We were first treated to canapes made with jaew bong two ways; one with smoked mackerel on khao khop, the dried fried sticky rice also used to make mieng, then with khao khop bits and radish on spicy seen savanh as the "cracker". Both were deliciously crunchy! For this recipe Chef Deth chose kohk and sohk's jaew bong over Ma Der's, if only for the reason that it was a glossier sauce (don't open the container if you're wearing white) and had more pronounced flavors thanks to the chunkier cut galangal and chillies.
Next up were cucumbers served with jackfruit in thum sauce and seen savanh. Because cooked jackfruit has the texture of meat, the crisp cucumbers helped keep it from tasting too savory - and using ninjafoods sauce as a marinade was a great idea!
Moving on to thums, thinly sliced sour mangos were lightly tossed in hot ninjafoods sauce, acting almost like a true salad dressing. This method kept the mangos crisp, had it gone in the mortar and pestle, the shreds wouldve become much softer. Chef Deth finished it with microgreens and homemade dried shrimp powder sprinkled on top to bring out the funkier notes. The real test was reserved for the papaya, which held up well and gave a nice red-brown color. Everyone who tried it enjoyed the thum and had no complaints about it tasting like an instant sauce. We also used "Earthquake" hot here, and although it wasn't unbearable it still made a few noses run, a true indication of Lao heat.