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Jeow Bee Recipe (Lao Bitter Dipping Sauce)

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This jeow bee recipe is ridiculously easy and insanely delicious. The Lao bitter dipping sauce pairs like a dream with steak and sticky rice and is whipped up within minutes!

Lao jeow bee dipping sauce served with fresh herbs, grilled beef, and sticky rice.

After making this, try some of these Lao classic like jeow bong and this khao piak sen recipe.

What is jeow bee

Jeow bee is a traditional Lao dip known for its bitter taste, primarily derived from its key ingredient, beef bile. It’s a spicy staple in Lao cuisine, often paired with sticky rice and grilled meats.

Lao bitter dipping sauce

Think Thai nam jim jaew, but with a bitter twist. Jeow bee has that same kind of spicy kick, with more umami and bold flavors, all thanks to the beef bile.

Don’t freak out over the beef bile, it’s an everyday staple in Isan and Lao food, like authentic larb salads.

Close-up of Lao jeow bee dipping sauce with fresh herbs and chili, accompanied by grilled beef and fresh vegetables.

Padek or padaek, which is fermented fish sauce in Lao, is another key ingredient. It takes the sauce from spicy and bitter to a rich, umami-loaded dipping sauce that you’ll want to drizzle over everything. Yep, I think it’s that good!

What’s great about the preparation of this spicy and bitter sauce is that there’s no need for a mortar and pestle, you can just stir the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Authentic Lao sour dipping sauce surrounded by fresh herbs, chili, garlic, and slices of grilled meats.

If bold, strong, and authentic flavors are your thing, this sauce is a must-try!

Prefer playing it safe? Try my jeow som recipe, a spicy and sour sauce that’s just as good but without the beef bile!

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Top-view of ingredients for Lao jeow bee sauce displayed on banana leaf including beef bile, water, fish sauce, toasted rice powder, chili flakes, and fresh coriander and green onions.
  • Green onions & coriander – These herbs provide a fresh note, as well as adding color.
  • Fermented fish sauce – A key element in jeo bee, adding umami with a rich, deeper taste than regular fish sauces.
  • Toasted rice powder – Toasted rice powder is made by lightly toasting and grinding rice, it thickens the sauce and gives it a crunchy texture and nutty taste. You can get this at an Asian grocery store or make it at home by toasting and grinding glutinous rice.
  • Thai chili flakes – Chili flakes add spice, feel free to add to taste.
  • Fish sauce – Made by fermenting fish and salt, offers an umami kick and a salty flavor.
  • MSG – A flavor enhancer typically used in Lao dishes for rounding out the flavors.
  • Water – Water helps to meld the flavors together and to achieve a saucy consistency.
  • Beef bile – Primarily used in traditional Asian dishes for its distinctive bitter taste, beef bile is extracted from the gallbladder of cows. Beef bile can be sourced from specialty Asian markets, or check the frozen section in stores that cater to Southeast Asian cuisines.

Cooking instructions

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together beef bile, fish sauce, fermented fish sauce, toasted rice powder, chili flakes, and water.

2. Mix in freshly chopped green onions and coriander. Serve immediately with your favorite dishes.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve with grilled meats: This traditional Lao dipping sauce pairs great with grilled meats like beef, chicken, or pork. It’s a popular choice for Thai or Lao barbecues and grilling events.
  • As a dip for sticky rice: Go traditional and make Thai sticky rice. The sauce’s intense flavors match with the mild sticky rice.
  • Fresh vegetables: Serve as a dip with fresh vegetables like lettuce, Thai eggplant, cucumber, or even carrots.

How to store

Jeow bee can be stored for up to a week. Place it in an airtight container like a mason jar and refrigerate. Always use a clean spoon to serve.

More Lao recipes you’ll love

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Jeow Bee Recipe (Lao Bitter Dipping Sauce)

Lao jeow bee dipping sauce served with fresh herbs, grilled beef, and sticky rice.
Jeow bee is a spicy and sour Lao dipping sauce that pairs great with grilled meat and sticky rice.
Praew
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine Lao
Course Dipping sauce
Serving Size 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fermented fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted rice powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon MSG
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon beef bile
  • 0.1 ounces coriander chopped
  • 0.1 ounces green onions chopped

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, stir together beef bile, fish sauce, fermented fish sauce, toasted rice powder, chili flakes, and water.
  • Mix in freshly chopped green onions and coriander. Serve immediately with your favorite dishes.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.

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