I was surprised to receive a couple of emails regarding the Num Jim Jaew from Siam Nara, asking me for a recipe. The funny thing is; I've made this a couple times, and actually took photos when I made this after our return from Laos, where it's called Jeow Mak Keua. For some reason I just never got around to making it.
This was something I actually made at the Tamarind Cooking School, and came out looking like this:
You can tell this one was quite spicy, lots of chilies. And of course the "kitchen" where this was made wasn't quite the same as home.
This recipe is based on what I m ade there..... it's very easy. I've even made t his using roasted garlic which adds a heavenly sweetness to the Jeow.... if you decide to do that, make sure to use a neutral, or no oil at all on the garlic.
Jeow Mak Keua - Lao Eggplant Dip:
- Prick eggplant and chilies with a knife or skewer.
- Grill eggplant, chili, and garlic, until the skin is blackened. I usually grill right over hot charcoal which adds a layer of smokiness to the dish, but you can do the same over a gas flame or under the broiler.
- Peel Garlic, and slice eggplant lengthwise keeping the stem portion on and intact... it should look sort of like a flower.
- Pound the garlic, chili, and salt together in a mortar to make a paste.
- Then pound each eggplant in the mortar, by holding the stem of the eggplant and pounding it until all the flesh is removed. You can then pull the skin off the eggplant out by the stem. Conversely, you can just peel the eggplant.
- Add the cilantro and green onions and pound into a thick paste.
- Taste and add fish sauce to taste.
There is another recipe in which you boil the eggplant and chilies first until soft, peel and squeeze the excess moisture out of the eggplant, pound in a mortar to a paste and stir-fry.