Our first night in Vientiane my good friend who has lived there for 14 months now took us to Makphet. In Laos, Makphet means Chili! And this was the hottest meal in Laos.
We had the grilled tomato, garlic and shallot dip, with sticky rice. It was moorish, spicy and delicious! This dip is commonly known as Jeow.
Laos Jeow is a pounded sauce or rough paste. In general they are very spicy and around Laos there are many varieties available. The main ingredient used in Jeow is usually chili. Despite this, chili’s are not native to Laos and they have come into the country from Mexico and the Americas.
The following day on our Tuk Tuk Safari – Farm to Market Tour, we prepared a traditional Laos lunch. I jumped at the chance to make the Jeow!
The secret of a good Laos Jeow is to sear one or more of the ingredients on a charcoal fire before preparing.
- 2 seared chilis
- 2-3 seared shallots
- 6-8 seared tomtoes
- Salt to taste
- Raw sugar to taste
- 2 large handfuls of chopped coriander
What to do:
- Using a mortar and pestle combine the chillis and shallots to form a paste.
- Add the tomatoes one at a time and slowly break them down to mix in with the paste.
- (Be careful as when they burst you get covered in tomato!)
- Combine all the tomatoes until the paste turns into a sauce.
- Mix in a little salt and sugar to taste
- Finally, stir through the fresh coriander and place in a bowel
Eat with sticky rice!