long bean soob (ຊຸບໝາກຖົ່ວຍາວ—soob mak thoa yao)

Soob(ຊຸບ) is a kind of Lao stew or braised salad. It is fairly simple to make and uses fresh, seasonal vegetables and generous herbs. Bok choy and other leafy greens are commonly used; the main ingredient in this variation is long bean, also used commonly. Sesame is an essential flavor, while lime and mint are vibrant accents.

In this recipe, spices are combined and sautéed with green onion, then long bean and eggplant are added with water and simmered until cooked by the water and steam. Once the water has mostly evaporated, the vegetables are done in a flavorful broth. Lime juice is added to complete the broth. Sesame seed, peanut, and herbs are mixed in, and the dish is ready. Traditionally, ginger can also be used instead of sesame for an alternative flavor.

Another flavorful dish often including sesame is Vietnamese banana blossom salad (nộm hoa chuối).


(serves 1)

1 clove garlic
1 bird’s eye chili (optional)
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame seed, toasted
1 tsp coriander seed
½ stalk lemongrass, finely chopped (optional)
½ thumb galangal (optional)
2 green onion, chopped
12 long bean, chopped or green bean, chopped
4 Thai eggplant, halved and sliced (optional)
1 lime juice
¼ cup peanut, roasted
4 stem vietnamese mint leaf or other mint leaf, chopped
4 stem sawtooth herb, chopped or coriander leaf, chopped
2 stem rau răm, chopped (optional)

• pound garlic, bird’s eye chili, salt, coriander seed, lemongrass, galangal
• sauté with green onion
• add long bean, eggplant, water
• when water mostly evaporates, remove from heat
• add lime, sesame seed, peanut, mint, sawtooth herb, rau răm
• serve