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Authentic Lao Jeow Het – Mushroom Dipping Sauce

Learn how to make an authentic Lao dipping sauce that incorporates mushrooms and smoky flavors.

Lao jeow het is a delicious, flavorful dipping sauce that can help transform plain sticky rice into a tasty, wonderful delight. In general, Lao jeow (also known as jaews) are sauces that combine smoky and often spicy flavors of chili peppers as an accompaniment to main dishes.

In this post, I’m going to share with you my own recipe for authentic Lao jeow het, a mushroom dipping sauce that you will absolutely love.

authentic lao jeow het jaew mushroom sauce

All About Authentic Lao Jeow Het

Jeows are generally made by using a mortar and pestle and grinding the ingredients together.

There are a lot of different jaews AND jeows that Lao cuisine is known for. These are popular sauces that are made to be eaten and dipped with sticky rice. Jeows are generally really easy to make and are extremely addictive to eat. 

Nam jewo mak len is one that is made with a base of tomatoes. Jeow bong is known for its spicy and fiery flavors. And jeow het is known for its use of using mushroom and chilis as a base for a dipping sauce.

Lao Jeow het mushroom sauce

What does Lao Jeow Het taste like?

Jeow het has a mild, earthy taste with a flair of spiciness due to the use of mushrooms and chilis. This mushroom based dipping sauce of frequently accompanied with sticky rice and fresh, crunch vegetables like Thai egg plant and cucumbers for a balanced meal.

What are other names for Lao Jeow Het?

Due to the translations from Lao script to English, this delicious mushroom sauce can be found under the following names.

  • Jeow Het
  • Jaew Het
  • Jhew Het
  • Gel Het
  • Jel Het
  • Jaeow Het

How do you pronounce Jeow Het?

Jeow Het is pronounced jeow sounding like cheow, and het having a long letter e sound.

What does mean Lao Jeow het mean?

In Lao, jeow translates to sauce and het translates to mushroom.

Where did Jeow Het originate from?

Jeow sauces originate from Northeastern Laos generally in Luang Prabang. Jeow variations have different bases, but they normally incorporate dried Thai chilies, garlic, fish sauce, and shallots. 

Asian Grocery Store List for Jeow Het

Below are the following ingredients you should pick up from your local Asian grocery store for this recipe. Generally, garlic and shallots can be purchased at your local grocer, but you’ll find the prices are a little less expensive at your Asian market.

Thai Dried Chilies

You probably won’t find these at your local market, you’ll definitely need to pick this up at your Asian grocer. This is the brand I usually get.

authentic lao jeow bong jaew dipping paste sauce

Fish Sauce

I find that the fish sauces found at your local grocer are too strong. I love the Squid Brand of fish sauce, which tends to have a milder taste and less distinct smell.

fish sauce filtered - what to get at an asian grocery store 061

Tips and Tricks Before Making Authentic Jeow Het

authentic lao jeow het jaew mushroom sauce

Mortar and Pestle

In the most authentic way possible to prepare this recipe, you’ll need to pick up a mortar and pestle. This provides you a way of pounding and ensuring that you get the best bits of juices for this recipe. But have no fear, you can still use a food processor, but it won’t be as authentic with the mushiness of how this sauce comes together.

Mushrooms

I just generally buy the store bought mushrooms, so pick them out without a lot of bruises.

authentic lao jeow het jaew mushroom sauce

How to Make Authentic Jeow Het Recipe

Ingredients for Laos Jeow Het

  • 16 ounces of mushrooms
  • 12 dried Thai chilis
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 14 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 medium shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of green onion, roughly chopped

Accompaniments

  • Sticky Rice
  • Thai Egg Plant
  • Cucumber, sliced

authentic lao jeow het jaew mushroom sauce

Instructions for Making Authentic Lao Jeow Het

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

2. On a lined baking sheet, place the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic. Roast the sheet until the ingredients are browned, about 10-15 minutes.

authentic lao jeow het jaew mushroom sauce

3. While the ingredients roast, using a mortar and pestle, pound the dried chilis, sugar, and fish sauce together.

4. Once the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic finish roasting, add them into the mortar and pestle. Continue pounding until they are broken up into small pieces and well combined.

5. Serve with sticky rice and fresh vegetables.

Preserving Jeow Het

Jeow het will last about 7 days refrigerated if kept in an airtight container.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jeow Het

What are other types of jeow?

Traditionally, the category of Lao jeows generally refers to most sauces, relishes, and dips used in Lao cuisine. There are a few major subcategories of jeow dipping sauces that are made in Laos:

What else can jeow het be used for?

Jeow het can also be used to add additional flavors to soups, marinades, and even for frying rice.

Summary About Jeow Het Recipe

Jeow het is a Lao traditional paste that is versatile, warming and distinctively unique to the region using a mushroom base. Due to it’s bold flavors and ability to be paired with just about anything, jeow het is a favorite among natives of Lao and those wanting to try authentic Lao cuisine. Without even traveling there, you can make this recipe on your own and tweak the ingredients to your own personal tastes.

authentic lao jeow het jaew mushroom sauce

Authentic Lao Jeow Het - Spicy Mushroom Dipping Sauce

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Lao jeow het is a delicious, flavorful dipping sauce that can help transform plain sticky rice into a tasty, wonderful delight. In general, Lao jeow (also known as jaews) are sauces that combine smoky and often spicy flavors of chili peppers as an accompaniment to main dishes.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of mushrooms
  • 12 dried Thai chilis
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 14 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 medium shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of green onion, roughly chopped

Accompaniments

  • Sticky Rice
  • Thai Egg Plant
  • Cucumber, sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
  2. On a lined baking sheet, place the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic. Roast the sheet until the ingredients are browned, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. While the ingredients roast, using a mortar and pestle, pound the dried chilis, sugar, and fish sauce together.
  4. Once the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic finish roasting, add them into the mortar and pestle. Continue pounding until they are broken up into small pieces and well combined.
  5. Serve with sticky rice and fresh vegetables.

Notes

Serve with fresh vegetables and herbs.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 516mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g

Other Recipes from Laos You Might Like

Here are some other Lao recipes that you might like:

Lao Jeow het mushroom sauce

Lao Jeow het mushroom sauce

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