Lao Tomato Dip

  • Serves

    serves 4


Penn Hongthong, the author of Simple Laotian Cooking (Hippocrene, 2003), taught us that charring the vegetables for this dip is the secret to its smoky flavor.


  • ¾ lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 8 cloves garlic, halved
  • 6 Thai chiles, stemmed
  • 2 shallots, halved
  • ½ red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
  • ¼ cups chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • Steamed long beans, cut in segments
  • Steamed cabbage, cut in wedges
  • Raw Thai eggplants, quartered


Step 1

Heat broiler; place a rack 4" from heat source. (Alternately, prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire; place a vegetable grate over the grill top.) Put tomatoes, garlic, chiles, shallots, and bell pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet (or on grill top if grilling). Broil or grill vegetables, turning once, until charred, about 8 minutes. Let cool.

Step 2

Transfer garlic, chiles, shallots, and bell pepper to a food processor; pulse until chopped. Add tomatoes; pulse until just chunky. Transfer dip to a bowl; stir in cilantro, fish sauce, and salt.

Step 3

Serve with long beans, cabbage, and eggplant.

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