Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Cambodian Stir Fry Pickled Mustard Green with Beef

I asked my Mother to make me a big bucket of pickled mustard greens because where she reside things are much cheaper. Pickled mustard greens can be used to make so many delicious dishes. It can be enjoyed as is with grilled or fried fish or use it to make Pickled Mustard Green Soup. I’ve made Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Greens with Roasted Pork Belly and Pickled Mustard Green Fried Rice before. Today I share with you another dish utilizing this tasty pickled mustard greens.

Originally I wanted to do a video tutorial for this Cambodian Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Green with Beef,​ឆារជ្រុក់ស្ពីសាច់គោ (Cha Jruk Spey Sachko) but due to gloomy Autumn weather plus my crazy sleeping pattern by the time I step in the kitchen there is hardly any natural light left. Without sufficient natural light recording is extremely challenging. This is why I settle for a blog post instead.

The secret on how to make beef tender like how they serve it up at Chinese restaurants
Slice the beef thinly across the grain and soak it in baking soda mixture. For the recipe below I used ½ teaspoon baking soda and about 1½ cup water. Soak for about 15-20 minutes then drain and rinse the beef well to remove any residue. Use paper towel to remove excess water. From here you can marinade the meat to your liking.

Cambodian Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Green with Beef (makes 1-2 serving)
(Cha Jruk Spey Sachko) ឆារជ្រុក់ស្ពីសាច់គោ

Ingredients
½ lb. beef, thinly sliced
about 3 cups chopped pickled mustard greens
3 cloves of garlic, peel and minced
bird’s eye chili, slice lengthwise (adjust amount to your liking)
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
½ tablespoon oyster sauce, optional
cilantro springs for garnish
oil for stir-frying

Method:
Get your pan nice and hot then add the oil. Swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan.

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.

Add sliced beef and cook to your liking (medium, well-done). Add sugar, fish sauce and oyster sauce if using. Stir to coat.

Toss the chopped pickled mustard greens and continue to stir it for just a minute to incorporate all the flavors.

Dish out, garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with steamed rice. ENJOY!

Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts & Tofu

Growing up I never really enjoy eating Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts & Tofu, ឆារសណ្តែកបណ្តុះនិងតៅហ៊ូ (Cha Sondaek Bondoss Nung Thao-Who) because there was no meat. It’s a perfect Asian vegetarian dish if you replace some of the sauces. I would rather have my fried eggs with soy sauce over hot steamy rice. However it’s been so long since I had this stir-fried dish and when all I had was leftover bean sprouts from making Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge with Fried Noodle and some fried tofu, I knew I had to bring this dish back. It’s another Asian quick, easy and healthy dish to put together especially if you are trying to cut back on carb in-take.

Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts and Tofu (makes 1-2 serving)
(Cha Sondaek Bondoss Nung Thao-Who) ឆារសណ្តែកបណ្តុះនិងតៅហ៊ូ

Ingredients
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 bird’s eye chili, optional
8 oz fried tofu, cut into bite size pieces
8 oz bean sprout, rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly
1½ tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 stalks green onion, green part only, cut into 1 inch pieces
oil for stir frying

Method:
Heat a pan with oil and add minced garlic. Quickly stir it around until golden and be careful not to burn. Add chili if using. Stir about 25 secs until fragrant.

Add fried tofu. Technically the tofu are cooked already so you are just reheating it.

Next add the bean sprouts followed by the remaining seasonings. Give it a quick stir to incorporate the ingredients.

Turn off the heat and add green onion.

Dish out and serve as part of a meal or on it’s own. ENJOY!

Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge with Fried Noodle

This is one of my childhood favorite weekend dish while growing up in a 300+ Cambodian refugee apartment complex Park Village in Stockton, CA back in the late 80s. Mainly because the lady in one of the apartment in the complex known as Chanrith’s Mom had the Cambodian fried noodles available for sale at only $1 per a zip lock sandwich bag. We would reserve some of the fried noodles and add it to porridge the next meal. Not that the fried noodles were difficult to make but there were plenty leftovers. You can make the porridge with your choice of meat or seafood. You can also use the Congee|Rice Porridge recipe that I’ve posted before. Some also like to add extras such as liver, gizzards, intestines and blood cube. I prefer mine with without those extras.

I made my Cambodian chicken rice porridge with fried noodle, បបរសាច់មាន់គុយទាវឆារខ្មែរ (Bobor Sach Mon Kuy Teav Cha) with the help of canned chicken stock and leftover cooked steamed rice. This saves me time from making the chicken broth from scratch. You can certainly start with uncooked rice it will just take a bit longer and requires an additional cup of liquid. There isn’t much seasoning going on because the rice grain absorbs the flavors from the chicken stock as they expand. You want just a basic porridge and allow individual to adjust their bowl to taste using the seasonings and garnishes.

If you happen to have Chinese donuts or twisted donuts known in Khmer as Jap Kwai it would pair well with this porridge.

Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge with Fried Noodle (makes 2 serving)
(Bobor Sach Mon Kuy Teav Cha) បបរសាច់មាន់គុយទាវឆារខ្មែរ

Ingredients
1 14 oz can chicken stock
2 cups water
2 skinless chicken thighs
1 cup cooked rice
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 oz dried rice noodles, small size, pre-soak in warm water 30 minutes or until soften
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
½ teaspoon pure sesame oil

Seasonings and Garnishes (pictured below)
fried garlic
lime wedges
cooked shredded chicken
fried rice noodles
chopped cilantro
fermented soy bean
chili and garlic sauce
mung bean sprouts
white or black pepper (not pictured)

 

 

Method:
Bring chicken stock and water to a boil and add the chicken pieces. Allow it to come to a boil again and then simmer cover until the meat is cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.

Add rice to stock and cook on low heat until the grains expand and becomes soft, about 25 minutes. If using uncooked rice it will take additional time. If the heat is too high the liquid will evaporate more so make sure to keep it nice and low with the cover on but do monitor it so it does not spill over. If it get too dry add more chicken stock or plain water and stir so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Once the chicken has cool to touch discard any bones and use your fingers to shred the meat and set it aside with the other finish seasonings and garnishes.

Strained the pre-soak dried noodles and toss it with sweet soy sauce and sesame oil. Heat a non-stick pan until hot and add the noodles. Use chopsticks to swirl and move them around so they don’t stick to the bottom. If it appears to be dry just splash some water to soften it up. Transfer to a plate and set it aside with the finish seasonings and garnishes

Once the rice has turned into porridge season with sugar and fish sauce.

To serve the porridge ladle into individual bowls and each person can add their own toppings as well as adjust to taste. ENJOY!

Thai Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice

Pineapple fried rice is a dish that you can probably find on every single Thai restaurant menu. You get to pick your choice of meat or seafood. I had skinless chicken thighs available in my fridge so I decided to go with Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice, បាយឆាម្នាស់សាច់មាន់ (Bai Cha Manors Sach Mon). Diced ham or even cut up sausages would work too. Although I have never order this off of the menu I have however scoop up a couple spoonful from my friends’ plate when they do order them. This dish gives off many different flavors and textures. The savory from the chicken and rice, the sweet and sour from the cooked onions and pineapple, and the crunchy nuts if you choose to top it off. For this reason I personally would enjoy it as a meal on it’s own rather than having it accompany with other dishes . I would save that for plain steamy rice. Of course that is just me and the choice is yours.

Pineapple fried rice can be served many ways. The simplest form, on a rice plate. Kick it up a notched with some slices cucumbers and tomatoes on the sides or go all the way out and serve it on a pineapple boat or bowl. If you are using fresh pineapple why not save the shell for this? If not, canned pineapple chunks are great alternatives as well but be sure to drain the juices as much as you can. You can top it with cashews and some place also add raisin. It sounds as if the possibility are endless depending on who’s making and/or who’s eating.

For homemade restaurant style/quality fried rice check out my tested tips. It might take a bit of time and seems like a lot of steps but this is because home stove does not heat up as fast as those in restaurants so you have to allow ample time for each ingredients to get their share of heat. Rushing it will result in an overcrowded, soggy and mushy fried rice.


Thai Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice (makes 2 serving)
(Bai Cha Manors Sach Mon) បាយឆាម្នាស់សាច់មាន់

Ingredients
1 skinless chicken thigh, bone removed and cut into bite size
1 ½ tablespoon oyster sauce, divided
½ teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
½ tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 eggs
½ small onion, diced
¼ red bell pepper, diced
¼ red green pepper, diced
2 cups cooked rice, day old rice works best or allow freshly cooked rice to cool down in the fridge for several hours
1 cup diced pineapple
oil for frying
a handful of cilantro leaves

Method:
Marinade chicken with ½ tablespoon oyster sauce, ½ teaspoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon sugar and set aside. Meanwhile you can prep the other ingredients while the meat is marinating.

Prepare seasoning by mixing the remainder oyster sauce, fish sauce and curry powder together. Set aside.

Heat a frying pan with oil and fry the 2 eggs until they set. Remove and set aside. No need to get them fully cook because you will add them back to the pan later.

Add chicken and stir fry until they are cook half way. Follow by diced onions, and bell peppers. Cook until chicken is fully cooked. Remove and set aside.

Continue on by stir frying the rice. Make sure to spread out the grains evenly. If not the steam from the heat will cause the rice to get mushy.

Once the rice grains starts to pop up (fried) return the chicken, diced onions, bell peppers. Add seasoning and stir fry quickly for about 1 minute.

Finally add pineapple and return the fried eggs and stir fry to combine.

Turn off the heat and throw in the cilantro leaves reserving some for garnish.

Serve any way you like – with or without cashews and raisins, on a plate or in a pineapple boat or bowl. ENJOY!

Cambodian Chicken Curry Bread Bowl

As a home cook I am always trying to find ways to dress up a dish or update and add new things to an already existing one. Cambodian Chicken Curry Bread Bowl, សម្លការីសាច់មាន់ខ្មែរនឹងនុំបុ័ង (Somlaw Kari Sach Mon Khmer Nung Num Bang) has long been on my list to try and make at home. Beside eating chicken curry with steam rice or with rice noodles Cambodian also enjoy mopping up the sauce with bread (French, baguette, or Naan). The sight of the Pacific Coast clam chowder with the cute little sourdough bread bowl sitting right next to it available at my local Safeway supermarket every Fridays reminds me even more that I need to try it out with my Cambodian chicken curry.

I called my recipe Cambodian Chicken Curry because the paste used is made with Khmer Kroeung. Khmer Kroeung is made with all natural ingredients, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives like some store bought curry paste and sauce. For those who don’t have access to Khmer Kroeung I suppose you can substitute it with store bought Thai curry paste or the Lee Kum Kee curry paste in a jar. You just would not refer to it as Cambodian Chicken Curry. However you might have to adjust the seasoning as well as the other ingredients as those store bought curry paste tend to have their own spice as well as other ingredients included already.

Also some note I want to add is that if you are planning to enjoy the curry with rice noodles or bread you might want to use a bit more stock/water and adjust to taste since they tend to soak up the curry more as suppose to having the curry as an accompany with steam rice. The potatoes you use will also play a part in how thick or thin the curry gets. Some potatoes like the russet potatoes have a high starch content which means that they tend to fall apart and turns mushy during cooking. These potatoes are best reserve for baking or making mashed potatoes. Those with a low starch content, like red-skinned potatoes, hold their shape after cooking, and are great for this curry. The small ones you don’t need to cut them. Also leaving the skin off or on is totally a personal preference. Some also prefer using sweet potatoes. If potatoes is not what you prefer you can also add vegetables of your choice.


Cambodian Chicken Curry Bread Bowl (serve 3-4 if accompany with steam rice)
(Somlaw Kari Sach Mon Khmer Nung Num Bang) សម្លការីសាច់មាន់ខ្មែរនឹងនុំបុ័ង

Ingredients
2 tablespoons Khmer Kroeung
3 dried chili, discard stems and seeds then soak in hot water until soften, strain and discard the liquid
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 tablespoon palm sugar
2 lbs chicken, cut into big chunks (I used skinless bone-in thighs)
1 lb potatoes, cut into big chunks
2 cups chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
cilantro sprig for garnishing

Method:
Use either a mortar & pestle or a blender to puree the Khmer Kroeung and the soften dried chili into a paste. If using a blender add enough water just to get the motor running.

Heat a pot and add the paste. Stir fry for 1 minute or until the liquid has evaporate. Be careful not to burn it. Reduce the heat if necessary.

Add coconut milk and stir constantly until the oils from the coconut milk starts to separate.

Add palm sugar and shrimp paste and stir until it dissolves.

Next, add chicken and potatoes and stir to coat.

Add chicken stock or water. Depending on the size of the pot you are using the liquid should cover about 1 inch above.

Allow the pot to come to a full boil for 4-5 minutes then reduce the heat and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are cook but not mushy. This is why it is crucial that you cut the chicken and potatoes into large chunks so they do not break apart during simmer.

Finally season with fish sauce. Taste and adjust accordingly.

This curry can be served with steam rice, rice noodles or bread of your choice. Optional, squeeze lime juice and garnish with cilantro just before serving. ENJOY!

Cambodian Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

It was a year ago that I’ve shared my Phnom Penh Noodle Shortcut recipe. Since then I’ve been wanting to tackle a recipe that is as close to authentic as possible. I was not born in Cambodia and my trip in 2006 only last about 10 days. During that 10 day trip I tried Phnom Penh Noodle Soup once in Battambong province on my way to Banteay Mean Chey province. That was probably where my love for Phnom Penh Noodle Soup started.

Cambodian Phnom Penh noodle soup is different in that the broth is made of pork bones. You can also use chicken but preferably pork. In addition the broth it is flavored with onion, garlic, black peppercorn, coriander and preserved radish. Season with a bit of fish sauce and soy sauce and you have a delicious basic Phnom Penh noodle broth. Add some additional seasonings and garnishes and it will give this noodle soup a wide appeal.

Last week while I was recovering from a cold I had a chance to make my long awaited (close to) authentic Cambodian Phnom Penh noodle soup. While you can make it on a regular stove top I choose to use my slow cooker to do the work. The difference would be the cooking time. I was not in a rush and spent most of my time recovering in my sleep so I did not want to worry about spill over. I just set my slower cooker on HIGH for 4 hours and forget about it. It’s ready by the time I wake up. :) When using a slow cooker you don’t loose as much liquid so keep it about 1 inch below the top line. You can solely use pork bones but I happen to have the ones with some meat on it so I just used that and reserve the cooked tender meat for the toppings.

Cambodian Phnom Penh Noodle Soup (makes 4-5 servings)
(Kuy Teav Phnom Penh) គុយទាវភ្នំពេញ

Ingredients
1 lb fresh rice noodles (if using dried make sure to pre-soak it in warm water for 30 minutes)
10-12 cups of water
1½-2 lbs pork with/without bones
½ tablespoon black peppercorn
½ tablespoon coriander seeds
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Knorr pork/chicken cube (depending on the meat you use)
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
rock sugar, thumb size
1 cup preserved radish
2 tablespoons fish sauce
½ tablespoon Golden Mountain seasoning sauce

Seasonings and Garnishes (pictured below)
cooked shrimp
mung bean sprouts
ground red chili peppers
sliced preserved radish
lime wedges
fried garlic
cooked ground pork
chopped mixed cilantro/green onions
Golden Mountain seasonings (optional)
Sugar (optional)

How to make Phnom Penh Noodle Soup Broth:
This is an optional step but I really want to extract all the flavors that I can. In a mortar & pestle pound the black peppercorn, coriander seeds, and garlic into a coarse paste. You can put it directly into the pot but I choose to put it in a tea mesh because I don’t plan on straining my broth. Most of the solids will sink to the bottom of the pot.

In a stock pot add the pork and bones, Knorr cube, onion, rock sugar, preserved radish, and water. If cooking on a stove top bring it to a hard boil for about 10 minutes and skim off any froth then simmer for 2 to 3 hours until all the flavor of the bones is released. If using a slow cooker just set it to HIGH and cook for 4 hours or on LOW for as long as your slow cooker can handle. A slow cooker generates a gentle boil so little liquid will evaporate and barely any froth produces. For this reason you can add water up to about ¾ from the top.

Once the broth is done you can strain and discard the bones and other solids. Taste and season the broth with fish sauce and Golden Mountain seasoning sauce. Keep the broth on a low simmer ready to be ladle onto individual noodle bowls.

Noodle Bowl Assembly:
Boil enough water in a pot that accommodate the strainer and the noodle. Add rice noodles into the strainer. Shake the strainers so that the boiling water coats all the noodles. Cook for 1-2 seconds (depending if you are using fresh or dried pre-soak noodles). Shake off excess water and transfer to a bowl.

You can create your noodle bowl by adding and arranging garnishes such as cooked shrimp, pork, sliced preserved radish and fried garlic. If you like your mung bean sprouts to be a bit cooked then add that too. Otherwise, reserve it for last. Ladle enough broth over just to cover. Top your bowl off with chopped mix cilantro and green onion, ground red chili peppers, and some squeeze lime juice. Use your chopsticks to mix the ingredients together. 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!


Cambodian Lemongrass Stuffed Cornish Game Hen


I LOVE LOVE Cambodian Kroeung! I can pretty much eat or at least try anything that is made using Khmer Kroeung. Kroeung is used in one my most favorite food in the WWW (world wide world) which is Stir Fried Lemongrass___, ឆារគ្រឿង __, (Cha Kdov (Kroeung) ___.) Fill in the blank with your choice meat. It’s such a delicious dish that I can seriously go off my diet streak if I make it often. YES, it’s that BAD, in a delicious way of course. :) Another popular favorite among Cambodian is the Sour and Spicy Beef Soup with Water Spinach, សម្លម្ចូគ្រឿងសាច់គោ (Somlaw Machew Kroeung Sach Ko).

For my love of Kroeung I do try to create new dishes utilizing this fragrant spice mixture. However, Cambodian Lemongrass Stuffed Game Hen isn’t so new since I’ve shared with you my recipe for Cambodian Grilled Lemongrass Chicken, សាច់ម៉ាន់អាំងប្រឡាក់គ្រឿង (Sach Mon Arng Prolak Kroeung) and Cambodian Stuffed Chicken Wings, ស្លាបម៉ាន់បោក (Slab Mon Baok) in previous post. What’s new in this recipe is the ingredients I used to make the stuffing. It might sound like too much to accompany rice but then the thought of stuffed turkey with mash potatoes and gravy all in one meal came into mind. That isn’t much right? 😀 Come to think about it if I have a date this Thanksgiving this might just be the ideal Cambodian Thanksgiving Dinner or two. :)

I decided to go with mushroom and bean thread noodles as the stuffing. These two ingredients works like a sponge and will soak up all the flavorful juices. They do not take long to cook which is perfect since game hen are fairly small and doesn’t require long roasting time. Enoki mushroom was used because that’s what I had sitting in my fridge at the moment. It’s also very affordable at only $0.49 a package! You can definitely upgrade to fresh shitaki or king oysters mushroom if you want.

Cambodian Lemongrass Stuffed Cornish Game Hen (make 2 servings)
(Mon Doat Ngort Kroeung) មាន់ដុតញាត់គ្រឿង

Ingredients
1½ lb cornish game hen with giblets inside removed
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
1 teaspoon cayenne or paprika pepper powder, optional
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2-3 tablespoons Khmer Kroeung
1 pkg (3.5oz) enoki mushrooms, cut off bottom 1½-2 inch and rinse gently. Squeeze excess water.
1 bunch bean thread noodles, it comes in the pink netting (glass noodles), soak in warm water until soften
1 cup holy basil leaves
2 toothpick
leafy green for garnish

Method:
Rinse Cornish game hen thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry with kitchen towel and set aside.

To make the marinade combine brown sugar, fish sauce, white pepper powder, paprika (if using), sesame oil and Kroeung in a bowl. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the marinade and pour it on the Cornish game hen then rub all over. Tip: Put the chicken inside a freezer bag and pour the marinade on top. Use you hand and rub the marinade on the chicken from the outside of the freezer bag.

To make the stuffing add mushroom, bean thread and holy basil leaves into the remainder of the marinade and mix well.

Cover the chicken and allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight. Cover the stuffing and store it in the fridge until it’s time to roast.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Stuff the chicken with the prepared stuffing and use toothpicks to sew the skin together so that it does not spill out during roasting. One diagonally and one across.

Place the breast side down on a rack and roast for 30 minutes. Then​ carefully flip to roast on the other side for another 20 minutes or until the juices run clear when you pierce the inner thigh with a fork. For a crispy golden brown skin crank up the heat to 450 degrees and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Remove and tent with foil. This is extremely important if you want a tender juicy meat. If you start cutting through now the meat is still hot and the juices will just flow out. You don’t want a dry meat do you? Be patient and let it rest for 15 minutes or so. In the meantime you can clean up or set the table. :)

Split in half to reveal the mouthwatering stuffing and arrange on a platter with some garnish.

Serve with hot steam rice and some soup. ENJOY!

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