Archive for the ‘Soup & Salad’ Category

Simple Green Mango Salad

I went grocery shopping this past weekend and when I saw green mangoes on sale for $1.99 lb, regular $2.99 lb, I got a bit carried away and purchased about 10 lbs worth (5 mangoes). πŸ˜€ Perhaps they got a new shipment or something because normally there aren’t many selections. On Friday I stopped by my parents’ house and brought back with me lots of goodies πŸ˜› (like always) one being my Mother’s homemade salty sun-dried fish. It will be tasty when I pair it with my very easy to make green mango salad (Bok Swaiy) αž”αž»αž€αžŸαŸ’αžœαžΆαž™. This salad is also very good eaten with plain (unsalted/not marinade) steamed or grilled fish.

Note: If possible, try to buy the green mango in the vegetable section of the Asian Supermarket. The skin will have light green to dark green color and the flesh will be white (like in the picture below). 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. I am also using my already prepared fish sauce that I made and stored in the fridge. You can just use the same ingredients and adjust to your taste.

Simple Green Mango Salad
(Bok Swaiy) αž”αž»αž€αžŸαŸ’αžœαžΆαž™

Ingredients
1 green mango, peel removed and julienne/shred
4-5 bird’s eye chili (optional)
3-4 cloves of garlic, skin removed
1 tablespoon prepared fish sauce

Method:
In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic and chilies. Add Β½ of the shredded green mango followed by the prepared fish sauce. Continue pounding using a spoon or fork to rotate it around. Add the remaining green mango and lightly pound to combine. Scoop out and serve with your choice of cooked meats and steamed rice.

Phnom Penh Noodle Shortcut

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

I have been craving for noodle soup pretty often lately, particularly Cambodian or Thai noodle soup. And what’s widely available in my area is the infamous Vietnamese Pho grrrr. There’s something in the Pho broth that bugs me. Perhaps it’s the heavy spice they use like the star anise and cloves. Whatever it is I am not a fan of Pho. I usually just settle for the Chicken Noodle or Seafood Noodle when I order because it uses a different type of broth.

I wasn’t born in Cambodia and when I had a chance to go visit I’ve only spent like a little over a week in Phnom Penh. My time exploring with food was pretty limited. I ate a lot of fish. You can see the types of fish dish Cambodia has to offer by viewing my video I made about the FOOD of CAMBODIA. Although my time was short my memory of the dishes lives on especially the Ground Pork Noodle Soup I had on my way to visit some relatives in Banteay Mean Chey province. The noodle shop is situated along Cambodia’s national road #5 in Battambang province right at the footstep on your way up to Phnom Thom temple. That noodle soup was THE BOMB! Perhaps it was the loaded fresh ground pork that made all the difference. A noodle soup that is close to this would be the famous Phnom Penh Noodle Soup which consist of not only ground pork but also pork, garlic and shallots. There’s a Khmer restaurant called Mitapheap in Stockton, CA that serves pretty good Phnom Penh Noodle. My family in Stockton goes there often and I usually join them when ever I’m in town.

Because I don’t want to drive hours just to have my bowl of Phnom Penh Noodle Soup and because I don’t feel like preparing the broth for hours, I think I’ve found a quick and easy remedy to this. I’m calling it the Phnom Penh Noodle Soup Shortcut αž‚αž»αž™αž‘αžΆαžœαž—αŸ’αž“αŸ†αž–αŸαž‰αž•αŸ’αž›αžΌαžœαž€αžΆαžαŸ‹ because not only was it effortless (at least for me) to put together but I felt that the taste was sort of similar to the those rich flavors of a broth that has been simmer for hours. In my shortcut version here the broth was flavored with chopped onions and a little help from chicken bullion in addition to ground pork, sugar and fish sauce. I also added slice pork, shrimp and cuttlefish. My condiments include fried garlic, lime juice, my home made pickled jalapeΓ±os and hoisin sauce. Feel free to create your own topping and condiments. Do try my recipe and let me know what you think of it.

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup Ingredients

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup Ingredients

Ingredients
4 cups of water
ΒΌ onion, chopped
3 tablespoons ground pork
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Β½ chicken or pork bullion
6 oz dried rice stick, pre-soak in warm water for 30 minutes

Ideas for toppings/condiments
slice pork
shrimp
cuttlefish or pork/shrimp/fish balls
fried garlic/shallots
hoisin sauce
siracha chili sauce
pickled jalapeΓ±os (see my recipe)
mung bean sprouts
cilantro
lime juice

Method:
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the ground pork breaking it up as you put it into the pot. Once the broth returns to a boil add the chopped onion followed by chicken bullion. Stir to dissolve. Add sugar and fish sauce then simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile in another pot bring about 8 cups of water to a boil. .Strain the pre-soak noodles and separate the noodles into 2 servings. Cook 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 slice pork or seafood should be cook it in the broth. This will add another layer of flavor to the broth. It can also be prepared ahead of time and refrigerate until you are ready to use it. Ladle about 2 cups broth into each bowl, distributing the hot broth evenly to warm all the ingredients. Serve immediately with garnishes and your choice of condiments.

Marinated Beef with Lime Sauce aka Loc Lak

Marinated Beef with Lime Sauce aka Loc Lak

Marinated Beef with Lime Sauce aka Loc Lak

A beautiful dish that is simple to make.Β  Can be served as a salad or as a meal with rice. I read somewhere that Beef Loc Lak αž‘αž»αž€αž‘αžΆαž€αŸ‹αžŸαžΆαž…αŸ‹αž‚αŸ„ was introduce to Cambodia by the Vietnamese. Due to it’s close proximity the two countries has a lot of cultural and cuisine exchanges. Although each country has it’s own variation depending on the regions, both countries refer to it with the same name “Loc Lak”. I’m not going to go into details about the origin or history of this dish. If you like to read more, you can go to Phnomenon post about this subject. All that matters to me is that the dish taste good. :)

Don’t get discourage by the lengthy list of ingredients. It’s all in the preparation. The cooking time goes by very quick.

Ingredients

Beef Marinade
1 lb beef cut into 1 inch cube – I like to use the cross rib steak as I find it tender and juicy
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Β½ tablespoon fish sauce
Β½ tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

Vinaigrette
ΒΌ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Lime Sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crush red pepper (optional)

1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 head of leaf lettuce, separated into leaves
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced

Cooking oil for frying

Other additions include: hard boil eggs, hard boil quail eggs, slice cucumbers, watercress, and water spinach

Method:
First make the marinade by combining the ingredients in a bowl. Add the beef and stir to coat. Set aside for about 30 minutes. If longer than 30 minutes then marinate in the fridge.

Slice onions and add it to the vinaigrette. Allow that to lightly pickle for 5-10 minutes.

Make the lime sauce and set aside.

While those are going prepare the bed of lettuce on a serving platter. Add slice tomatoes and onions along with vinaigrette when ready.

Heat a pan with oil and wait until the oil starts to smoke. Add the cube marinaded beef carefully not to overcrowd them. Wait a couple of minutes for the beef to sear before you start to move them. Do the same on all sides. Pan sear them in batches if you have to. Cook the beef to your perfection. Once done transfer them on top of the vegetable platter.

Serve with lime & salt dip on the side. This dish can be served as a salad or with some steam rice for a complete meal.

I sometime like to make lettuce wrap by taking the tender chunks of beef and wrapped in lettuce leaves then dipped in the piquant lime sauce. This requires your finger. If you don’t want to use your hands then you can chop the lettuce into bite size before making a bed.

Stuffed Tomatoes Soup

Stuffed Tomatoes Soup with Pork

Stuffed Tomatoes Soup with Pork

Tomatoes in my garden are growing pretty wild now as it’s almost the end of season. I’ve been planning my recipes around the tomatoes πŸ˜€ and yesterday I decided to revisit an old recipe that use these tomatoes. Stuffed tomatoes soup with ground pork αžŸαŸŠαž»αž”αž”αŸ‰αŸαž„αž”αŸ‰αŸ„αŸ‡αž‰αžΆαžαŸ‹αžŸαžΆαž…αŸ‹αž‡αŸ’αžšαžΌαž€ is very light and delicious! I could actually eat this with a piece of toast. It would make a nice lunch too but I had it during dinner so it went well with my hot steamed rice.

Organic Tomatoes from my Garden

Organic Tomatoes from my Garden

Ingredients
5 slightly under ripe, firm tomatoes (so they don’t fall apart when cooked)
3/4 lb ground pork
1-2 scallions (green onions) white parts only, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro stems or the green portion of the scallions
Β½ teaspoon ground black or white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (14oz) chicken stock
Β½ cup of water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tbs oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Method:
Clean the tomatoes and cut the top off (reserve for garnish or discard). Using a pairing knife and a small spoon such as a teaspoon to scoop out the tomatoes flesh. Reserve about 2 tablespoon of the chopped flesh. Reserve the rest for some other dish or discard it. :) Rinse and turn the tomatoes upside down and set on a paper towel to drain.

Hollowed Out Tomatoes

Hollowed Out Tomatoes

While tomatoes are draining prepare the stuffing. In a bowl mix together the pork, scallions, sugar, salt, pepper along with the chopped tomato flesh and set aside.

Stuff the tomatoes with the pork mixture. Start by pressing the filling all around the inside of the tomatoes first. This will help the tomatoes keep it’s shape when cooking. Then add fillings to the middle.

Heat oil in a pan and brown the garlic until golden brown. Be careful not to burn it. Remove and drain on paper towel. In the same pan add the stuffed tomatoes with the filling down. This helps to seal the stuffing so that they do not spill over when they are cooking. It only takes a couple of minute.

Next flip the tomatoes back in it’s upward position and add water and chicken stock. If there is too much oil remaining in the pan, you can pour it out first before adding the liquid. Bring it to a boil and add sugar and fish sauce. Then simmer covered on low for about 5-10 minutes. This will allow the fillings to cook thoroughly and by keeping the heat low you will also keep the tomatoes in it’s shape.

Before turning off the heat taste the broth and adjust accordingly. To serve ladle to a soup bowl/plate and add fried garlic. Garnish with scallions or cilantro sprigs.

Cambodian Style Hot Pot

Cambodian (Khmer) Style Hot Pot

Cambodian (Khmer) Style Hot Pot

My family calls it Yao Hon αž™αŸ‰αžΆαžœαž αž“ while others calls it “Chhnang Pleurng​​ αž†αŸ’αž“αžΆαŸ†αž„αž—αŸ’αž›αžΎαž„” which literally means Fire Pot. I think the later one sort of suits more. Matter of fact, I don’t even know how we got the name Yao Hon. If anybody knows, please do share. :) It sound kind of Chinese? ​ Hot pot is great to enjoy in groups as it encourage socializing in an informal setting.

I get my vegetable nutrients the most when having it as a side dish for hot pot. However I am a bit picky when it comes to vegetable selections. There are only a couple that are my “must have” such as Watercress, Cabbage and the latest Chrysanthemum leaves (Tang O or Tang Oh). Anything other than that aren’t necessary but I don’t mind eating either. πŸ˜› As for the meat I am not much of a fan for beef anymore. I think it’s because when ever I decide to make hot pot it’s usually because I want to eat my vegetables so meat is secondary. But it does add another layer of rich flavor to the broth so I usually have it available as well. πŸ˜€ Another item I like to also have is cuttlefish or squid. Hot Pot is also a great way to to clear out your fridge by using up your meats and vegetables. Mind sharing your favorite hot pot side dishes?

It seems like everybody has their own way of making the broth depending on many factors. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way. My version of Yao Hon broth is pretty rich and flavorful not to mention spicy as well. It uses a lot of different spices such as bean curd, BBQ sauce and Satay Sauce. In addition you can also add a combination of water, chicken stock, Coco Rico, or your choice of beer. Yeah you heard me right, I add beer to mine. πŸ˜€ No you won’t get buzz or drunk because the alcohol pretty much evaporates during the cooking process. I made a very big pot of broth because I plan to freeze and enjoy the other half at a later time. Adjust amount accordingly.

Ingredients
1 jar (13 oz) fermented bean curd with or without chili
3 full tablespoons hot & spicy BBQ sauce – Asian Style, look for the tin jar as pictured
4 tablespoons BBQ sauce (the jar specify it’s for Yao Hon), it taste like Satay Sauce
1 can pineapple, drained and cut into bite size
1 can chicken stock (14 oz)
2 can water – use the empty chicken stock can to measure
1 12oz bottle Guinness Beer – substitute with either Coco Rico or other type of clear soda drinks
sugar & fish sauce to taste

Side Dishes: Select your choice of meats & vegetables. Here i have some cabbage, watercress, spinach, chrysanthemum leaves, seafood mix, beef and some left-over grilled chicken from Chinese take-out the night before.

Method:
In a large pot empty the jar of bean curd and break it down to a smooth paste. Once it’s broken, turn on the heat and add the BBQ sauce, satay sauce, chicken stock, water, and the soda. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes and simmer another 7-10 minutes.

Just before you are about to turn off the heat add the pineapple. Season with sugar and fish sauce. I did not provide measurements because the flavor will depends on what type of liquid you are using. For example, if you are using Coco Rico it has a sweetness flavor already so you might want to cut down on adding sugar.

Transfer the broth to your hot pot and wait for it to boil again then start adding your meats and vegetables. Some like to have it with noodles while others like me prefer just plain-o steamed rice. :)

For sanitary purposes it’s best to use a separate utensil to pick up your raw meats.

Have fun and enjoy your Cambodian Style Hot Pot πŸ˜€

Papaya & Mango Salad with Seafood

Papaya & Mango Salad with Seafood

Papaya & Mango Salad with Seafood

This salad was inspired by a dish I had while dining at a restaurant called PhΓ³ AppΓ©tit . I went straight to the grocery store afterward to buy the ingredients and try and make it at home. That evening, I made my first attempt and loved it very much, more than the one I ordered. :)

I’ve made it again recently and here is my take on Green Papaya & Mango Salad with Seafood αž‰αž»αŸ†αžΆαž›αŸ’αž αž»αž„αž“αžΉαž„αžŸαŸ’αžœαžΆαž™αžαŸ’αž…αžΈαž‡αžΆαž˜αž½αž™αž‚αŸ’αžšαžΏαž„αžŸαž˜αž»αž‘αŸ’αžš (Ngorm Lahong & Svay Kjey Jear Muy Kroeung Samot).

Note: I’ve tried it with pork (grilled & steamed) and it taste just as good.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients
1 cup of shredded papaya
1 cup of shredded green mango
ΒΌ cup of shredded carrots (optional)
10-12 sprigs of mint, chopped reserve some for garnish (use more if you like mint)
10-12 shrimps, peeled & devein
8-10 fresh squids, cleaned and cut into pieces (you can use frozen squid as well which has already been cleaned and cut)
2 cup of water
1 tablespoon vinegar (white or rice)
1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon peanuts, crushed

Vinaigrette
2-3 chilies, finely sliced (I used green chilies here.)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice ( I used the pulp too!)
2 teaspoons sugar

Method:
Combine vinaigrette and set aside.

Next you are going to poach the shrimp and squid. In a pot/wok mix 2 cups of water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir to disolve and add the shrimp and squid. Bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn off heat completely. Allow it to sit for several more minutes then rinse in cool water and set aside.

In a salad bowl add shreded papaya, mango, carrots, mint, shrimp and squid. Pour vinaigrette and toss them all together. Taste and adjust accordingly.

To serve arrange on a plate and sprinkle some crushed peanuts. Garnish with a few sprigs of mint.

Pickled Lime Chicken Soup

Pickled Lime Chicken Soup

Another Cambodian comfort food. I think pickled lime αžŽαžΆαŸ†αž„αžΌαžœ (Num Ngov) is an acquired taste because I recall growing up not liking the smell so it was hard for me to take a step forward and eat the darn soup. But as time goes by I got used to it and became a fan of Pickled Lime Chicken Soup αžŸαŸ’αž„αŸ„αžšαž˜αŸ‰αžΆαž“αŸ‹αžŽαžΆαŸ†αž„αžΌαžœ (Sngor Mon Num Ngov). I crave it even more when I moved away from my Parents. I love it most during cold winter days or when I’m feeling under the weather just like some people crave Chicken Noodle Soup when they are sick.

Pickled Lime | Num Ngov

I believe you can purchase pickled lime at some Asian Supermarket however it’s very easy to make it yourself. About 3 years ago I got a whole bunch of limes for dirt cheap so I decided to pickle them. The longer you keep it, the better it gets (at least in my opinion). One pickled lime goes a very long way!

Enjoy my recipe for Pickled Lime Chicken Soup. I have made this with a variety of chicken (black, game hen, regular whole chicken) and each one has it’s own uniqueness and equally delicious. You can either cook the chicken in bite size pieces or cook it as a whole and then remove and hand shred the meat and discard the bones which is how I made it today.

Pickled Lime Chicken Soup Ingredients

Pickled Lime Chicken Soup (makes 2-3)
(Sngor Mon Num Ngov) αžŸαŸ’αž„αŸ„αžšαž˜αŸ‰αžΆαž“αŸ‹αžŽαžΆαŸ†αž„αžΌαžœ

Ingredients
2 chicken leg quarters
1 pickled lime
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and mash (amount adjust to your liking)
2 stalk green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
5-6 tablespoons fish sauce (adjust to taste)
5-6 dried chilies (optional)
3 cups of water

Method:
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add chicken and garlic and dried chilies if using. Cook chicken throughly, skim off foam if necessary. If you are using bite size chicken, proceed to the next step. If you want to remove the meat from the bone, now is the time to do so. Remove cooked chicken from the pot and allow to cool before picking off the meat. Then return it back to the pot.

Add sugar, fish sauce and pickled lime. Break the pickled lime into pieces to release the flavors into the soup. Continue to cook and mix it all in another 2 minutes. Taste and adjust sugar and fish sauce accordingly.

Turn off the heat and add the green onions. The soup can be enjoyed as it or eaten with steamed rice.

Basic Papaya Salad

Basic Papaya Salad Ingredients

Basic Papaya Salad Ingredients

Another Papaya Salad αž”αž»αž€αž›αŸ’αž αž»αž„ (Bok Lahong) post. I was making some the other day to enjoy with my Mother’s homemade Cambodian Sausage αžαŸ’αžœαžΆαž‚αŸ„ (Kwah Ko) . It was a very last minute thing. I went through the fridge and saw some papaya so I began​​ gather what I have at the moment and try to put it all together. I just wanted to show that you don’t have to get all fancy with the ingredients to enjoy Papaya Salad. It’s nice though if you have special sauces or salty crabs (my favorite) but if you don’t, then no worries.

My basic Papaya Salad recipe is quick and simple not to mention satisfying especially when paired with Cambodian Sausage or any grilled meat for that matter. I am not going to be listing measurements as this is one of those dish that you just have to go by what you like. For example, some like it on the sour and spicy side; add lots of lime and chili peppers. Others like it sweet and salty; adjust palm sugar and fish sauce. Always taste before removing from the mortar & pestle so that you can make adjustments.

Papaya Salad with Cambodian Sausage

Papaya Salad with Cambodian Sausage

Note: After making Papaya Salad often I find that palm sugar works the best because it has this slimy consistency unlike regular white sugar. I prepare it by breaking it into small pieces and pouring fish sauce on top so that it dissolves (as pictured above).

Ingredients
shredded green (unripe) papaya
shredded carrots (optional)
shrimp paste
palm sugar
fish sauce
lime juice
roasted peanuts, lightly crush
garlic, roughly chopped
chilies, roughly chopped
fresh herbs (mint, basil, Asian mint)

Other veggies to consider adding: , tomatoes, shredded cabbage, lettuce, water spinach, snake bean, bac-ha …etc

Method:
In a mortar & pestle first add the garlic and chilies (if using) and pound. By chopping them into smaller pieces first, it will be easier and faster to get it crushed up.

Next add ΒΎ of the shredded papaya followed by shrimp paste, lime juice, palm sugar + fish sauce and continue to pound until all ingredients are combined. Use a fork on one hand to toss and move the salad around while you are pounding the salad with your other hand.

Finally, add the remainder shredded papaya and carrots and tomatoes (if using) and mix it in lightly with the other ingredients. By adding this last batch you are giving the salad an extra crunch because it was slightly mix and not pound. This is optional as you can toss everything in at once. Taste and make adjustments if necessary.

Once you are happy with the flavors, scoop it out onto a serving plate and serve with your favorite herbs and vegetable alongside some grilled meat like Cambodian Sausage. :)

Cambodian Spicy & Sour Beef Soup

Cambodian Spicy & Sour soup known in Cambodian as αžŸαž˜αŸ’αž›αž˜αŸ’αž…αžΌαž‚αŸ’αžšαžΏαž„αžŸαžΆαž…αŸ‹αž‚αŸ„ (Somlaw Machew Kroeung Sach Ko) is one of my all time favorite Cambodian dish. It can be made with either beef or pork, although I have heard that some like to cook with fish as well. The beef tripe is optional. I like it because it adds a crunchy and chewy texture to the soup. What I do with my beef tripe is to clean it out and then pour hot boiling water directly on the tripe. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. This helps eliminate the unpleasant odor. Some people like to add a couple drops of vinegar. Then drain, wash and proceed. The authentic version use pickle-fish (pahok) however, like I had mentioned in my other post you can leave it out if you don’t like the smell or taste. Also, if you have access to Holy Basil (maress prov), I highly recommend using it. I did not have it atm, so I’m using regular basil.

Cambodian Spicy & Sour Beef Soup Ingredients

Cambodian Spicy & Sour Beef Soup
(Somlaw Machew Kroeung Sach Ko) αžŸαž˜αŸ’αž›αž˜αŸ’αž…αžΌαž‚αŸ’αžšαžΏαž„αžŸαžΆαž…αŸ‹αž‚αŸ„

Ingredients
1 Β½ lb steak, sliced or cut into bite size pieces (you can also use other cuts of beef, pork ribs or bone-in chicken – delicious too!)
1 cup oflemongrass paste (Kroeung)
Β½ lb water spinach (Trokoun) stems pound with the back of your knife, cut into 2 inch lengths
2 tablespoons cream-style pickled fish (Prohok)
1 lb beef tripe, slice (optional)
4 jalapenos, slice into quarters (optional)
1 cup of basil leaves (use holy basil if you can get them)
5-6 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons knorr sour soup base
3 tablespoons sugar
water

Method:
Heat pot and add lemongrass paste. Fry until fragrant about 1-2 minutes. Add beef and half way through cooking add the creamy pickle-fish. Stir and mix well.

Next add enough water to cover about Β½ inch above the meat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the meat is tender about 30 minutes depending on the cut of meat.

Turn the heat back to high and add sugar, fish sauce, knorr soup base and adjust the saltiness and sourness according to taste, by varying the amount of pickled fish, and soup base.

Finally add the beef tripe, water spinach and jalapenos. Allow the soup to continue cooking for a couple of minute until the water spinach turns to an olive green color but not too soggy.

Turn off the heat and add basil leaves. Give it a quick stir then ladle to a bowl and serve with steam rice.

Tip 1: If you find that there’s too much liquid in the soup, take off the pot cover and allow the liquid to reduce.

Tip2: Only add the amount of water spinach that can be eaten in one sitting. Basically fish out all the water spinach if you are anticipate on having leftovers. This will prevent the water spinach from turning soggy when you reheat the soup. If you do reheat the leftovers, add a new bach of fresh water spinach. This will make the dish taste not only nice and fresh but more delicious because by now the meat is very tender.

Caramelized Pork with Eggs

Caramelized Pork & Eggs

I had received many request for this dish so I thought I make it and share with you my recipe for Caramelized Pork with Eggs αžαžšαžŸαžΆαž…αŸ‹αž‡αŸ’αžšαžΌαž€αž“αžΉαž„αž–αž„αž‘αžΆ (Kaw Sach Jrook & Pong Tear). I think many Cambodians would agree with me that this is a rich, flavorful and comforting food. I remember my Mother making this dish for us kids to enjoy when we return from grade-school. My siblings especially my little brother likes the taste of the eggs braised in the sauce so Mother would use LOTS of eggs. Just spooning the sauce over hot steamy rice is heavenly delicious. :)

What makes this dish unique in flavor, color and texture is the caramel sauce and long time braising. While it can be a bit fattening, you can adjust by using lean meat or trim excess fat from the pork. I am using the pork brisket with bone. It has a bit of fat and the bones are young and tender (still white and has that crunch when you bite into it). I have substitute hard boiled eggs with quail eggs. I find that the size of the quail eggs are just perfect for us and because they are smaller than the normal hard boil eggs, I think the yolks are juicier. Again, it’s a personal preference.

Ingredients
1.5 lb pork, cut into big chunks (just a little bigger than bite size because you are going to braise it for awhile)
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 can of Coco Rico or Coconut Juice (not to be confused with Coconut Milk)
1 tablespoon whole peppercorn, crushed (optional)
1 can of quail eggs in water or brine (yields about 20 eggs) or hard boiled eggs (qty depend on your liking)
6 tablespoons fish sauce (more of less adjust to taste)
water

Method:
First start out by making the caramel sauce. Heat pot to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons sugar to pot with about 1/4 cup water. The water should coat the sugar. Stir until the sugar is mix and dissolves. It will then starts to caramelizes and you want to continue to stir probably about 5 minutes. When it turns dark, add the pork and coat the pork with the caramelized sauce.

Next, add the dice onions, black pepper (if using), half of the coconut juice and enough water to cover about 1 inch over. Then add the fish sauce and stir to combine. If you like sweeter meat, you can use additional coconut juice in lieu of the water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil for about 2-3 minutes then turn the heat to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes. I did mine for an hour. This help tenderize the pork and allow the flavors just to really come together. Taste and adjust sugar or fish sauce if necessary.

About 5-10 minutes before serving, add the quail or hard boiled eggs. Be careful not to break the eggs and that the sauce fully coats the eggs. Serve with rice.

Note: If you still would like to reduce the fat, you can refrigerate it for several hours or overnight. The fat will rise to the top and harden for easy removal.

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