Archive for the ‘Cooking Video’ Category

Pandan Coconut Waffle

Pandan Waffle

I have some days off work to recover and so I asked my Mother to show me how to make Pandan Waffle. “It’s so easy!” she said. “Well Mom, I want to see you make it and I also want to record it to share it with my viewers.” my reply to her. She agreed and so we set a time to make it happen and here it is.

Video Tutorial:

Pandan Coconut Waffle (makes about 10 waffles)

Ingredients
1 pkg (12 oz) banana & shrimp batter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pk grated coconut
3 cups sugar
3 cups cold water
1 teaspoon pandan extract
waffle maker
oil for brushing

Method:

In a bowl or pot, add the batter follow by the salt and grated coconut.

Next add the sugar and water, gradually. Mix all the ingredients well.

Add pandan extract slowly and mixing as you go to incorporate it into the batter. Minty green is the color you want to aim for. Set the batter aside once color is achieved.

Heat waffle maker and brush the top and bottom grid with oil. Allow some time for the oil to sizzle a bit. Once ready, ladle some of the pandan waffle batter onto the grid. Close the lid and breathe in that wonderful coconut and pandan aroma.

When the waffle maker signals that your waffle is ready carefully open the lid. Use the back of a knife to help life the waffle off the grid and allow to cool.

Repeat the process until you have used all the waffle batter. ENJOY!

Note:
– You can also substitute grated coconut with coconut milk. If you decide to do so, make sure to also adjust the amount of water or not use it at all.

– If your waffle maker tend to stick, you can add a little bit of oil into the waffle batter. Brushing a lot of oil into the waffle grid will make the waffle crispier but also greasy as well.

– You can also add sesame seeds to the batter for a nutty and toasty flavor.

Cambodian Ratatouille

Cambodian Ratatouille known in Khmer as សម្លកកូរ, (Somlaw Koko) is a simple-basic hearty stew which uses assorted vegetables and strong flavorings from pickle fish or fermented fish (prohok), Khmer Kroeung and ground toasted rice. It’s also consider Cambodia’s National Dish.

Over the years, many different versions of Somlaw Koko has been created. Some added coconut milk to this stew. Growing up, my Mother never used coconut milk to make Somlaw Koko. Personally, I think the flavor is too rich and if you were to substitute the ground toasted rice with tamarind soup base, it would turn into Cambodian Sour Soup with Coconut Milk with assorted vegetables or similar to Cambodian Curry. I will leave it up to you, the Chef, to decide what works best for your taste bud.

The vegetables I used here came in a convenience package all mixed together. If you don’t have all or any of these listed you can surely use what’s in season or available in your area. Depending on the type of vegetables use you might want to separate them and add them in the order it takes to cook. My group contains pumpkin which probably might need to be added first, however at this quantity I did not bother dividing them and I did not mind a bit of crunch to my pumpkin either, again a personal preference.

Video Tutorial:

Cambodian Ratatouille (makes 5 servings)
(Somlaw Koko) សម្ល​​​កកូរ

Ingredients
1 teaspoon oil
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 tablespoon ground pickle fish (prahok)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground toasted rice
4 tablespoons lemongrass paste (Khmer Kroeung)
1 lb your choice of meat (chicken, pork, or fish) cut into bite size pieces (I used pork ribs)
2 lbs assorted vegetables (pumpkin, shredded papaya, green beans, aubergine, Thai eggplants, fuzzy squash)
8 whole bird’s eye chilies (optional)
3 cups water

Method:
Heat oil in a pot and add palm sugar. Stir quickly until partly dissolve. Becareful not to burn the sugar. Remove the pot or adjust the heat if necessary.

Add in pickle fish (prohok) and stir these two ingredients together until fragrant.

Next add the meat. Stir fry until the meat is coated and slightly brown.

Add lemongrass paste and stir to combine followed by fish sauce and some salt.

Carefully slide in the assorted vegetables. Add in the chilies too if using them.

Scatter the ground toasted rice all over the vegetables. Mix it in slightly, and finally add the water.

Cover and allow the soup to return to a rapid boil. The meat on the bottom is now fully cooked. Give it a stir so the vegetables have a chance to cook and soak up all the flavors. It’s a good time to taste and adjust accordingly. Cover the lid again and continue to cook just a few more minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve with steam rice. ENJOY!


Cambodian Style Stir Fry Lemongrass

There are several version of stir fry lemongrass out there such as the Vietnamese and the Thai. Each region has their own uniqueness and distinctive flavor. This can also be said for my Cambodian Style Stir Fry Lemongrass, ឆាគ្រឿងសាច់ចិញ្រ្ចាំ (Cha Kroeung Sach Jengjram). While some can just chop up stalks of lemongrass then throw it into the stir fry and call it Stir Fry Lemongrass, Cambodian style is rather a bit more complex. As long as I can recall Cambodian Stir Fry Lemongrass use what we call “Kroeung” which is a made with a combination of aromatics.

I’ve mentioned it many times that this had got to be one of my top 3 Cambodian dishes. The spicier the better! In the past I’ve made this stir fry using finely chopped quails in my Fiery Stir-Fried Lemongrass Quail. This time around, using the same recipe I’ve decided to go with store bought ground pork and made a tutorial to show how quick and easy it is to whip up this delicious Cambodian dish. In addition, because it’s winter fresh holy basil are nearly impossible to get my hands on therefore I have opt frozen holy basil which I had preserve from the fresh one during the summer. See my steps on how to preserve holy basil leaves for later use.

Video Tutorial:

Cambodian Style Stir Fry Lemongrass (makes 2-3 servings)
(Cha Kroeung Sach Jengjram) ឆាគ្រឿងសាច់ចិញ្រ្ចាំ

Ingredients
oil for stir frying
½ cup lemongrass paste, Khmer Kroeung
½ tablespoon finely chopped Pahok (optional)
1 lb ground meat of your choice (chicken, pork, turkey, quail)
jalapeños, sliced lengthwise (adjust amount to taste)
2 teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
½ tablespoon tamarind soup base
½ cup of holy basil leaves

Method:
Heat a pan and fry the lemongrass and pahok (if using) until fragrant. Add your choice of ground meat and continue to stir fry until they are cook. It will be dry but that’s okay.

Next add jalapeños and the remainder ingredients. Quickly stir to combine the ingredients. Taste and adjust to your preference. Turn the heat off and add holy basil leaves. Give it a final stir and transfer to a serving dish.

How to Preserve Holy Basil Leaves
You will need holy basil leaves and oil.

Pick out the leaves and tender stems. Flash rinse them quickly and thoroughly dry them. If you have a salad spinner, this would be an excellent way to dry them.

Once they are fully dry, heat a pan to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the pan and toss in the holy basil leaves.

Flash fry the leaves by quickly tossing them around so the leaves are coated with the oil. The heat and the oil will cause the leaves to wilt a bit, this is perfectly fine. Since the leaves are light and tender it should not take very long, less than a minute. If you have a large amount to preserve, I suggest you flash fry them in batches to prevent over crowding.

Next transfer it onto a platter and allow to cool. Once cool you can bag them up in small batches (servings) and store it in the freezer.

When it is time to use, you can defrost it slightly and add to recipes that calls for holy basil.

Egg Rolls | Spring Rolls

I invite you to try my version of egg rolls, នែមចៀន (Naem Jean) or also known as spring rolls. I think the naming will depend on where you are located. I’ve actually heard of “summer rolls” in Eastern parts of the USA however those are mostly refer to the fresh ones which in California are called “spring rolls”. Basically what I am showing here is how to make a delicious crunchy, crispy “FRIED” rolls.

Enjoy egg rolls with your favorite dip such as the sweet chili sauce or with fish sauce. You can even create a bowl of Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad by cutting up these egg rolls and adding fresh chopped lettuce, sliced cucumbers, rice noodles and some pickled carrots & daikon.

I’ve choose to cook the filling first and allowed it to drain and cool. Using this technique has a couple of benefits. A cool filling prevents soggy egg rolls. Egg rolls can sometime fry up too quickly and you might notice that the shell will brown and sometime burns before the meat inside is cook. For this reason, if the filling is fully cook then that is one less thing to worry especially when you are serving to large crowds. You do not what any guest to complain about under-cook meat, a big NO NO.

For the curious mind, here is an excerpt about egg rolls. “An egg roll is an appetizer and dinner, a variant of spring roll, which was originally eaten in East Asia but has spread throughout the world as a staple of Asian cuisine. Many Asian countries are claimed to have originated the dish, and variants of the egg roll exist in multiple Asian cuisines.”

Video Tutorial:

Egg Rolls | Spring Rolls (makes 25 egg rolls)
(Naem Jean) នែមចៀន

Ingredients
2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup shredded cabbage
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 bunch mung bean thread, soak and cut into 1-inch
½ cup shredded fungus, soak
1 egg white, use for sealing
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup full ground pork
1 tablespoon oil for frying

Seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon (or less), black pepper
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 cups oil for deep frying
1 pkg egg roll wrapper (25 sheets)

Method:
Making the Filling
Get your pan nice and hot then add the oil. Once the oil is hot toss in the garlic. Fry until golden brown.

Next add the ground pork. Spread and break it up as you fry. Continue to stir fry until the meat is about 80% cooked. Add ½ of the seasoning into the pork mix. Continue to stir fry 1-2 mins or until most of the sauce has evaporate.

Add shredded fungus, shredded carrots, and the shredded cabbage follow by the rest of the seasoning and continue to mix it all together. About 1 minute later, turn off the heat and add in the chopped green onions.
Give it a final stir to incorporate all the ingredients and flavors.

Use a colander with a bowl under and transfer the filling mixture. This will allow the filling to cool as well as drain any liquid to prevent a soggy egg roll. Add and mix in the mung bean noodles.

Rolling & Wrapping the Egg Rolls
Gently peel a couple of egg roll wrappers. Set aside and use a damp paper towel/cloth to cover so the sheets don’t dry out.

Lay one sheet flat with one corner pointing towards you. Add some fillings about 1 inch away from the corner and spread it around. Roll it in (outward), roll it once then bring the left and right sides to the center.
Seal the end with a wash off egg white.

Repeat this step until you have used up all your wrappers and filling. Makes 25 egg rolls.

How to Freeze Egg Rolls
Lay egg rolls in a single layer. Cover with plastic or parchment paper to prevent sticking then add the next layer. Once they are frozen you can transfer them to resealable bags. There is no need to defrost them. Deep fry them while they are frozen.

Let’s fry some up!
Heat enough oil in your frying pot/pan. Add the egg rolls carefully one at a time turning occasionally until golden brown. Once done, place on wire rack to drain and cool. This will keep them crispy.

Serve it up with your favorite dip. ENJOY!

Cambodian Green Mango and Salty Crab Salad

First of all I would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to all my fans for the get well wishes on my Facebook Fan Page. I feel so much better now.

Here is another appetizing dish that I made prior to getting sick. This dish stem from my craving for steamed sticky rice which is sold under the label “sweet rice” or “glutinous rice”. Sticky rice makes such a great pair with saucy dishes such as my Cambodian green mango and salty crab salad, ញុំាស្វាយខ្ចីក្តាមប្រៃ (Ngorm Swai Kjey Kdarm Prai). It soaks up all the flavorful juices that is left behind from the salad without getting soggy and falling apart like regular steamed white rice. The grains are more starchy than regular white rice therefore it contains a higher amount of calories and sugar per serving. It is suggested that you consume in small quantity because you might feel tired and sleepy afterward.

Refer to my simple green mango salad recipe for tip on how to choose the type of mango. As for the salty crab you can find it in the frozen section and it comes in a red tub (pictured above) . It is not completely frozen because of all the other ingredients that is mixed with it so you do not need to defrost it at all. Be careful not to pick up the tub with a green lid and label because that is salty crab that has been crushed up. That one comes in a solid state and you will need to defrost it prior to use.

Video Tutorial:

Cambodian Green Mango and Salty Crab Salad
(Ngorm Swai Kjey Kdarm Prai) ញុំាស្វាយខ្ចីក្តាមប្រៃ

Ingredients
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon salty crab juice from the tub
2 garlic cloves, minced
7 bird’s eye chili, chopped (adjust amount to your liking)
½ cup salty crab, use your fingers to separate into pieces
2 shallots, sliced thinly
1 green mango (about 1 lb), shredded

Method:
To make the dressing add palm sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.

Follow by the juice from the salty crab, minced garlic, chili peppers, salty crab and shallots. Whisk to combine them together.

Add in the shredded green mango and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust to your liking.

This salad is delicious as is or you can accompany it with other dishes such as grilled fish or poultry and even sticky rice for a complete meal. ENJOY!

Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Oyster Sauce

Stir-fried water spinach or morning glory with oyster sauce, ឆារត្រកួនព្រេងខ្យង (Cha Trokoun Prang Kjong) is one of my favorite vegetable side dish. I sometime load it up especially when it’s in season and simply enjoy it as a meal itself. It’s one of my favorite ADD (Asian Diet Dish). :)

Water spinach is a favorite vegetable among many Southeast Asian countries. Each has their own way of cooking it. Water spinach is declared by the USDA as a “noxious weed” . It grows too rapidly ( up to 4-inches a day) especially in the state of Florida which chokes out the state’s waterways, clogs up dams and water intakes and can kill an outboard motor in seconds. I wish my hair would grow out that fast. 😀 I believe importers must have a special permit to sell them to the public at the supermarket. If you do not have water spinach or have access to them you can try to substitute with watercress or snow pea leaves. The ingredients and method I’ve provided here can be used to stir-fried many other leafy green as well however, do adjust the cooking time depending on your pick.

Only a few ingredients is used and it cooks extremely quick, about 5 minutes! The key to making this delicious stir-fried water spinach with oyster sauce a delicious is to make sure you cook on high heat and move quickly. Although they do cook down make sure to have enough room so that they get evenly distribute on the pan. This will ensure that every single stem is coated. Unfortunately, it takes quiet some time to prep the water spinach because you need trim it down then pluck the wilted, dead or tough leaves from the stems then rinse it thoroughly to remove any grits, sand or mud that might of stick to leaves and/or stems (demonstration available in the video). Once the cleaning part is done you can then wrap it in paper towel and store it in the fridge for later use. It will last a couple days in there. Water spinach is also used in many popular Cambodian dishes such as the Cambodian Beef Sour Soup, សម្លរម្ចូរគ្រឿងសាច់គោ (Somlaw Machew Kroeung Sachko) and the Cambodian Countryside Sour Soup, សម្លរម្ចូរត្រកួនស្រែ(Somlaw Machew Trokoun Srae). Cambodians also blanch it or do a quick saute in oil and dip it in Tuk Kroeung, a Cambodian dip made with fish.

Some water spinach species has a very thick and hollow stem. When I visited Cambodia in 2006 they made pickled water spinach stems out of those and serve it to guest at the restaurant while they are waiting for their order. I was told that the leaves on those species were too tough and old to eat so only the stem part were used. So far the one I purchase here in the Bay Area, CA are not those species therefore both the stem and leaves can be eaten. During my trip I was also told that water spinach is a poor family vegetable because it is widely accessible, easy to grow, and require very little care. Some family even use it to feed their pigs, hence ‘pig food’. Most of my meals in Cambodia consist of an order of this ‘pig food’. I could not get enough of it especially when I am not the one prepping it. :)

Video Tutorial:

Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Oyster Sauce
(Cha Trokoun Prang Kjong) ឆារត្រកួនព្រេងខ្យង

Ingredients
2 tablespoons oil or enough to coat your pan
7 cloves of garlic, peel and mash with the back of a cleaver
bird’s eye chili, slice lengthwise (adjust amount to your liking)
about 1 lb water spinach, thoroughly wash and cut into 2-inch sections
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1½ tablespoons fish sauce

Method:
Get your pan nice and hot then add the oil. Swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan. Turn on the fan if you have to to prevent the smoke alarm from going off.

Toss in your garlic and stir fry about 20-30 secs. It should not take long to turn golden brown. If it does, it means the oil is not hot enough.

Next add the chili if using and continue to stir fry until fragrant, about another 20-30 secs.

Toss the water spinach and you should hear the pan sizzle because they are a bit wet and the oil is hot. This is a very good indication that the heat is just right. Stir it for just a minute to coat the water spinach.

Add the oyster sauce and fish sauce seasoning and give it another stir to incorporate all the flavors.

Dish out and serve immediately. ENJOY!

Cambodian Grilled Pork Salad

I have so many recipes that I want to try out but when it is time to choose one I usually can’t decide. Then also comes that inner me asking myself should I go buy all those ingredients? Who is going to help me eat it? How many times can I handle the leftovers? Will I ever use those other ingredients or is it just a one time deal? With these kind of questions running inside my head this is why you don’t see me sharing many American or Italian dishes. I don’t have milk, cream or cheese handy. Nor do I have tomato sauce or dried Italian herbs and noodles in my small pantry. It is currently occupied with bottles of fish sauce, different types of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and oyster sauce. On the other end it is filled with aromatic spices like star anise, dried kaffir lime leaves, dried shitaki mushroom, tamarind base powder, all sorts of dried noodles like mung bean thread (glass noodles), rice noodles in various shapes and egg noodles. For this reason, I tend to stick with Asian recipes just because most of the ingredients are readily handy. Perhaps one day in the near future when I have a large enough pantry I can stock additional ingredients from other parts of the world.

Cambodian grilled pork salad, ញុំាសាច់ជ្រូកអាំង (Ngorm Sach Jrook Arng) is just one of those quick and easy things to put together. The only thing I had to run to the store for was to get the meat. All others I stock on a regular basis. You can substitute pork with either chicken or beef. You can even use left-over grill meats for this. But because the spicy garlic dressing that accommodate this salad is a bit strong I would not recommend marinated grill meat unless you tone the dressing down a bit. Everything in this recipe can be prepared in advance hence ‘quick & easy’. Asian Mint or Vietnamese Mint is now one of my favorite herbs to pair with Cambodian salad but you can always sub it out for other fresh herbs such as basil, fish-wort, or even cilantro. Just go with what you like. You can also enjoy this salad as is, but do increase the amount of shredded cabbage or as part of a meal with rice and other dishes. Another alternative is to eat it as a wrap. For this you will omit the shredded cabbage and use lettuce instead to wrap everything. Add some rice noodles in the wrap for a fulfilling meal. Prepare the dressing but use it as a dip instead.

Video Tutorial:



Cambodian Grilled Pork Salad

(Ngorm Sach Jrook Arng) ញុំាសាច់ជ្រូកអាំង

Ingredients
1 tablespoon palm sugar
3½ tablespoons lime juice, about 2 limes
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
7 garlic cloves, minced
10 bird’s eye chili, chopped (adjust amount to your liking)
¾ lb. pork, season with salt & pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cabbage
a couple Asian Mint stems or use your favorite fresh herb
sliced lime rings for garnish

Method:
Grill pork until fully cook. Then slice about ¾ in. thick and set aside.

To make the dressing add palm sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.

Whisk in minced garlic followed by the chili peppers to complete the dressing. Taste and adjust to your liking. It should be sour and garlic-ky.

Add in the sliced pork and toss gently to coat.

To serve, arrange the shredded cabbage on one side and the tossed pork on the other. Pour any remaining juices on top. Garnish with fresh herb and lime rings. Alternatively, you can toss the shredded cabbage, and the herb (using the leaves only), into the salad bowl. ENJOY!


Stir-Fried Mussels with Holy Basil

This incredibly fragrant and delicious stir fried mussels can be enjoyed as a main course served along hot steamy rice or with a fresh French loaf to soak all the wonderful juices.

Here I’m using previously frozen mussels that are in it’s half shell. They come in a 1½ lb container. You can definitely use fresh ones. Make sure you scrub them thoroughly and discard the open ones. It will also require just a little more cooking time. I am also using the tender Holy Basil which has a spicier and sweeter than Sweet Basil but you can also use regular Basil known as Thai Basil. Another key ingredient in this dish is the roasted chili paste. It is packed with many tasty ingredients like sugar, shallot, garlic, soyabean oil, dried chile, fish sauce, dried shrimp, msg, paprika.

While I made this mussels you can also substitute this with chicken or even pork.

Stir Fried Mussels with Holy Basil (makes 2-3 servings)
(Cha Krum Jompous Tear Maress Prov) ឆារគ្រុំចំពុះទាម្រៈព្រៅ

Video Tutorial:

Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 bird’s eye chilies, slit in half length-wise (discard seeds if you don’t like spicy)
2 tablespoons roasted chili paste
1 tablespoon palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup holy basil leaves
1½ lb mussels

Method:
To ease the flow of cooking, combine palm sugar, fish sauce and roasted chili paste together. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Heat oil in a pan until hot. Add minced garlic followed by chilies. Quickly stir until fragrant.

Add mussels and stir to coat with garlic and chili oil. Allow them to hang out another 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add in roasted chili mixture. Stir until sauce thickens, about 3-4 minutes. However, if it’s too dry, you can add water or stock, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Finally, add the holy basil leaves. Give it a couple more stir and remove from heat.

To serve, slide mussels and sauce onto a serving platter, mound them into a pile. Garnish with fresh sprigs of holy basil. ENJOY!

Vietnamese-Style Sour Soup with Shrimp


I’ve made Vietnamese-Style Sour Soup ,various time but finally this time I took some time to document my recipe in addition to making a cooking video to share. This is my Cambodian take on a very popular Vietnamese soup known as Canh Chua Tom or in Khmer called Somlaw Machew Youn Bongkong សម្លម្ជូរយួនបង្កង. Light and refreshing but yet yeild a lot of flavors from the fresh herbs and vegetable. Fried garlic topped at the end not only add a wonderful aroma but a hint of a smokey flavor.

Here I use plump black tiger prawns which cook fairly quickly. You can also use fish, chicken, or pork ribs. Meats take a bit longer time to cook. You would want to make sure that those meats are at least 90% cook before you start adding vegetables. Otherwise the vegetables will get mushy or soggy while waiting for the meat to cook.

Moreover, there are an abundance of vegetables you can use. I suggest you go with what you like. I’ve made this soup using orkra, elephant ear (kdard), and even water spinach (trokoun).

Vietnamese-Style Sour Soup with Shrimp (makes 3-4 servings)
(Somlaw Machew Youn Bongkong) សម្លម្ជូរយួនបង្កង

Video Tutorial:


Ingredients
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3½ cups water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1½ tablespoons tamarind soup base
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 (16 oz) can quail eggs (yield about 18 eggs)
20 black tiger shrimp, peeled & devein (about 1 lb)
3 cups sliced fresh pineapple
1 jalapeños, sliced
1 small shallot, sliced
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup bean sprout
1 cup chopped sawtooth herb and/or rice paddy herb

Method:
Heat oil in a small sauce pan/pot. Test oil with a piece of garlic. If it sizzle right away then it’s ready. Add the remainder and fry until brown. DO NOT WALK AWAY! Garlic brown very fast. Stir it so they don’t clump. Once the garlic are fried, strain and set aside. Reserve the oil for another dish like fried eggs or sauteed vegetables.

Next, in a pot bring water to a rolling boil. Add sugar, tamarind soup base and fish sauce. Give it a stir to combine.

Add quail eggs gently so the soup doesn’t splash on you. Technically, the eggs are cooked so you are just warming them up again.

Add black tiger shrimp, sliced pineapples, jalapeños, shallots, diced tomatoes, bean sprouts and chopped herb. Give it a stir and allow it to come back to a boil.

Ladle to a severing bowl and E-N-J-O-Y!

Cambodian Green Mango Salad with Dried Shrimp


One of the highlights during my first trip to Cambodia back in 2006 was FOOD. Among the many authentic Cambodian dishes I sampled one particular stood out. In Battambang Province my Parents, relatives and I went out for dinner. I didn’t know what to order so one of my cousin suggested that I order Ngorm Makok (Ambarella Salad). I usually eat Makok pickled in a jar with salt and chili but never fresh and in the form of a salad. I gave it a go and within a few minutes the salad was on the table. The image and the flavors still linger in my mind until this day. It was so delicious! Then when I returned home I been wanting to recreate that dish but never had a chance to do so until my recent trip to Georgia. When I was there I popped my friend’s fridge opened and survey what was there. In the freezer I saw a bag of smoked fish that came from Cambodia. I immediately thought about my Ngorm Makok. It’s difficult to get my hands on fresh Makok in the states so I replace it with crispy and tart green mango. My recipe was based loosely on flavors I could recall from my 2006 trip along with my experience with making Cambodian salad. In no time I had my green mango salad with Cambodian smoked fish on the dinner table. Me and my friends all enjoyed it so much that I made it twice during my 5 days stay.

I don’t have Cambodian Smoked Fish at the moment so I just left it out and use dried shrimps instead. By pre-soaking the dried shrimp it will wash away the grainy stuff that might of been attached to them. It will also expand in size. I then toast to seal in the outer layer and pound it lightly with a mortar and pestle. This will keep it nice and crunchy and it doesn’t get soggy too quickly once it’s tossed in the salad. Chopped roasted peanuts are a great addition too but I totally forgot to include it this time.

Cook’s Note: If possible, try to buy the green mango in the vegetable section of the Asian Supermarket. The skin will have a light green color. The shape will be bit flat and oval. The flesh tend to be white or pale yellow. These variety has a crisp texture an a tart taste. Do not use the mangoes in the fruit section. Even though the outer peel may look green and hard to the touch, their flesh will still have that yellow color and tend to be soft and mushy when you cut into it unlike those you find at the Asian stores.

Cambodian Green Mango Salad with Dried Shrimp (makes 2 servings)
(Ngorm Svay Kjey Nung Bongkea Kream) ញុំាស្វាយខ្ចីនិងបង្គាក្រៀម

Video Tutorial:

Ingredients
1 medium size green mango, skin peeled and shredded
1 tablespoon lime juice (1 lime)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dried shrimp, pre-soak in water about 30 mins
1 teaspoon chopped fresh bird’s eye chili (optional)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh chopped herbs (mint, green onions, sawtooth, or basil)
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

Method:
Heat a small pan and lightly oil it. Add dried shrimps and give it a quick stir. Fry it to give them a nice crispy texture. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and lightly pound it to break up the fibers. This will allow the shrimp to absorb the flavors from the dressing but also retain that nice and crunchy texture. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, salt and fresh chili.

Add shallots, green mango, dried shrimp and fresh herbs. Toss the salad to combine.

Transfer to a serving plate and E-N-J-O-Y!

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