Recipe for Laotian aubergine jeow spicy dip

Jeow is a spicy dipping sauce served as an accompaniment to Lao meals, like laap (minced meat salad). Like sticky rice, a jeow dish is aĀ staple of a traditional Laotian meal.

Jeow can be made from cooked meat, grounded to a paste mixed with various ingredients.

This is our vegetarian recipe using 1 cooked aubergine and pepper.

Stefan with ingredients for Laotian aubergine jeow
Stefan with the two main ingredients for Laotian aubergine jeow: pepper and aubergine (!) cooked over an open fire


Ingredients for Lao aubergine jeow

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 pepper
  • half a teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • bunch of chopped coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 red chilli (add more if you're mad better than us at tolerating spicy foods!)
Go easy on the chilli!
We found that 1 chilli was our limit. More than this and terrible things happened to us šŸ™‚


How to make aubergine jeow

1. Pierce a few holes into the pepper, aubergine and chilli with a knife (to let out the moisture while cooking).

2. Grill the aubergine, chilli, shallot and garlic cloves over an open flame until the skin blackens. The chilli only needs a few minutes. Rotate to ensure the entire skin is blackened.

Seb with the aubergine jeow ingredients
Seb with the aubergine jeow ingredients being cooked over an open fire

3. Allow to cool then peel and scrape off the burnt skin and place into a pestle and mortar.

4. Pound the ingredients then add half a teaspoon of salt, the chopped coriander and keep pounding until a soft paste has formed.

5. Add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, a tablespoon of water, spring onion and continue pounding to mix it in. Then serve.

A popular alternative is Jeow Mak Len, ie tomato salsa, where lime juice and 5 cherry tomatoes are used in place of the aubergine.

Ingredients for jeow sauce with tomato
Ingredients for jeow sauce with tomatoes


You can read more about our experiences discovering food in Laos and watch our Laos travel video.

About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspireĀ you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

To find out more about us

3 thoughts on “Recipe for Laotian aubergine jeow spicy dip”

  1. I just love how you make the best of your trips and for really being authentic foodies! I’ve never tried this dish in my visits there and I think I’m missing somethingā€¦ does this have a Thai counterpart or have you ever had something similar here in Bangkok and where exactly?

    • Actually I’m sure you’ve tried jeow? When you ate a meal in Laos at some point you would have been brought a spicy little dip no? It’s something we’ve not come across in Thailand.

      • I’m trying to remember but somehow I couldn’tā€¦. strangeā€¦ maybe I didā€¦ or notā€¦I don’t remember being served this along with my laap. Though I did ask them to make the laap spicy. Anyhow, I will have to open my eyes when I come visit again.

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