Archive for the ‘Soup & Salad’ Category

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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!

Vietnamese-Style Sour Soup with Shrimp

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

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

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

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

Video Tutorial:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cambodian Green Mango Salad with Dried Shrimp

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

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

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

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

Video Tutorial:

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

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

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

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

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

Cambodian Lime-Marinated Beef Salad

Here is another Classic Cambodian dish that is popular among Cambodian household. Marinated beef is tossed with fresh herbs and different vegetables. Chopped peanuts provide that extra nutty crunchy taste. My addition of jalapeños added a nice kick to every bite. It does look a bit similar to the Thai Style Larb with Beef. The addition of Pahok juice makes this distinctively Cambodian, but it’s optional.

What prompted me to make this dish was the beautiful bright red radishes that were on sale this week at the market. I’ve never worked with these beautiful things before but I bought it anyways because it was only .50 cent per bunch. Then I remembered that my Mother had use it in several of her salad recipes. I went to my cookbook collection and settled with The Elephant Walk Cookbook.

As I flipped through The Elephant Walk Cookbook I came across the recipe for Lime-Marinated Beef with Bean Sprouts and Mint. Author Longteine De Monteiro & Katherine Neustadt stated in the book “I fear that this recipe has been lost to the younger generation, and I would like to help restore it.” Her message did get across to me. My recipe is adapt loosely from this cookbook. I added a few additional ingredients, tweaked the measurements to fit my taste and also adjust my method of cooking the raw beef.

To be honest this was my very first time making it on my own plus eating this classic dish even though my Mother made had made it several times when I grew up. Mostly for my Father and his friends when they come over to practice traditional music for Cambodian weddings. This was way back in the late 80s. Now the gathering are smaller and less often. Perhaps it’s because the thought of eating raw beef doesn’t sound appealing to us kids even when we were told that it is technically cooked once it’s been cut into paper thin slice and marinated in lime juice. Still, we shook our heads and turned away. Instead we made fried eggs and poured soy seasoning sauce on top to go with our hot steamy rice. Which is what I did (again) as a back-up plan when I made this.

I was hesitant to taste my salad at first even when I used a different cooking method. But after a bite with my eyes tightly close, man oh man, it was G-O-O-D. Now I wish I had done it a long time. This dish is fairly easy to make and most of the cooking time goes to prepping. IMO, the meat can be prepared in many ways. You can grill it before making the salad or pan fry it after marinating. It’s is totally up to you. That is one of the perks of cooking your own dish.

Cambodian Lime-Marinated Beef Salad (makes 2-3 servings)
(Plear Sachko) ភ្លាសាច់គោ
adapt from The Elephant Walk Cookbook

Video Tutorial:

½ cup lime juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon small stalk lemongrass, very thinly sliced
½ tablespoon finely chopped garlic
½ lb boneless top round, sliced as thinly as possible against the grain
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Pahok juice (optional)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
3 radishes, skin slightly peeled and thinly sliced
1 jalapeños, thinly sliced (optional)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons peanuts, roasted and coarsely chopped

Partly freeze the beef to make it a bit firm. This will enable easy handling and ease of thinly slicing the beef.

Combine half of the lime juice with 1 tablespoons of sugar, the lemongrass and half of the garlic in a medium bowl. Mix well, then add the beef, tossing to coat evenly, and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the fish sauce, water, Pahok juice (if using) and the remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix until the sugar dissolves completely, then add the remaining lime juice, shallots, and the remaining garlic. Set aside.

Drain the beef, pressing gently with your hands to remove as much liquid as possible. At this point, you can either proceed with the next step, or like me, take it another step forward by bringing about 4 cups of water to a rolling boil and then add the beef to cook for just one minute. Remove and strain. Allow it to cool to the touch and press it gently to remove excess liquid.

Return the beef to the mixing bowl and add sliced radish, jalapenos, bean sprouts, mint, basil and half the chopped peanuts. Toss well. Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish the salad with sprinkles of peanut and serve.

Cambodian Beef Noodle Soup

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I’m back. :) Did anybody miss me? I know I’ve been bad. :( I haven’t post anything in over a month! This is the longest it’s been idle since I revamp my website. Blame it on the shopping season which made me wander around different stores almost daily catching deals. Or was it the cold weather which forbidden me from going into the kitchen because my fingers are cold and I don’t feel like cooking. Well, whatever it is I am here now. 😛 Wishing my readers a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and happy New Year.

It’s officially winter and my tush is freezing! A few weeks ago we had the chill advisory and now there is a snow storm in many parts of the US. This kind of weather makes me crave for hot soup like noodles or Yao Hon (Cambodian style hot pot). My Mother and sister will be preparing Yao Hon for our family Christmas dinner but had also asked me to make and bring some Roast Pork with Crackling. I’ve made it for them a couple of times and most recently during this past Thanksgiving, I guess it was a hit. :) So, Yao Hon this Friday but for now I wanted something to keep me nice and toasty like this hot, steamy and scrumptious Cambodian Beef Noodle Soup (Kuy Teav Sach Ko Khmer) គុយទាវសាច់គោខ្មែរ.

I call it Cambodian Beef Noodle Soup because I see and taste some difference if compared to the infamous Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup known as “Pho”. I admit that I have never made Vietnamese Pho before but have ate it numerous time. I don’t know what types of ingredients goes into making Pho but IMHO I do find the taste to be powerful, not in a bad way, but it’s like the spices used sort of dominate the broth rather than the flavors of from the beef. Growing up my Mother use very simple ingredients to make the broth and the key was to simmer for long hours so that the flavors from the beef bones are extracted and the meats become tender and juicy. Perhaps this is the same way Pho broth is made but I’m just saying that the amount of spices used in Cambodian Beef Noodle Soup is less than those used in Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup. If anybody else notice any differences or similarities within these two noodle broth, please do share.

Awhile back I picked up a double pack of ox tail (about 3.5 lbs each) at Costco. The first packaged was used to make Beef Soup/Stew with Potatoes and Carrots and the second was tucked back in the freezer. You can use almost any types of beef bones. A great broth must be monitored by skimming off the frothy scum that rises to the top. To reduce the amount of these frothy scum, you might want to pre-boil the bones with about 8 cups of water. Discard the liquid and rinse the pre-boiled beef bones then continue with the process below.

Cambodian Beef Noodle Soup (makes 4 servings)
(Kuy Teav Sach Ko Khmer) គុយទាវសាច់គោខ្មែរ

12 cups of water
3 lbs of oxtail or other beef bones
5 beef bouillon cube
1 ½ lbs fresh rice noodles (if using dried noodles pre-soak in warm water for 30 minutes)
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered

Spices (add to tea/herb mesh ball)
1 star anise
½ tablespoon whole black peppercorn
½ tablespoon corriander seeds
5 cloves garlic, skin peeled and lightly mashed
2 inches of ginger, peeled and slice
1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
½ tablespoon dark soy sauce

Ideas for toppings/condiments
thinly sliced round-eye beef
thinly sliced sweet onions
beef balls
hoisin sauce
siracha chili sauce
pickled jalapeños (see my recipe)
mung bean sprouts
cilantro leaves
lime juice

Bring 12 cups of water to a boil and add ox tail (or beef bones). Bring it to a boil again and add 5 beef bouillon cube, quartered onions and spices in the mesh ball followed by all the seasonings. Let it boil for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to low and simmer cover for as long as you can go, preferably 2.5 hrs or more. Check once in awhile and skim off the frothy scum that might of rise to the top. If you want to reduce the fat content you can make the stock a day ahead and refrigerate it. By the next morning the fat will harden and rise to the top. This will make it easier to scoop out with a spoon. Discard the bones and remove the mesh ball. You can also strain it for a more liquid-y broth. But be sure to reserve any meat for toppings. Allow the broth to come to a rolling boil before serving.

When you are ready to assemble your noodle bowls, bring about 8 cups of water to a boil. (Strain) Separate noodles into 4 servings. Cook noodles in a strainer in boiling water until soften about 1-2 minutes. Empty the noodles (straining all the liquid back into the pot) into serving bowl.

It is now ready to assemble. Add additional toppings of your choice. The meat such as thinly sliced beef should be lay on the top of the noodles. Most meatballs comes pre-cook so you can just throw it in the hot broth to warm it up. Ladle about 2 cups broth into each bowl, distributing the hot broth evenly to cook and warm all the ingredients. Serve immediately with garnishes and your choice of condiments.

Cambodian Sour Soup with Coconut Milk & Pineapple

Totally un-related to this post but I had just signed up with Twitter yesterday. If anybody is interested in my sudden burp, thoughts and rambling :) you can follow me.

Now, let’s get back to cooking. Here is another recipe that I adapt from The Elephant Walk Cookbook. I haven’t had this in a very long time, like more than 10 years! I think one of the reason was because I was too lazy to make my own Khmer Kroeung. :mrgreen: Thanks to my Mother I now have an endless supply of Khmer Kroeung.

This soup gives off a very fragrant aroma when cooked and very rich and flavorful. One might refer to this soup as Pineapple Curry due to the use of coconut milk. But the resulting taste is more on the sour and spicy side. The Kroeung along with the pungent pahok (pickle-fish) and shrimp paste helped balance the sweetness from the coconut milk and pineapple. Serve it up with lots of hot steamy rice. It is delicious! When the coconut milk was first combined with the Kroeung it reminded me of the broth used to ladle over Cambodian fresh noodles topped with assorted vegetables known as Num Baingjok.

Cambodian Sour Soup with Coconut Milk & Pineapple
(Somlaw Machew Ktiss Manoss) សម្លរម្ចូរខ្ទៈម្នាស់
adapt from The Elephant Walk Cookbook

1-1.5 lb pork (shoulder, butt, spare ribs), cut into fairly large chunks
1 cup coconut milk unsweetened
2 cups water
1 can (16 oz) pineapple chunks in natural juices
½ cup Khmer Kroeung (lemongrass paste)
1 teaspoon pahok (pickle-fish), grounded
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind soup base (powder)
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
red chili to garnish (optional)

Heat a pot and add ½ cup coconut milk. Stir and cook until the oil starts to separate. Add Khmer Kroeung, stir often until the flavors are release. The aroma is heavenly!

Add meat along with sugar, fish sauce, shrimp paste and pahok. Cook for 5 minute.

Add the remainder coconut milk, water and tamarind soup base (powder). Give it a quick stir to incorporate them together and bring to a boil. Cover partly and simmer on medium for about 30-45 minutes until the meats are tender.

About 15 minutes before it is done add the pineapple chunks and torn kaffir lime leaves.

Garnish with chili and serve hot with lots of steamed rice.

Beef Soup|Stew with Potatoes & Carrots

This is my take on Beef Soup/Stew with Potatoes and Carrots ​(Soup Ko Domlong & Karot) ស្ងោរស៊ុបគោដំលូងនឹងក៉ារត់. I’m making it the Asian style with spices like coriander seeds, whole peppercorn, ginger, garlic and fish sauce. If you prefer a stew (thick) consistency, decrease the amount of water to about 8-9 cups. I prefer a soup (more liquid) consistency as it usually takes several servings before I finish the pot. During the reheating process the liquid tends to evaporate a little bit.

The rich taste of long-simmered, fork tender beef in the last hour of cooking make this soup/stew hearty and extra delicious! This soup/stew can be enjoyed as a main dish with some toasty bread or as part of a meal with steamed rice. You can even add some rice noodles and turn it into a hearty beef noodle soup. :)

Tip: Use a tea/herb mesh ball (can be purchase at Walmart for about $2), to catch all the little spices so you don’t have to dig it out later.

Beef Soup|Stew with Potatoes & Carrots
(Soup Ko Domlong & Karot) ស្ងោរស៊ុបគោដំលូងនឹងក៉ារត់

2 lbs beef short ribs, trim excess fat and discard if any
10 cups water
2 tablespoons oil
2 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 red potatoes, cut into big chunks
1 small onion, cut in half
1 beef bouillon cube
cilantro sprigs to garnish

Spices (add to tea/herb mesh ball)
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 inch piece ginger

2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

Heat a heavy pan with oil and and beef. Sear each side 2-3 minutes. Transfer seared meat to a large pot and add 10 cups of water and bring it to a boil.

Add potatoes, carrots, onions and the tea/herb mesh ball (containing spices). Bring them all to a rolling boil again then cover and simmer for 2 hours or more. The longer you simmer the tender the beef gets. However if you wish to simmer for longer than 2 hours then do not add the carrots and potatoes until half way into the simmer as you don’t want the vegetables to get all soft and mushy.

About 10 minutes before serving add seasonings. To serve ladle to a bowl and garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Radish|Daikon Soup

I notice that I have not been eating my greens as I am suppose to lately. Bad bad me, I know. I guess I’m just very picky on the types of vegetables and what dishes it goes into.

Growing up I never like radish aka daikon. I didn’t like the smell nor the taste. Turned away when my Mother make soups out of it. Pick it off when she use them to make pickle things. However, as you might have notice, I really like it in my pickled carrots and daikon. Maybe it’s an acquire taste and smell? Or perhaps my taste buds changed over time. Nevertheless, I made an attempt to make and eat my radish soup (Sngor Chai Thao) ស្ងោរឆែថាវ. I never thought I would say this but “I <3 radish soup”. It very light and refreshing and it makes me feel healthy and I sip the tasty broth.

The longer you simmer, the tender the meat gets. The radish also becomes nice and soft but not mushy (only if you prefer it that way) . If you don’t have time to make the stock, you can use small cut of meat and add stock cube (pork or chicken) to help flavor the broth. It’s a very easy soup to put together. The soup can be enjoyed as is or with steamed rice with a full meal.

1.5 lbs pork neck bones with meat attached
6 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic
½ onion, peeled and cut in half again
½ lb radish/daikon, cut into bite size pieces
1.5 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
cilantro & chili for garnishing

Wash meat thoroughly and drain well. This next step is optional but I usually take the time to pre-boil the meat to remove those gunk and residue from the bone giving me a nice clear and delicious broth. Bring a big pot of water to boil and add the meat. Boil for about 5-10 minutes and then discard the liquid and rinse the meat again.

Rinse your pot to remove any residue on the sides and add 6 cups of water. Wait til it boils and then return the meat. Allow it to come to a blasting boil and then cover and simmer low for 1-2 hours. The longer you simmer, the tender the meat gets. Also I find that the broth is much more tasty as all the juices and flavors are extracted from bones. You can prepare this stock in advance and refrigerate it. Reheat when it’s time to prepare the soup. If there’s any visible fat you want to remove it would a lot easier to do so resulting in a nutritious and healthier soup.

Prepare the soup by adding cut radish to the stock when it boils. Allow radish to cook until soft to your liking. If you are not in a hurry you can cover and simmer it for about 30 minutes but check every now and then making sure it doesn’t get too soft or break apart. Once you are satisfy with the texture of the cooked radish, go ahead and add the sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce.

To serve, ladle to a bowl and garnish with some chopped cilantro and chili. You can also serve it directly on top of steamed rice for a delicious one bowl rice soup.

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