As I said
, I've been hankering to make one of Laos' iconic jeows
(dips) since we got back from Vientiane
is served with basically every Lao meal... there are many different varieties and takes on jeow
from around the country, but most recipes share the fact that the ingredients are grilled and imbued with a smoky flavor. Typically, jeow
is served with sticky rice, which is eaten by hand, picked out of the dish and rolled into little balls for dipping in the jeow
Last night I finally had at it (i.e. remembered to soak the sticky rice
3 hours in advance) and made an eggplant jeow...
kinda like a Lao baba ganoush
, I'd say. Smoky, salty, garlicky, a little spicy. Good stuff. Tim and I ate it with the traditional sticky rice accompaniment, but this stuff is multi-purpose; I could see it as an appetizer at a party, served with raw veggies, or better yet on toasted baguette slices rubbed with garlic. Next on my list: tomato jeow
, which is like Lao salsa.
Grilled Eggplant Dip
Jeow Mak Kena
- 500 grams of Japanenese eggplant
(I used 4 of the long skinny purple ones)
- 6 shallots
(skin on... also, I used 6 of the tiny Asian shallots- if you're using the big French shallots, made only use 3)
- 10 garlic cloves (skin on)
- 10 chilies
(I used 10 of the cabe merah besar, big, red, fairly mild chilies... maybe the U.S. equivalent is Serrano?)
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
(this seemed like a lot of fish sauce to me- a little fish sauce goes a long way- so I added it to taste and ended up with more like 2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp lime juice
- handful of cilantro leaves, minced
- salt to taste
1. Grill the eggplants, chilies, shallots and garlic until the skins are charred. Remove from the grill and cool.
2. Peel eggplants, shallots and garlic and roughly chop (I also peeled the chilies). Do not use water for peeling, as it will bog down the jeow.
3. Using a mortar and pestle (you could probably lightly pulse in the food processor, too), pound the chilies and (a pinch of) salt. Add the shallots and garlic and grind until ingredients are crushed.
4. Add eggplants, lime juice and fish sauce, pound until well combined.
5. Finish by mixing in the cilantro.
6. Serve with sticky rice!