Archive for the ‘Stir Fry & Deep Fry’ Category

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

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

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

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

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.

Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters

These Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters (Domlong & Bongkear Jean) ដំលូង&បង្គារចៀន is like the Japanese famous tempura meet with the Cambodian lettuce wrap with fish sauce for dipping. The natural sweetness that the potatoes gives off topped with plump lightly battered shrimp wrapped with fresh crunchy lettuce and herbs dipped in a salty and tangy fish sauce! The flavors is “out of this world”. :mrgreen:

Only a few simple ingredients which many can be prepared well in advance like the fish sauce for dipping. I like to leave the shell on the shrimp for that nice crispy and crunchy texture but some people like to leave it out. It’s totally up to personal preference. Have all the preparation done and assemble them close to the frying pan. These are best serve hot however if you have a lot of do then it can be kept in a warm oven until it’s time to serve.

Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters
(Domlong & Bongkear Jean) ដំលូង&បង្គារចៀន

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into matchsticks
20 large shrimps, devein
1 box (3 oz) of tempura flour
½ cup of oil for frying
fresh lettuce and herbs for wrapping
prepared fish sauce for dipping

Prepare tempura batter according to the box/package. I remember adding water to the flour little by little so that you can control the consistency. Add sweet potatoes in batches so that you don’t crowd them in the batter.

Heat oil in a pan. Test with a drop of batter to see that the oil is ready. To fry use a chopstick to pick up several sweet potatoes and add them to the hot oil. Try to spread them flat so that they cook evenly.

Quickly, dip a shrimp in batter and add it on top of the frying sweet potatoes. The batter works as a glue to merge the shrimp and potatoes together. It does not take long to fry these. When one side is done carefully flip and fry the other (shrimp) side. If the oil is not high enough you can cook it at an angle by tilting the pan (be extremely careful). Once both sides are cooked remove them and allow to drain on paper towel. Repeat until all the fritters are made.

Serve these babies hot wrapped in lettuce and herbs and dip them with fish sauce.

Stir-Fried Black Pepper Chicken

My fridge is going empty with meats and fresh veggies so this mean that dinner is limited to the stuff I have at hand which is chicken and onion. I didn’t want to do my grocery shopping just yet because it’s Halloween weekend and I know I’ll be out of town visiting my family in Stockton. I might just grocery shop in Stockton before I get back, will see about that. So with just these ingredients along with some sauce and spices I went ahead a whip up some tasty Cha Mon Marich Kmao ឆារម៉ាន់ម្រេចខ្មៅ (Black Pepper Chicken) or you can even call it Caramelized Chicken.

I tried to plan ahead when possible so that I can pull the meat out to defrost and marinade to the full extent which was what I did with these chicken pieces. This is a very quick and easy dish to put together. I had to wait for my rice cooker to switch to warm before I began cooking. It doesn’t take long to cook so you don’t want the stir-fried to be waiting on the rice. It should be vice versa.


Stir-Fried Black Pepper Chicken
(Cha Mon Marich Kmao) ឆារម៉ាន់ម្រេចខ្មៅ

1 lb chicken thigh, skinless & boneless, cut into bite size pieces
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
cilantro sprigs for garnish

Marinade for chicken
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (sweet)
½ teaspoon tapioca flour (or corn flour)

Combine ingredients for marinade and add to chicken pieces. Marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Use a mortar & pestle and lightly pound the whole black peppercorn. It should be coarse.

In a hot pan add the marinated chicken pieces. Spread them out evenly and allow to caramelized for about 3 minutes before moving it around. Cook until chicken pieces are cooked. The sauce will start to thickens.

Toss in coarse peppercorns and stir to coat with chicken pieces. Add onion wedges and stir it around so it picks up all the yummy sauces on the pan. Continue to cook until the onions are soft but not mushy. You still want a little bit of crunch on them.

Dish out when ready. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with hot steamy rice. ENJOY!

Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Greens with Roasted Pork Belly

As mentioned in my previous Chinese Roasted Pork Belly with Crackling post I anticipated left-overs for another (one of my experimental) dish. While enjoying the roasted pork belly out of the oven with hot steamy rice my mind was already brainstorming another dish. That evening I also made Sichuan popular Fish Soup with Pickled Mustard Greens (which I will share in the future once I get the perfect balance) so as I looked to dishes on table it crossed my mind. How about joining some of the ingredients from the two dishes? I finally locate the Sichuan peppercorns at my local Asian supermarket. I am so addicted to that spicy, numbing, tingling taste right now and so very eager to put it to the test in my Cha Jruk Spey Sach Jrook Kwai ឆារជ្រក់ស្ពៃសាច់ជ្រូកខ្វៃ​ (Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Greens with Roasted Pork). 😛

Since the pickled mustard greens and roasted pork belly are loaded with flavors already it was important to try to balance them out and join them by not having to add additional salt. Spicy was the flavor that I used to bring these two together. I was pleased with the outcome. I believe my use of the Sichuan peppercorn was spot on in this stir-fried dish.

2-3 cups sliced pickled mustard greens
sliced Chinese crackling roasted pork belly
½ tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon full roasted chili
julienne red jalapeños for garnish

In a hot pan reheat the sliced pork belly by laying them down evenly. This will not only reheat the meat but add a little crunch and make it crispy again. Flip it once then remove and set aside. Use the fat that was left behind and add minced garlic, roasted chili and Sichuan peppercorn. Fry until fragrant. You might want to turn on the fan at this point. You will be able to tell when your nose starts to tickle and you feel like sneezing.

Add pickled mustard greens and stir to coat with the rest of the other ingredients. Cook another 2 minute before adding back the roasted pork belly. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar and then stir again to combine.

To serve, dish it out and garnish with some julienne red jalapeños. Serve with steamed rice.

Stuffed Chicken Wings

Why haven’t I tried making this before? I’ve ordered Stuffed Chicken Wing (Slab Mon Baok) ស្លាបម៉ាន់បោក many times at a Thai restaurant but I find them too sweet for my taste buds. And now after making this, it’s not as difficult as it sounds, especially if using medium-sized wings. The large ones with well-developed sinews might require more effort. Actually to de-bone the wings doesn’t take long at all – with a small, sharp, pointed knife used. The time consuming part was trying to remove some of the chicken meat so you can make a bigger room for the stuffing. This is optional. The chicken meat can be chopped and added back as a stuffing. If you are not going to use the chicken meat then adjust mixture accordingly. The pocket to stuff will differ in size.

I am using the grilling method but you can also deep fry these wings. To do so you will have to take it another step. Steam it over boiling water for 6-7 minutes, then leave to cool. Dust them with rice flour, deep-fry in hot oil and drain on paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

From now on I’m not going to order them anymore. I like my Cambodian version with Kroeung than the sweet kind they serve at Thai restaurants.

Stuffed Chicken Wings
(Slab Mon Baok) ស្លាបម៉ាន់បោក

12 chicken wings
12 toothpicks or 6 skewers (optional)

½ mung bean noodles (glass noodles), soak in warm water until soften
3 tablespoons ground pork
2 tablespoons chicken meat from wings, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
3 tablespoons kroeung
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts

Grill seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crush red pepper

Cut the chicken wings at the first joint and keep the top joint for another dish. To remove the two bones in the wing, place the point of a knife between them and run the knife around the top of each bone. Push the flesh down and off the bone and carefully twist each bone out. Try to pull as much as meat out from the sides on the skin. Set them aside.

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Fill the boned section of the wings with 1-2 teaspoons of filling in each. Try not to overfill or they might burst when cooking. You can secure the tops with a toothpick or thread a couple wings on a skewer. Repeat this step until all the wings has been stuffed.

Next dust the grilled seasoning on both sides of the wing. Place it on a grill and cook until brown. Remove toothpicks/skewers. Stuffed wings can be served as an appetizer or as a meal with steamed rice and pickled things.

Banh Xeo/Banh Cheo Puff

Banh Xeo Puff
Banh Xeo Puff

My garden is filled with fresh herbs this time of year so I have been planning dishes around them. Google around and came across great food photos of Banh Xeo (Banh Cheo) which is a Cambodian adaptation of the Vietnamese pancake/crepe with fillings and eaten with assorted fresh herbs, wrapped in lettuce and dipped into fish sauce. B-I-N-G-O! I haven’t made Banh Xeo in a long time, I believe since last summer, so now is a perfect time. However, I recently got my new Pancake Puff Pan (at Walgreens for $19.99) for something I want to try and make in the future so why not put the pan to the test today and make it a Banh Xeo Puff ​​បាញ់ឆែវក្នុងអំបែង?

It turns out that we love Banh Xeo made this way. Why? Because it’s very easy to make and eat. As you can see from the picture, each Banh Xeo puff is just the perfect bite size for the lettuce and herb wrap. Not messy at all. However, due to it’s size I wasn’t able to add fresh bean sprout like I would if I were to make it the traditional way which is on a flat pan fold in half like a crescent. I took a little shortcut by purchasing the already prepared Banh Xeo flour which has rice flour, turmeric powder and salt. You just have to add water, coconut milk and chopped green onions. Simple huh? :) This is just another fun way to enjoy Banh Xeo. My recipe and steps here is pretty much similar to the traditional way of making Banh Xeo for those who would like to try it out.



6 oz prepared banh xeo flour
1 small can 5.6 fl oz coconut milk
3 stalk green onion (scallion), green portion only
1 3/4 cup water
oil for coating

½ lb ground pork or chicken
¼ onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
20-25 shrimp, peeled and devein

Dip with fish sauce (see recipe)

Wrap with fresh lettuce, slice cucumber, fresh herbs such as spearmint, Asian mint, cilantro, basil, or fishwort.

Combine all ingredients in the batter and mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Make the filling. In a hot pan cook the ground pork until brown. Add chopped onion along with sugar and fish sauce. Combine and allow liquid to evaporate. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To make Banh Xeo, heat your puff/pan and coat with oil. Tip: Use a brush or a paper towel wrapped around a chop stick. Test with a drop of batter. If it sizzle then it’s ready. Add a small amount of batter in puff/pan. You might want to lower the heat so it doesn’t burn as the batter cooks pretty fast. If using a pan, you want to tilt it around so they spread evenly and thinly. If using a puff pan, fill about 3/4 of the way. Top the batter with the filling and add shrimp (put the filling on just one side if using a regular pan) . Use a lid and cover the puff/pan. Wait about 2-3 minutes depending on how thin/thick your batter is. For the puff, use a skewer to remove it, but for the pan just fold the other half creating a crescent shape. Transfer to a serving plate.

Serve with fresh herbs and vegetables like cucumbers with fish sauce for dipping on the side.

Dry Caramelized Pork

Dry Caramelized Pork

Dry Caramelized Pork

Last time when I made Caramelized Pork with Quail Eggs I was pleased with the results. I wanted to try something different this time by making a dry version of Caramelized Pork ខរសាច់ជ្រូកស្ងួត (Kaw Sach Jrook Sngout) and without the eggs.

I recall that my Mother used to make this dry version for a family friend after she had her baby. She went heavy on the ginger due to it’s health benefits. Excerpt from Helium “In Chinese culture the use of ginger is extensive, especially during a woman’s confinement period after birth. The Chinese believe that ginger helps to warm and prevent wind from entering the mother’s body. They believe that the pores open up after birth and so her food is prepared with a lot of ginger.” In addition to ginger, my Mother also add lots and lots of black pepper. Instead of steam rice, she serve it with thick rice porridge. I love it so much! Since then I don’t think my Mother ever make it again because other members in my family can’t handle the heat 😀 I then began to wish for someone she knows to give birth so my Mother can make it for me again. It never happen. :( So here is my take on trying to re-create my Mother’s Dry Caramelized Pork.

Note: Go easy on the spice if you can’t handle the heat.


½ lb pork, sliced about ¼ in thick (you can also use spareribs or other cuts)
1 small shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons ground black pepper (more or less adjust to your taste)
1 large stalk green onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Shaoxing Chinese wine

Marinade sliced pork with shallots, garlic, ginger, ground black pepper and fish sauce. The longer you marinate the better. It is best to marinate in the fridge overnight.

Heat a pan/wok to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon water along with sugar. The water should coat the sugar. Stir until the sugar is mix and dissolves then it will start to caramelized. It takes about 5 minutes or so. Add marinade sliced pork and stir to coat evenly.

Once pork is coated add Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine, sesame oil and green onion. Toss well and simmer until pork have absorbed most of the liquid. Adjust seasoning before turning off the heat. Garnish with some green onions and serve with steam rice.

Cambodian Style Chow Fun

Cambodian Style Chow Fun | Mee Ka-Tang

Cambodian Style Chow Fun | Mee Ka-Tang

Known in Cambodian as មីកាតាំង (Mee Ka-tang) it is one of my favorite noodle dish. OMG, my mouth still watering even though I just had a big plate. 😀 I don’t want to kill my appetite by making another one right away so I’m just going let my cravings ride for awhile LOL.

I have made Mee Katang many times but with dried wide noodles. The taste was good until I got my hands on the fresh noodles yesterday (only 99 cent for a packet serves 2-3 people). It was G-O-O-D to the power of 10!!! :mrgreen: I’ve also made this with seafood, chicken and pork in the past and I think that they are unique and equally delicious. Some people like their Mee Katang wet while other like it dry. I like mine in between. :)

While you can cook everything in one pan, I find that cooking it separately is much better in that you can control how wet and dry you want your Mee Katang to be. I also like to add extra Chinese broccoli just because it’s one of my favorite vegetable. I did not do exact measurement so what I am listing here are estimates and should be serve as a guide. Adjust the amount according to your taste.

Mee Ka-Tang Ingredients

Mee Ka-Tang Ingredients

1 tray fresh wide rice noodle (or dried)
choice of meat (chicken, beef, pork or seafood)
2 eggs
6-7 stalks of Chinese broccoli aka gai lan, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 small carrot, sliced
4-5 garlic, minced
½ cup of chicken stock
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
3 tablespoons maggi seasoning
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons oyster sauce

Start off by scrambling the two eggs and set aside.

Scramble Eggs

Take about 2 tablespoons of maggi seasoning and coat the fresh noodle. If using dried noodles first soak the noodles in warm water for 30 minutes then rinse in cold water. Add noodles to a pot of boiling water and boil for 1 minute, then rinse in cold water again, then coat with maggi seasoning.

Wide Rice Noodle

Toss your choice of meat with 1 tablespoon tapioca starch and 1 tablespoon maggi seasoning. Marinade with 5-10 minutes.

Fry the noodle in a non-stick pan (add oil if necessary) until golden brown. Remove it and keep warm.

Saute garlic in oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the meat and saute until cooked. Add 1/4 cups chicken stock. When stock starts to boil, add carrots, Chinese broccoli and season with oyster sauce and sugar. Stir well and let cook a bit longer. Mix remaining tapioca flour separately with the remaining 1/4 cup chicken stock, then stir in with the meat & Chinese broccoli until it thickens. Taste and adjust accordingly.

To serve, spoon the gravy over the noodles and top with scramble eggs.

Note: If you prefer a more wet gravy, add more chicken stock.

Cambodian Stir-Fried Lemongrass Chicken

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken

Yesterday I mentioned about my Mother making some Cambodian Lemongrass Paste (Kroeung) for me (available for sale here). Today I used this Kroeung to make a tasty Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken ឆាគ្រឿងសាច់ម៉ាន់ (Cha Kroeung Sach Mon). I am making this with a bit of variation. For example the real Cha Kroeung uses Holy Basil ម្រះព្រៅ (Maress Prov). I only have Thai Basil and Sweet Basil growing in my garden this year so that’s what I’m using. I don’t know about others but I normally make this with ground meat as I feel that the flavors really penetrates through the ground meat more. But as you can see in the picture I did not ground my chicken. I was in a hurry. :mrgreen: The jalapenos and onion are also optional. You can substitute bell peppers or leave them out completely if you don’t like them. Also to truly make it authentic Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken add some pahok sauce to it. You don’t have to if you don’t like the taste or smell of pahok sauce.

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients

2 chicken breast, cut into bite size
6 jalapenos, slice into long sticks (remove seeds – optional)
1 medium onion, slice
1 cup of Cambodian Lemongrass Paste
1 cup basil leaves
4 tablespoons pahok sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar
3-4 tablespoon fish sauce (adjust to taste)

Bring a pan to med-high heat and add the chicken. Cook chicken thoroughly then remove and set aside.

Next in the same pan, add the lemongrass paste and fry until fragrant. (You can also just add it to the cook chicken but I like to fry the paste just to release the flavor and allow the moisture from the past to evaporate. It’s totally a personal preference). Once the paste is fragrant, return the chicken and combine it together.

Next add the pahok sauce if using. Followed with jalapenos and onions then sugar and fish sauce. Combine all ingredients together and adjust to taste.

Finally, turn the heat off and add the basil leaves. It will wilt once you mix it in. Plate it up and serve with steam rice.

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