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Jeow Mak Muang Recipe (Lao Fruit Dipping Sauce)

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Jeow mak muang recipe – perfect for adding a spicy kick to fresh fruits like green mango. With a blend of shrimp paste and fermented fish sauce, this pungent Lao fruit dipping sauce is loaded with authentic flavor and heat.

Sliced mango arranged around jeow mak muang, presented on a woven bamboo tray with onions and dried chilies.

Can’t get enough of Lao dipping sauces? Check out this jeow mak len, a spicy tomato-based dip that goes with just about anything.

What is jeow mak muang

Jeow mak muang is a traditional Lao fruit dipping sauce with a spicy, savory flavor profile. It’s often paired with sour fruits as a delightful snack throughout the day.

Spicy sauce for fruit

My most cherished childhood memories are of enjoying green mango with a spicy, savory dip alongside my mother and grandmother. It’s still our all-time favorite even now!

Hand holding a mango slice being dipped into a Lao fruit dipping sauce.

Thai and Lao cuisines have their unique versions of fruit dipping sauces, but often they can appear to be quite similar.

This jeow mak muang is a delightful Lao spin on my Thai mango dipping sauce, enriched with fermented fish sauce and crunchy toasted rice powder.

Walking the streets of Thailand and Laos, you’ll find many street food stalls offering fresh fruits. It’s a staple in Southeast Asian countries, even at roadside gas stations you’ll find vendors offering cold fruit with a spicy dip on the side.

Close-up of Lao fruit dipping sauce with shallots and chili bits, ready to be paired with fresh mango slices.

Green mango is my go-to for this spicy Lao fruit dipping sauce, but you can totally pair it with other fruits as well. Have it with tart apple, tangy pineapple, or any other sour fruit. It’s so good!

If spicy and sour flavors are your vibe, you’ll love this. The next time the sun’s out, whip up a batch and enjoy some authentic Lao flavors.

5 Reasons to try this recipe

  • Perfect for your next gathering. You can easily whip this up in advance and serve it with fresh fruit slices at your next BBQ or party.
  • Authentic and traditional. Jeow mak muang is a dip into the rich Lao culture. This recipe is made with traditional flavors and an authentic method of preparation.
  • Healthy snacking. Fresh fruit with this Asian fruit dip is both healthy and delicious.
  • It’s so versatile. This is not just for sour fruit, you can experiment and use it with other snacks too.
  • Quick and easy. Not a skilled chef? Don’t worry. This easy recipe is fuss-free and rich in flavor.

Looking for more Lao recipes? Try this delicious tom khem recipe!

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.


Bird's eye view of recipe ingredients: fermented fish sauce with fish sauce, shallots, shrimp paste, chili flakes, a green mango, and toasted rice powder on a banana leaf.
  • Thai chili flakes – Add more or less to taste. You can make them yourself using my recipe or use store-bought. For the best results, make them yourself by dry-roasting fresh chilies and then crushing them with a mortar and pestle.
  • Toasted rice powder – You can make this yourself by toasting glutinous rice on the stove top. It adds texture and a rich, roasted aroma with a nutty flavor. Make it yourself or find premade at an Asian grocery store.
  • Fermented fish sauce – A traditional ingredient of Lao and Thai kitchen. Brings a rich, pungent flavor.
  • Fish sauce – Adds a salty and umami flavor profile.
  • Shrimp paste – A pungent, flavorful condiment made by fermenting tiny shrimps mixed with salt. Over time, they break down into a paste that can be used to add umami to many dishes.
  • White sugar – Some sugar is needed to balance out the flavors. You can use brown sugar as a subtitute.
  • Shallots – Adds a natural, subtle sweetness.

How to make Lao fruit dipping sauce

  1. Jeow mak muang being stirred into a glass mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

    1. Combine fish sauce, fermented fish sauce, white sugar, shrimp paste, red chili flakes, and toasted rice powder in a mixing bowl. Ensure the sugar is dissolved before continuing.

  2. 2. Stir in the shallots. Serve immediately.

Recipe tips and tricks

  • You can roast the shrimp paste briefly in a pan before adding it to the sauce, releasing the umami flavors even more.
  • If you’re not used to pungent flavors, you can add fish sauce and fermented fish sauce gradually, tasting as you go.

Kitchen tools

  • Cutting board and chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Mortar and pestle: For making your jeow sauce, grinding the chilies and making the toasted rice powder.
  • Glass jar: A glass jar like this mason jar with an airtight lid is perfect for food storage.
  • Skillet: For toasting the glutinous rice.

How to serve

Serve with green apples, star fruit, green mangos, or others. The dip is savory and spicy, so it complements lots of different fruit.

How to store

Store the leftovers in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the refrigerator. It’ll stay fresh for up to a week. Use a clean spoon with each serving.

Did you know?

  • “Jeow” in Lao means “sauce” or “dip”, “mak muang” means mango. This Lao sauce is often enjoyed with thin slices of mango.
  • Despite Thai and Lao fruit dipping sauces being spicy, they’re enjoyed by people of all age groups in Thailand and Laos.

Frequently asked questions

I’m not a fan of spice, can I reduce the amount of chili flakes?

Absolutely. You can play around with the ingredients according to your taste.

I don’t have fermented fish sauce, can I still make this?

Yes you can. Fermented fish sauce adds to the authentic flavor, but you can sub it with a bit more regular fish sauce to taste.

More Asian dipping sauces you’ll love

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Jeow Mak Muang Recipe (Lao Fruit Dipping Sauce)

Sliced mango arranged around jeow mak muang, presented on a woven bamboo tray with onions and dried chilies.
Jeow mak muang is a zesty Lao dipping sauce, bursting with spicy-savory flavors.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine Lao
Course Dipping sauce
Serving Size 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder
  • 0.7 ounces shallots
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1.5 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fermented fish sauce

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, combine fish sauce, fermented fish sauce, white sugar, shrimp paste, red chili flakes, and toasted rice powder. Ensure the sugar is dissolved before continuing.
  • Stir in the shallots. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Serve with green apples, star fruit, green mangos, or others. The dip is savory and spicy, so it complements lots of different fruit.

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