.)
  1. Heat a little oil in a wok
  2. Add a few pieces of khai Paen and stir fry for about 10 to 15 seconds, to crisp the squares.
  3. Remove from the wok and drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Mix some Jeow Bong with a small amount of cut Beef Skin. (Optional)
  5. Serve the Khai Paen and the Jeow Bong separately.
The fried khai paen tends to soften again quite quickly so it's best to cook only an amount required for immediate eating

To eat:
Lightly spread the Jeow bong onto the piece of Khai pane and eat.

I would be surprised if this food was available in Western countries. It's the sort of thing that travellers take back home with them. I also have no idea of customs requirements for this food.