Archive for the ‘Stir Fry & Deep Fry’ 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!

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!

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 Stir-Fried Pork with Squash

I love squash especially kabocha and butternut squash. The beautiful bright golden color makes not only a delicious treat but an eye catching one as well. They are used in serveral Cambodian dishes such as in this Stir-Fried Pork with Squash, Cambodian Steamed Squash in Banana Leaves (Num Lapov), Cambodian Ratatouille Soup (Somlaw Koko), Steamed Custard (Lapov Songkya) and many more. When my Mother use it in Somlaw Koko I usually pick only the squash and leave the rest to others.

Here’s a fun food fact history. The kabocha, however, was introduced to Japan by Portuguese sailors in 1541, who brought it with them from Cambodia. The Portuguese name for the pumpkin, Cambodia abóbora (カンボジャ・アボボラ), was shortened by the Japanese to kabocha. (source Wikipedia)

Cambodian Stir-Fried Pork with Squash (makes 1-2 serving)
(Cha Lapov Sach Jrook)
ឆារល្ពៅសាច់ជ្រូក

Ingredients
1 small squash (kabocha or butternut squash), sliced
8 oz pork, sliced
2 stalks green onion (scallions)
5 bird’s eye chilies (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
dash of black pepper

Method:
Heat oil in a frying pan and add garlic. Quickly stir it around to prevent burning. Add chillies if using. Stir another 2-3 seconds until the chili starts to release it’s fragrant.

Add sliced pork and stir fry until they are at least 80% cooked.

Season with sugar, oyster sauce, and fish sauce. Stir to coat.

Toss in squash and stir to coat again. Cook 2-3 minutes depending on your preference of texture. Some like to have a bit of crunch while others prefer it nice and soft.

Turn off the heat and stir in green onions.

Serve with hot steamed rice. ENJOY!

Crispy Garlic Pork

Would you say NO to quick & easy flavor packed dishes that also comes with a crunch? Definitely not me. This one is no exception. Just a few ingredients along with some garnishes and you can achieve an eye pleasing and mouth-watering dish.

I love the crunchy flavor and texture that the panko bread crumbs gives off. My first experiment with panko bread crumb was in Panko Crusted Fish with Lemongrass Chili Sauce recipe. Panko is made from bread without crusts, thus it has a crisper, airier texture than most types of bread crumbs found in Western groceries. It flavorless really, and does not absorb as much oil when cook. If all you have is regular bread crumbs then you may substitute with that as well.

For an even bigger flavor you can marinade a day in advance but 2-3 hours prior in the fridge will also work too. I like to use pork cut that has a bit of fat as the leaner cut tend to taste a bit dry. An alternative to fresh garlic would be garlic powder. Make sure that the ingredient listed is garlic and no added salt, otherwise you will have to omit or adjust the salt content.

You can serve it fancy with a knife and fork along side pickled carrots and daikon or just grab a piece with your fingers and savor it with steamed rice YUM!

Crispy Garlic Pork (makes 1-2 servings accompany with other dishes)
(Sach Jrook Ktum Bompong) សាច់ជ្រូកខ្ទឹមបំពង

Ingredients
1/2 lb pork, slice 1/2 inch thick
5 gloves of garlic, peel and crushed
2-3 pinches salt
2-3 pinches black pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
oil for frying

Method:
Rub pork with crushed garlic and sprinkle on salt & pepper on both sides. If you are using garlic powder, you can mix the three ingredients and sprinkle on them at one. Massage the pork so the marinade get well distribute. Marinade in the fridge.

Bring marinade pork and allow to sit at room temperate to remove the chill.

Spread panko bread crumbs evenly on a plate. Lay each pork cut on the plate and lightly press into the bread crumbs to evenly coat them. Repeat until both sides are coated. Set aside and repeat this process until all the pork are coated.

Heat enough oil in a pan on medium. *Tip: to conserve on oil, you can use a smaller but deep sauce pan/pot. While there is little surface space which means you might have to fry in batches, you will use less oil.

Test oil with a piece of bread crumbs. If it sizzle quickly then it’s ready. Carefully add the coated pork into the oil and fry until golden brown. Flip and repeat on the other side. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Arrange on a platter with garnishes and/or serve with pickled carrots and daikon . 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!

Easy Banana Fritters

What do you do when your banana turn spotty, black and overripe? Definitely do not throw them away. Save them for banana nut muffins, banana bread, and these easy banana fritters,. It takes only 5 minutes to put these ingredients together. They fry up in no time. This simple to make snack is pack with a sweet heavenly taste – wonderful bite of banana, soft, yet chewy in texture.


Easy Banana Fritters (makes about 20)
(Jake Jean Ngeay Sroul)
ចេកចៀនងាយស្រូល

Ingredients
2 large over-ripe bananas (or 3 medium size)
½ cup sugar
a pinch of salt
a dash of pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cup self rising flour, sifted
¼ cup of oil for frying

Method:
Mash banana and set aside.

In a mixing bowl add flour, add sugar, salt, vanilla extract, mashed bananas.

Use a fork or a whisk to mix them all together making sure that the overall mixture is neither too dry nor too wet.

Heat the oil and turn it back down to medium then drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture into it. Flip and fry until both sides turns a golden brown, scoop it up and drain it well.

Panko Crusted Fish with Lemongrass Chili Sauce


I got my inspiration for this dish after wandering along the frozen fish section of Costco. Some fish fillets cost up to $20 a bag! What I did was glance over and saw some of their frozen already crusted fish and immediately thought about my dinner. It’s been so long since I left Costco will less than $20 out of my pocket. Normally I drop close to $100 each visit. So very glad I can resist my temptation this time. :) Wonder I was end up getting? Definitely not those crusted fish fillets but a bag of bananas, a carton or eggs, 3 cucumbers and a case (12 cans) of corn kernels which I have yet to decide what to do with them.

Panko bread is a variety of bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods. Panko is made from bread without crusts, thus it has a crisper, airier texture than most types of bread crumbs found in Western groceries. It flavorless really, and does not absorb as much oil when cook. Since my Lemongrass Chili sauce is a bit heavy on flavor I decided leave my fillets plain but with the crispy texture. You can choose to marinade the fish fillets first with a flavor of choice and then just coat it with the flour, egg and panko bread crumbs.

Panko Crusted Fish with Lemongrass Chili Sauce (Serves 2)
(Trey Jean Sroeuy Nung Tuk Mtess Kroeung) ត្រីចៀនស្រួយនិងទឹកម្ទេសគ្រឿង

Ingredients
2 fish fillets, I used tilapia
¼ cup rice flour, or any flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup oil for frying
green onions for garnish

Lemongrass Chili Sauce

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon Khmer Kroeung
1 tablespoon red pepper powder
1 teaspoon crush red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Method:
Rinse the fillets and pat dry. Make a station with 3 separate large plates one for flour, egg and panko bread crumbs. Use one hand (the dry hand) to dust the flour on lightly then move to the next station and drench the floured fillet with your other hand (wet hand). On the 3rd station return your dry hand and coat with panko bread crumbs. Press them in lightly so they stick to the fillet. Repeat this process until all fillets are done, set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan and once they are hot add the fillets and fry them. Watch carefully as the bread crumbs tend to brown pretty quick. Adjust heat accordingly. You can start with med-high heat and then crank it up toward the end to get a nice golden brown crust. Cook both side and allow to rest on paper towel to remove excess oil, which should not be much.

Next, make the lemongrass chili sauce but heating oil and added diced onions. Stir and cook until soften then add garlic. Give it a quick stir to release it’s flavor and aroma. Do the same with the Khmer Kroeung. Adjust the heat accordingly so the ingredients does not burn. Add the remainder ingredients and finish off with several stirs. If you find the sauce a bit thick you can add more oil. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking.

Plate it up and garnish with green onion. Serve with steamed rice.

Stir Fry Beef with Lemongrass

If you have been following my recipes you will notice that I rarely cook with beef. It’s because I prefer to cook my beef the day of purchase or within the next day. I don’t like to freeze my beef and then defrost and cook it – it’s just not the same, IMHO. So I did my grocery shopping, a fairly small one which included some meats and herbs. Barely any vegetables because they tend to go bad faster than I can get to them.

Anyhow, I went through a couple of my cookbooks to get some ideas on what I can do different with my beef. The one that interest me was a recipe from The Elephant Walk Cookbook called Stir-Fried Beef with Lemongrass (Cha Sachko Kroeung) ឆារសាច់គោគ្រឿង. I technically borrowed this book from my BFF like 3-4 years ago. One of these days I’ll return it to it’s rightful owner plus a some cook dishes from this book for her to taste. :) According to the authors Longteine De Monteiro & Katherine Neustadt this dish is an Indian-Chinese hybrid. I read the recipe through and applied the concept but tweaked the flavors and measurements accordingly to my taste. As a result, I really really love the dish! I was blown away by surprise. At first I was wary of the flavor afraid it might be too nutty and that it would not pair well with my steamed rice. I was totally wrong. The lemony flavors from the Khmer Kroeung (lemongrass paste) and the spicy jalapenos really help balance out the nutty flavor.

Stir-Fried Beef with Lemongrass
(Cha Sachko Kroeung) ឆារសាច់គោគ្រឿង
adapt from The Elephant Walk Cookbook

Ingredients
½ cup Khmer Kroeung (lemongrass paste)
¾-1 lb beef, cut into 2 inches strips
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small onion, sliced into wedges
6 red jalapeños, quartered length-wise (substitute red bell pepper for color and a mild flavor)
4 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely ground in a mortar & pestle
2 stalk green onion, cut into 2 inches & split length-wise
2 tablespoons oil for frying

Method:
Mix sliced beef with Khmer Kroeung and set aside. Use your hands to massage and work the Kroeung into the beef.

Heat oil in a pan. Depending on the size of your pan you might have to fry the beef in batches. Fry them in single layer and do not crowd them. Once you set it in the pan do not move it. Leave it there un-touch for a couple of minutes. This will ensure that you get a nice crusty brown on the beef strips. Then flip to the other side and repeat this step until all the strips are fried.

Sprinkle sugar and add fish sauce. Do a quick stir to incorporate the ingredients.

Toss in the onion, peppers and ¾ of the peanut. Give it another stir and cook for about 3 minutes until onions are soften.

Remove from heat and add green onion reserving a few for garnish and sprinkle with remaining peanuts just before serving.

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