Jeow Mak Len – Lao Roasted Tomato Salsa

Over the past few years my family has really gotten into camping.  And when we go, we go all out.  My mom and aunts will make the best Lao food at the campground.   The best part is waking up for breakfast and having fresh cooked sticky rice and grilled Lao sausage with jeow mak len – roasted tomato salsa.  Jeow is dip or sauce in Lao.    Jeow mak len is my favorite sauce.  It’s best eaten with some sort of grilled meat or bbq.  Traditionally you eat it by dipping your meat or sticky rice onto it.  I like it on top of scrambled eggs or in a breakfast burrito.

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 4 shallots
  • Thai chilies – add  quantity depending on your heat tolerance
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5 green onions – green and onion parts chopped
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro  chopped

Roast tomatoes, shallots, 3 green onions, and chilies in oven on broil.  Or roast over a grill.  You can roast the garlic too but I prefer to use fresh garlic.

Keep checking and turn to prevent burning.  You want a nice char but be careful not to burn.  Remove once tomatoes are roasted and charred.

Traditionally, garlic is pounded in mortar with pestle.  Next add the roasted shallots, green onions,  and chilies.  The tomatoes and remaining ingredients are then added and mashed into a chunky sauce.  If you are not accustomed to fish sauce, start with 1 tablespoon and season to taste.

I prefer to chop all the ingredients in a blender.

Almost as good as mom’s!

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