Lao Jeow Bong

I found a recipe for Jeow Bong (hot sauce) at, I hope to be able to prepare this in the next day or so, and finally my version of Lao Jeow Bong.


10 dried red chili peppers, to be grilled slowly until brittle (but do not let them burn and turn black) and then pounded finely

5 (small) shallots

5 (small) heads of garlic fire, then washed and pounded finely
These above two ingredients are to be seared in a charcoal

2 slices of galingale, finely pounded

salt and fish sauce

chopped coriander leaves

1/2 a strip of dried water-buffalo skin, grilled until done, then scraped smooth, cut into thin small slices and soaked in salt water

Pound together, until they are thoroughly mixed, all the previously pounded ingredients. Sprinkle salt on them and add a little water. Mix, and add the pieces of water-buffalo skin. Taste and check the saltiness. If the mixture is too thick, add some boiled water, still warm.

Put the mixture on a platter and garnish it with chopped coriander leaves. Serve it with Jee Sin Lod (grilled dried beef-take a long, thin piece of dried beef, say, a foot long and as thick as a finger; cook it by putting it directly into a charcoal fire; then remove it, rub off the blackened parts, beat it to make it tender and cut it up as you wish).

Back in Laos, the Sin Lod (beef jerky) are hung to dry in the sun, but in the US we’ve the drying oven that will cook and dry at the same time.  Some Laotians still dry their Sin Lod in the sun, my dad does his on a sunny summer day.

Dried Buffalo skin is another story.

The problem that I’m facing is not being able to find a strip of dried water-buffalo skin, if all else fails, I might have to substitute this with something else. I found some galingale at the Asian Market, but it’s not as fresh as the one from Laos, photo below.

16 thoughts on “Lao Jeow Bong”

  1. My parents use a food dehydrator for their sin haeng (beef jerky).

    We make our Vietnamese jerky by using an oven.

    I saw the same jaew bong recipe and show it to my parents a few months ago since it has coriander leaves. My parents’ recipe doesn’t have them.

    My sisters and I have been eating jaew bong that my parents made without dried buffalo skin for many years. When they brought jaew bong from Laos with dried-buffalo skin, it tasted “weird” and it almost made us have an emergency visit to the dentist.

    1. Hi Kim, I think the coriander leaves is just for garnish only, and it’s probably not a good idea to put it on if you want to save the Jeow Bong for a long time. The dried buffalo skin could be very tough to chew. Bo’s mom bought some back from Laos the last time she visited and I was surprised that she didn’t get caught because she could face a fine of up to $300. I need to check with her if she still has any left, otherwise I have to leave it out like your parents. One of my friends recommends me to use dried pork skin instead, I’m not sure if this would work.

      1. There is a dried pork skin Vietnamese call “Bi”. You can get them the fresh frozen kind but cooked or the dried kind that you just soak in the water. My mom use them when she make pork larb. Most of the dried pork skin is very thin nowadays but i remember it use to be little bigger than what they are selling now.

        I asked my mom and she said you can use the shredded pork too. 😉 along with the dried pork skin.

        I might want to make this too.

        1. Dallas & Nye:

          “Bi” might be too thin for “jeaw bong.”

          I just boil pork skin (not too soft) and cut it into a 1/8 to 1/4 in width and 2 inches in length and added to my parents’ jaew bong.

          There’s a feel to it when I bite into it so it gives me the illusion that I am in Laos eating sticky rice, jerky, and jeaw bong.

        2. Dallas & Kim, I think I might only use the shredded pork. I used to buy the Thai version in a glass jar but it was too sweet for me, I added shredded pork and that was my Jeow Bong. But being able to make it myself from scratch would be a real treat.

          Dallas, it’s a Throwdown then. 🙂

  2. Nye – I still have almost a full bag of the famous jel bong from Luangprabang left in my fridge. Believe it or not, this bag of jel bong is almost 4 years old and still good:-). hahahhahah I can’t believe that is been almost 4 years since the last time I visited Laos. The local people recommended that I buy my jel bong from this old lady. She only makes so many bags per month. I’ve compared her jel bong to some of the famous makers in town, by far hers taste more of homemade. I hope I get a chance to make it up to Luangprabang on my upcoming trip.

    My mom still dry her “Sin Lod” or “Sin Savanh” the old traditional way. Dad build her this drying container with fine metal mesh to prevent fly getting in.

    I totally can eat these stuffs at anytime of the day. Sin Lod + Jel Bong + hot stickyrice = Heaven!!!!! 🙂

    1. Hi seeharhed, have you got the date of the next trip yet?

      My dad also has the drying container with fine metal mesh to prevent flies from getting in, he built it himself, and he’d sit it in the middle of his backyard on a hot summer day when he makes Sin Lod. It’s good for the road trip with sticky rice and Jeow, and Sin Lod could last for several days. His Sin Lod is plain with a little salt, I need to try one with a new recipe, it’d be nice to have a drying oven thought.

    1. Jeffrey, it’s everywhere in Laos, even along side of the road, and there is one village that dry fish along side of the road, I need to post that. This one was at Paksong.

  3. Nice set of photos. Were these taken from your last trip to Laos?

    I never knew galangal was also refer to as “galingale” until now.

    Used sparingly, galangal always make any dish taste more alive. My grandmother loved cooking with this and ginger too.

    1. Cambree, the photo of the galingale was from my Laos Trip, I took it on the way back from Luang Prabang, it’s so fresh, hard to find one here. I also like to cook with it, and ginger also. 🙂

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