Introducing Spicy Lao Dip – Three Ways! This zesty and versatile base for Spicy Lao Dip makes it easy to prepare a range of exotic appetisers or perfect sides for your next Asian dinner party. Why not pair with Lao Steamed Fish? Eat with sticky rice, crusty bread, or dive in with a spoon – we won’t judge.
I ♥ dips. I’m not sure what it is about them, but when there’s a tasty dip in front of me I’ll mindlessly eat away until I run out of things to dip. And even then I might dip my finger in when nobody’s looking.
Wait. No. I never do that. Promise. *Shifty eyes*
Up until now I was a sucker for a good Beetroot dip, a Babaganoush, or hell, even a simple old French Onion. But that was before we discovered this Spicy Lao Dip trio in Vientiane.
With flavour combinations we’d never dreamt of before, our minds and tastebuds were opened to a whole new world of dippy goodness, and today we’re going to share them with you in all their diptastic glory.
… Oh did I just say that? Ahem.
Anyway, without further ado, we present to you:
Spicy Lao Dip Three Ways…
- Spicy Eggplant Dip (Jeow Mak Keua) – A creamy dip adored by the locals in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
- Roasted Straw Mushroom Dip (Jeow Het) – Earthy, spicy, and oh-so-delicious, this one’s for all you crazy mushroom lovers.
- Tangy Pork & Olive Dip – Tangy olives and crispy pork skin, this dip has a smoky aroma and delicate crunch.
… and the recipe base that rules them all!
All of these wonderful Spicy Lao Dips are so easy to make because they’re all based off one simple recipe base:
- Fish sauce
- Spring onion
Along with a few spicy birds eye chillies thrown in for good measure. Go on, be brave. Throw in an extra chilli or two. We dare you! 🙂Go on, be brave. Throw in an extra chilli or two. We dare you! 🙂Click To Tweet
Now, these dips may all start from the same base, but they end up having a very distinct flavour due to their individual key ingredients.
But there is one thing you should know…
The true Laos way to kick-start the flavour explosion is to first roast the ingredients over a hot charcoal fire. Of course not everyone is going to have a charcoal brazier at hand, so we recommend substituting by roasting them under the grill or in the oven instead.
We have to admit, the charcoal brazier was super fun to cook with! Even if a poor little eggplant went sailing across the edge of the patio and had to be rescued from the garden…
Which was totally not my fault by the way.
In yesterday’s recipe for Lao Steamed Fish we told you that sticky rice is traditionally eaten with almost every meal in Laos. Well, these dips were made to be eaten with sticky rice. The easiest way to get your munch on is to take up a small ball of rice in your hands, flatten it into a little scoop, and dig right in.
We think they’d also be great with sliced veggies or even as a spread on toast. Yum.
Dip. Munch. Dip. Munch. At first the mushroom was my favourite… but then I’d have a bite of the eggplant dip and that would be my new best friend. For Sarah it was a toss-up between the eggplant and the pork and olive.
Which will be your favourite?
Have fun experimenting, and let us know which one you like best in the comments below.
- 18 cloves garlic
- 9 shallots
- 12 chillies birds eye
- 6 tsp fish sauce
- 6 spring onions chopped
- 1 cup coriander chopped
- 3 eggplants small round white type or 1-2 long purple eggplants
- 6 mushrooms straw or button
- 4 Asian olives substitutes: 1/2 cup green olives, or handful capers, anchovies or salt to your taste½
- 2 tbsp fried pork skin / crackling chopped
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- Thread the garlic, shallots, chillies, eggplants, mushrooms and olives onto skewers and grill or roast for about 30-40 mins until soft and brown, rotating occasionally so they cook evenly.
- Once all ingredients have cooked sufficiently (ie browned outside and soft inside), remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Peel off the skins and finely chop. Keep the mushrooms, eggplants and olives separate from the other ingredients for now.
- To make the base for the dips, add the garlic, shallots, chillies, fish sauce, spring onions and coriander to a mortar. Crush until well combined, then divide into three portions.
- Add each dip's main main ingredients (eggplants, mushrooms or pork and olives) to each portion.
- Return each portion to the mortar one at a time and crush until nicely blended.
- Place in separate serving bowls.
- Serve immediately with steamed sticky rice, crusty bread or anything else you love to dip.
- For vegetarian dips simply omit the pork skin and fish sauce.
- Straw mushrooms are as common in Asia as button mushrooms are in the west. You can find canned straw mushrooms at your local Asian grocery, but feel free to substitute with your favourite mushroom alternative.
- Substitute Asian olives with 1/2 cup green olives, or handful capers, anchovies or 1/2 tsp salt to your taste.