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Taste Luang Prabang Foods

Laos food is one of the best-kept secrets of Southeast Asia. Laos a country tucked between Thailand, China, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia offers a cuisine rich in flavors, herbs, and simple and fresh ingredients.

Luang Prabang, regarded as the country’s culinary capital, offers a great window into Laos food with widely available street food and restaurants.

1- Jaew: The Dipping Sauces for Every Laos Dishes


Jaew is one of the main staples of Laos food. Jaew refers to dipping sauces in Lao cuisine. They are used in each and every Laotian meal. And there are many different kinds.

Jaew Bong: A Popular Luang Prabang Food 


You will find primarily Jaew Bong in Luang Prabang restaurants. This is a traditional food in Luang Prabang and it is also called Luang Prabang chili sauce.

It combines slices of buffalo fat mixed into a red chili sauce. The sauce is made of shallots, garlic, chilies, lime, fermented fish sauce, tamarind, palm sugar and more.

Jaew Bong is served with Laotian dishes such as steamed fish, grilled meat, vegetables, and sticky rice.

This sauce is spicy with a combination of sweet and strong savory flavors. Although we tasted jaew bong several times, we never acquired a taste for it.

What we found the most off-putting were the pieces of buffalo fat in the sauce. They not only lacked taste, but the rubber-like texture was impossible to chew.



Jaew Mak Khua: Laos Food To Fall in Love with

Fortunately, this is not the only kind of jaew you will find in Luang Prabang. One of the most common Laos food you will also find in Luang Prabang restaurant is Jaew Mak Khua.

We discovered Jaew Mak Khua during a Luang Prabang cooking class where we learned how to make it from scratch using a mortar and pestle.

We loved it. What a contrast from Jaew Bong. Although it starts with the same common ingredients, shallots, and garlic, these two sauces are worlds apart.

Jaew Mak Khua is made by pounding in a mortar and pestle mild grilled eggplant, green chili, red chilies, tomatoes and some herbs such as coriander. This jaew is very tasty, with smooth textures and fragrant smells. It will certainly please any vegetable fan as a wonderful vegetarian Lao dish option.

Jaew is traditionally eaten with the main staple of Lao cuisine, sticky rice, as well as other local Lao foods.



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