Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

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!

Crispy Fried Larb Balls

A few weeks ago I shared one of Southeast Asian fresh flavorful salad known as Larb, ลาบ (ឡាប). With just a few extra ingredients you can kick it up a notch and turn them into Crispy Fried Larb Ball (Larb Bompong Sroeuy Sroeuy), ឡាបបំពងស្រួយៗ. This bite-size flavor exploded balls makes a great appetizer (paired with alcohol beverages) or a snack. Enjoy it with steamed or sticky rice and you have a fulfilling meal. Some people are not familiar with the taste of Crispy Fried Larb Ball. Crispy on the outside and as you bite into it you will instantly be remind of the Larb salad flavors.

Superbowl XLV (45th) is coming this February 6, 2011 and many will join their friends, family and loved ones to watch the game, this would be a great dish to serve and share. If alcohol is involve then definitely check out my Cambodian Popcorn Chicken and Stuffed Chicken Wings recipe. It will sure to be a hit! If time is limited, you can order my Mother’s Cambodian Sausage. You just need to put these on the grill and they are good to go. Order by January 29, 2011 and we will have them delivered in time for game day.

As always with my recipes, feel free to substitute your choice of meat. This time I am using ground turkey instead of pork. Ground chicken would be another great choice. There is no need to pre-cook the meat since the Larb will be formed into a ball and deep fried. For this reason, it is important that the balls are not too big of a size so they are cooked thoroughly.

Crispy Fried Larb Balls (makes 25-30 balls)
(Larb Bompong Sroeuy Sroeuy) ឡាបបំពងស្រួយៗ

Ingredients
1 lb ground meat (chicken, pork, turkey)
1 bunch bean thread, soak until soften and cut into 1½ inch
1 large shallot, diced
1 tablespoon toasted rice grain, pound or grind finely
1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
1 tablespoon crushed roasted peanut
1 teaspoon sugar
4-5 cilantro sprigs, chopped
2 stalks green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
oil for frying

assorted fresh vegetables and herbs for serving

Method:
In a large mixing bowl combine the first 11 ingredients. Mix well. You can use plastic gloves to protect your hands.

Add 1 teaspoon flour. This will help absorb the juices and shape the ball. Set aside.

Prepare 2 separate plate/bowl. One for the beaten egg, and the other for the Panko bread crumbs.

Scoop about 1 teaspoon of Larb mixture and form into a ball. Try to make the balls of equal sizes so they fry up evenly.

Using a flork or slotted spoon dip the ball into the beaten egg. Drain and coat it with Panko bread crumbs. Set aside. Repeat this step until you have used up all the Larb mixture.

Depending on the size on your frying pot/pan add enough frying oil so that it will cover at least half of the Larb balls. You want to use a heavy base pot/pan. If the frying pot/pan is too thin it will cause the outside to burn while leaving the inside meat un-cook.

Heat oil to medium high and add the Larb balls in increments and batches. Adding them too quickly all at once will drop the oil temperature. This can cause the oil to penetrate through and make the Larb balls soggy instead of crispy.

Deep fry the Larb balls until golden brown. Turn them occasionally so all the sides cook through. Strain on paper towel or paper bag to remove excess oil.

Serve with your choice of fresh vegetables and herbs. ENJOY!

Asian Garlic Chicken Penne

Today is one of those days that I ran out of fresh ingredients in the fridge and not emotionally well to do my grocery shopping just yet. I survey my fridge, freezer and pantry and the things I gathered were previous frozen chicken breast that I’ve defrost overnight, a box of whole wheat penne and a head of garlic, oh and also I snipped some green onion that was on my kitchen window sill as a garnish. Seasonings were things I usually use for my stir-fried dishes. Seasoning is to taste and because this is a “garlic” dish you are free to go overboard with the garlic, as much as you can handle.

This is suppose to be a quick and easy fix or if you want to stretch out your money by making use of what you currently have. You can substitute penne with any type of dried pasta or noodles. The same goes with the meat. Pork and shrimp would also make a great substitution like my Garlic Shrimp Rice Noodle recipe.

Asian Garlic Chicken Penne (makes 1-2 serving)
(Mon Ktum​​​​ Saw Jear Muy Penne) ម៉ាន់ខ្ទឹមសរជាមួយ Penne

Ingredients
1½ cup whole wheat penne
1 chicken breast, sliced (optional: pre-soak with 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 cups water to tenderize)
1 head garlic, peel and minced
1 teaspoon oil
finely chopped green onion for garnish

Seasoning
2 tablespoons chicken stock or water
½ teaspoon chicken powder
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Method:
Cook penne according to the package, drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a pan and saute garlic just until brown.

Add chicken with half of the seasoning and continue to cook. The liquid from the seasoning will help to pick up the garlic pieces that might have stuck to the pan. Also the steam will moisten the chicken as well.

Once chicken is 95% cooked add the remaining seasoning and toss in the penne. Stir to coat, taste and adjust accordingly.

To serve, dish out and sprinkle with green onion. ENJOY!

Larb Pork

Larb, ลาบ (ឡាប) can be describe as a fresh flavorful Southeast Asian salad dish consisting of ground meats married with lime juice, fish sauce, ground toasted rice and various seasonings and herbs. On restaurants menu it might be spell Laab, Laap, or Larp. This dish is mostly served at room temperature along with assorted fresh or steamed vegetables. If you have sticky rice on hand it would be absolutely delicious as it helps pick up the tasty Larb juices. Sticky rice is also customary in Laos and Isan Thailand however, I usually go with which ever type of rice I have on hand.

You can substitute pork with any type of ground meat such as chicken, beef or turkey. In addition, all of the measurements that I provided for the ingredients should serve as a guide. Adjust the flavors according to your taste especially the level of spicy. I like to enjoy Larb with cucumber slices and iceberg lettuce because of it’s fresh and crisp flavors that help balance the spicy taste. Of course, the choice is up to you and/or who you are serving.


Larb Pork (makes 2-3 serving)
(Larb Sach Jrook) ឡាបសាច់ជ្រូក

Ingredients
¾-1 lb ground pork
2 tablespoons ground toasted rice
1 tablespoon ground red pepper, adjust amount to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 shallots, peeled cut lengthwise and thinly sliced
7-8 cilantro stems, chopped
2 stalks green onion, chopped
your choice of fresh or cooked vegetable to serve

Method:
In a heated nonstick pan add ground pork and cook thoroughly. Add small amounts of water if necessary to fully cook the meat. Set aside and allow to cool down a bit.

In the meantime prepare your vegetables to be served.

In a large mixing bowl add cook meat and all of the remainder ingredients together. Mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust accordingly. There should be a balance of salty and sour taste and you should also taste the ground toasted rice.

Serve Larb with vegetables you had previously prepared along with sticky or steamed rice. ENJOY!

Cambodian Popcorn Chicken

In my attempt to try and create a Cambodian version of Popcorn Chicken I decided to use Khmer Kroeung which is the base flavor for many well-known Khmer dishes such as the Cambodian Spicy & Sour Soup and Fiery Stir-Fried Lemongrass Quail, just to name a few. I will therefore name it Cambodian Popcorn Chicken, ម៉ាន់គ្រឿងបំពង (Mon Kroeung Bomporng). I am extremely happy with the outcome. It was delicious and there was that hint of Khmer Kroeung in every single bite. The only thing I sort of regret is not having fresh holy basil leaves so I opt for Thai basil leaves instead.

One of the greatest things I love about living in the Bay Area beside the weather is the availability of the different ethnic food. Seems like everything is within proximity. You don’t have to drive too far or fly out of state. If you visited California recently especially around the Bay Area or Southern California you might of seen a bunch of small Asian Fusion Style Chain Cafe such as Quickly and Tapioca Express. Although there drink selection is overwhelming I can’t seem to resist ordering is their Popcorn Chicken or otherwise known as Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken or just plain Salt & Pepper Chicken. It is not the same as the Popcorn Chicken you get from KFC or American restaurants. The one you get from Quickly or Tapioca Express is flavored with Asian spices such as star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel. These spices together make what is known as Five-Spice Powder. This was my inspiration for creating this delicious Cambodian Popcorn Chicken.

I also made a red pepper salt mixture as a sprinkle because I just love the spicy flavor in savory dishes. This is of course optional. This spicy flavored salt can also be sprinkle on fried eggs, omelets, chickens and many more items that calls for a splash of the usual salt and pepper.

Cambodian Popcorn Chicken (makes 1-2 serving depends if serving as a snack or with rice)
(Mon Kroeung Bomporng) ម៉ាន់គ្រឿងបំពង

Ingredients
¾ lb chicken (breast or thigh meat) cut into bite size pieces – for this recipe I used a whole large chicken breast
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ tablespoon fish sauce
½ tablespoon oyster sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon Shaoxing wine, used as a tenderizer
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Khmer Kroeung
½ cup sweet potato flour or also label as potato starch
holy basil leaves or Thai basil leaves as garnish
oil for deep frying

Spicy Flavored Salt Mixture
1½ tablespoons red pepper powder
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
½ teaspoon salt

Method:
To make the spicy flavored salt mixture combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. You can definitely adjust the amount to taste. Set aside for later use.

Marinade the chicken pieces with garlic, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, salt, sugar and Khmer Kroeung. Mix well, cover and marinade for at least 30 minutes or overnight for best flavor. Try to bring it to room temperature prior to proceeding with the next step.

In a heavy pan/pot heat oil over medium heat. While waiting for the oil to heat up sprinkle sweet potato all over marinaded chicken pieces. Use more if necessary. There will be clumps therefore I just use a strainer to shake off the clumps so that it doesn’t end up in the frying pan as it is rather difficult to fish out small pieces of burnt flour in hot oil.

When the oil is hot and ready, deep fry the chicken pieces until golden brown. Depending on the type of meat (white/dark) in addition to the cut sizes it can take anywhere from 3-4 minutes to fry.

Test a piece and once it is cook use a medal strainer or slotted spoon to transfer them to paper towels or paper bags to remove excess oil.

Next toss in the basil leaves in the hot oil. Be extremely careful because this cause a loud popping sound and sometime oil splashes if the leaves are not thoroughly dried. Protect yourself with a splatter guard or quickly toss it and step far away until the sizzling sound decreases. It should only take 20-25 seconds to fry the basil leaves.

You can transfer the chicken to a serving plate or serve it in paper bags garnish with fried basil leaves. Sprinkle with spicy flavored salt if you prefer.

This delicious dish can be served as a snack or eaten as a meal with steamed rice. ENJOY!

Cambodian Hot Pork and Pumpkin Curry

About a month ago my Mother gave me three pumpkins. I did not have a menu plan but I do know that these things can be kept for a very very long time so I did not resist in bringing all three of them home. The first recipe that came to mind is Cambodian Pumpkin Pudding in Banana Leaves (Num La’pov). I did not feel like making desserts out of them yet since I usually end up eating them all by myself which isn’t a very good idea therefore I opted for a savory dish like this Cambodian Hot Pork and Pumpkin Curry, ការីល្ពៅសាច់ជ្រូក (Kari La’pov Sach Jrook) .

The recipe was adapted from a cookbook in my collection entitled The Food & Cooking of Cambodia which I recently repurchase because I misplace my first copy. Actually this wasn’t the first time I’ve made a curry using pumpkins I usually do just a simple and quick version by using store-bought Thai red curry paste. This Cambodian version use Khmer Kroeung as the base which gives it a distinctive Cambodian taste. As always with curries you can serve it with either steamed rice, crusty bread or rice noodles.

Cambodian Hot Pork and Pumpkin Curry (makes 3-4 serving)
(Kari La’pov Sach Jrook) ការីល្ពៅសាច់ជ្រូក

Ingredients
½ tablespoon oil
1 slice galanga, finely sliced
5 red chillies, finely sliced (reduce amount for a milder curry)
½ small sweet onion or 2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tablespoons Khmer Kroeung
½ tablespoon palm sugar
1 lb pork, cut into bite size chunks
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 kabocha pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into bite size chunks
4-5 kaffir lime leaves, reserve 1-2 leaves and slivered for garnish
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Method:
Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Stir in galanga, chillies, and onions and stir-fry until fragrant. Add Khmer Kroeung and stir-fry until it begins to color. Add palm sugar.

Stir in the chunks of pork and stir-fry until golden brown on all sides. Stir in shrimp paste and pour in coconut milk.

Bring to the boil, add the pumpkin and kaffir lime leaves, and reduce the heat. Cook gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin and pork are tender but not mushy and the sauce has reduced. If you prefer a thinner curry then feel free to add water or stock.

Add fish sauce and season to taste. Garnish the curry with slivered kaffir lime leaves.

This curry can be serve with rice, noodles or crusty bread. 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!

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