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Recipe for Laotian aubergine jeow spicy dip

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 a 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 🙂


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.

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Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born.

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