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Sep 17, 2010 02:14 AM

Jaew Bong (Laotian chili paste) at That Luang Market in San Pablo

So I went to the Laotian market on 23rd Avenue in San Pablo called That Luang Kitchen and bought a traditional Laotian chili paste called Jaew Bong, but labelled as "That Luang Kitchen chili sauce".

It was very, very spicy and oh so delicious especially when eaten with Laotian rice. That was my first time buying Jaew Bong from that Laotian market. It was in one of the refigerators towards the back of the the refrigerated section. Their Jaew Bong tasted just like homemade Jaew Bong. Besides consisting primarily of roasted Laotian chilies and other common herbs, Jaew Bong has slices of pork skin in it for a nice and varied texture. Laotian chili sauces tend to on the spicy side.

For those of you who have always wanted to try Jaew Bong (a traditional sauce in Luang Prabang, Laos), then I highly recommend the one at That Luang Kitchen. It is slightly sweet an very spicy

That Luang Market
1610 23rd St, San Pablo, CA

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  1. Wonder if they carry sakhan (Laotian spicy wood)?

    3 Replies
    1. re: shantihhh

      The Laotian restaurant side of the business is still there, but the market doesn't exist anymore. For Laotian spicy wood, try going to a Laotian market on 23rd Avenue in Richmond called Heng Fath, which carries more Laotian specialty items.

      1. re: yummyrice

        The market doesn't exist anymore, but they have a small glass-faced refrigerator in the dining room where they still sell the Jaew Bong chili paste. This sauce is incredible; thick, slightly sweet with lots of chili seeds, and small strips of what I think is pork skin. It's $5 for a tub. Among other myriad uses, I put it on a sandwich with lao sausage, cilantro and kimchee. Out of this world.

        1. re: lmarie

          Awesome. Thanks for telling me about the fridge in the dining room. I didn't know they were still selling the chili paste. Their Jaew Bong is definitely the best of the best....true's not Westernized at all. Anyway, you can also spread it on sticky rice (cooked the Laotian way) and serve it like how you'd serve sliced cheese and ham on crackers as hors d'oeuvres. Sticky rice morsels topped with Jaew Bong, a thin slice of Laotian sausage, and a tiny bit of cilantro, which in a way is similar to your sandwich, but served as an appetizer.

    2. Blue Salud catering had Jaew Bong by the tub at last year's Asian Heritage festival on Larkin St. . This year's festival is next weekend, and might be a good place to look for this item. Blue Salud's was extremely spicy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: soupçon

        Jaew Bong is meant to be very spicy, but I've had some tame, "tourist"-friendly versions of Jaew Bong that wasn't even spicy at if it's not spicy, then it wasn't made for Laotians, but rather foreign tourists in Laos. =)

        Thanks for sharing that photo and mentioning about the food festival next week. It's funny that in the photo, they spelled Jaew Bong as "Jai Bong". Here's a tip: "Jaew" means sauce, whereas "Jai" means heart..."Bong" means something like pickled. So why on earth did they decide to spell Jaew Bong as "Jai Bong" (pickled heart)???...LOL!