Jeow Mak Keau - Spicy Laotian Eggplant Dip

Course Dip
Cuisine Laotian
Author Michael Herman


  • 2 small Japanese eggplants or if you can't find those, one medium Italian eggplant
  • 1 Thai or other preferably Asian chili pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • Dash of fish sauce
  • 1 small scallion light green parts only, minced


  1. Burn the eggplant. If you have a charcoal grill, poke a few holes in each eggplant with a fork and place them directly on glowing charcoal. Or to do it inside, carefully line the base of a gas burner with tin foil, leaving only the burners exposed. After poking a few holes in the eggplant place it directly on the burner for about 3 or 4 minutes per side, until the skin is black and flaky. (Alternatively, broil the eggplants close to the flame; it’s almost as good, and less messy).
  2. Do the same for the chili and garlic. Make sure NOT to peel the garlic yet.

  3. Once the eggplant, chili, and garlic are burned, remove them from the heat and let cool a bit. Carefully peel the garlic and add it and the chili to a mortar and pestle and pound with about ½ teaspoon of salt. Then add the eggplant and cilantro and pound until a soft paste. (Alternatively, use a food processor or even mince by hand).
  4. Add fish sauce and minced scallion to taste.
  5. Mix well and serve with black rice, sticky rice, or, really, anything that dips.