Mar 4, 2007

Ping Moo, Jeao Maclen

Jeao Maclen, grill with meat cooking in the background

The other day I was in town and it had been a long time since breakfast. Seeing this lady frying up some flesh in front of the post office I decided to give it a go. She had a large discerning clientele with all the tuk tuk drivers and the Hmong women that sell herbs and embroidery. Mostly she had tongue, liver, and intestines for sale, but I did spot a good cut of meat.
Oh.. An explanation… Ping means to cook over a fire as in barbeque, Moo is pork, Jeao is any one of a million dipping sauces for eating sticky rice and mac-len is vegetable-tomato.
The pork had just come off the grill but she put it back on to sear both sides. Most people like their meat back on the grill for a couple of seconds before they take it to insure that any germs it has picked up from flies are killed. I also ordered a thousand kip of sticky rice, the pork was five thousand so the meal cost sixty cents.
When I asked if she had jeao and what kind the woman replied jeao tamada. Tamada means regular. I don’t think there is such a thing as regular jeao, every jeao needs a name. I was very happy when she showed it to me. Jeao maclen is my favourite. I was even happier when she served it up.
Look carefully, see that dark colour. Not the red of tomatoes. That’s the charcoal that flaked off the tomatoes. I like all the ingredients for Jeao cooked on the fire. Not just cooked but slightly blackened on the outside. The taste is different. I’m going to do a post on how to make it later. For now, the other ingredients are green onions, garlic, hot peppers, fish sauce, bang nua. I don’t like it with pa dek, too earthy.

Sorry couldn't wait for the photo
I’ve gotten jeao maclen in Vang Vien, Hway Xai, and Luang Prabang on the street and always been disappointed. Fried tomatoes, tastes like tomato sauce for spaghetti.
The rice was fresh and hot, the water free and plentiful with the communal cup being clean. There was a big umbrella for shade.

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