Chili Dips - Jeow, there is jeow, and there is jeow. Sauces and dips are called jeow as long as these contain chillies.
The classic jeow is either fairly dry or a paste, which plays a principal role in the daily nger eaten sticky rice diet. Its preparation calls for the chillies, shallots and garlic to be throroughly roasted. This process takes away their acidity and adds that smoky touch. They are then pounded with mortar & pestle to produce the dip.
The choice of jeow is enormous and solely depends on what other ingredients you have thought of. The particular herb, vegetable, meat, fish or insect that adds its distinctive flavour, gives its name to a jeow like jeow dok-het (mushroom dip). Some famous preserved bong varieties are identified by province of origin like Louang Prabang, Xieng Khouang, Samneua.
A combination of vegetables are served alongside: fresh cucumber and long beans; raw or pickled bamboo shoots; scalded cauli- flower, broccoli, cabbage, ferns etc. Eat together with sticky rice and any grilled meat and you have a feast; light, healthy and fulfilling - simple!
Jeow also means any sauce which contains chilli and is served aside in a little bowl for individual seasoning. The most famous is the universal jeow mak-phet pa (chilli fish sauce) or nam prik pla in Thai. Jazz this sauce up with a bit of garlic, a touch of coriander and a good squeeze of lime and you add spice to any lame-duck dish.