Jeow Bong


Think you can handle heat? This dish will put your tastebuds to the test.


Khoud & Bella

I have yet to find a person that doesn’t like chili! Okay, maybe I’m over-exaggerating right now, but you cannot deny it’s a unique flavor! Aside from its taste, I love its versatility – it can be roasted, fried, and boiled, and you can even turn it into a paste. In this way, we learn about the creativity with which chefs worldwide manage to cook wonderful dishes that we can now cook at home. Today, we have a recipe sent to me by Khoud and Bella, who come from Laos (Bella is originally from Germany), and it’s called Laotian Jeow Bong, which means Chili paste dip.

Sharing food is part of the culture in Laos. So whether it’s a casual lunch or a special occasion, you can always see big bowls of sticky rice and Jeow Bong. It’s quite easy to cook but packs a punch of spiciness, so those who don’t tolerate a lot of heat might want to skip out on this one. Still, there are different variations of Laotian Jeow Bong. In addition, the versatility of this dish offers the opportunity to combine it with any food to add flavor and spiciness.

For Laotian Jeow Bong, a few basic foods are needed, specifically sun-dried chili, garlic, and shallots. Preparation is also quite simple! Fry the ginger first, then the shallots and garlic. Then, add the chili peppers. Be careful when frying the chili because the aroma is too intense, and it may be difficult for you to breathe. For this purpose, open your windows and turn on a fan. After frying the ingredients, put them in a blender. Lastly, you mix the contents of the blender with the palm sugar, fish sauce, and pork floss to get the consistency of a paste with abundant flavors.

According to Khoud and Bella, this dish is not too spicy, and they rate it a 6 or 7 out of 10. However, after trying Jeow Bong, I found it very spicy, so I rated it 8 out of 10. Although hot, you can also feel the rest of the flavors, which results in an interesting cohesion. So, if you like your food spicier, try the Laotian Jeow Bong, and let me know what you think.

Watch the Video


  • 12 oz garlic sliced
  • 5 oz ginger sliced
  • 10 oz shallot sliced
  • 8 oz tried Thai pepper stems removed and de-seeded, if desired
  • 2 oz guajillo pepper stems removed and de-seeded, if desired
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • cup tamarind mixed with water
  • 2 oz palm sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp MSG
  • 4 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 8 oz cooked pork skin or pork floss, or leave out
  • rice for serving


  • Heat oil in a deep sided pan or wok until smoking. Working in separate batches fry garlic, shallot, and ginger until golden and crispy. Replenish oil if/when needed. Set aside.
  • Heat oil again and add the chilis. Be careful as fumes will be released! Fry, stirring constantly, until a they turn a darker shade, but are not burnt. Remove from oil and drain.
  • In a food processor, add the fried chilis, garlic, shallot, and ginger and pulse until they become a cohesive mixture.
  • Back in a clean pan/wok, add the tamarind, sugar, MSG, and fish sauce. Stir until sugar is disolved.
  • Once sugar is dissolved, add the chili mixture. Stir to combine. Add the pork skin/floss (if using) and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  • Serve with rice!


Recipe inspired by Cooking With Khon Khao
Course: Snack
Region: Asia


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