Archive for the ‘Soup & Salad’ Category

Cambodian Spicy & Sour Beef Soup

Cambodian Spicy & Sour soup known in Cambodian as សម្លម្ចូគ្រឿងសាច់គោ (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) សម្លម្ចូគ្រឿងសាច់គោ

Ingredients
1 ½ 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)
½ 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 ½ 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 ខរសាច់ជ្រូកនឹងពងទា (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.

Grilled Beef with Pahok Sauce|Salad

Whenever I stumble across mini eggplants which is also known as Thai eggplants, I instantly think of Beef with Tuk Pahok. I only use these eggplant in this dish.

You can check out my Youtube video on Grilled Beef with Pahok Dipping Sauce/Salad here.

If you enjoy my video please rate, subcribe and
most definitely let me know how I’m doing. Thanks!

Pickled Mustard Green Soup



Updated Apr 16, 2010
I’m updating this up with new photo of this soup along with a video cooking tutorial. The recipe is fairly easy and doesn’t require much ingredients but I’ve on a video making spree so thought I capture and show you how I made this yummy soup.

Video Tutorial

Original text below from archive Oct 21, 2009.
Yesterday I headed to Stockton to drop off some stuff at my parent’s house and also stopped by my sister’s salon to get my bangs trimmed. 😛 Mother always try to pack me stuff every time I visit. My fridge is still stock with kwah ko (Cambodian Sausage) and trey ngeat (Cambodian Sun-Dried Salty Fish) from my last visit so there was no need for more of those, yet. Mother still had other goodies for me to bring back home and this time it was jruk spey ជ្រក់ស្ពៃ (Cambodian pickled mustard greens).

My favorite part of jruk spey is the center where the stems are still young and crunchy. I remembered growing up Mother used to make like buckets of jruk spey at a time and us kids would sneak up and pinched the center stem portion of the mustard green then eat them. When it’s time to cook my Mother is left with the outer leaves potion with a hollow center. She would questioned who did it. Of course we pointed fingers at each other and no body dare to admit they were the guilty one. 😀

Jruk spey can be used to make a variety of Cambodian dish as soups, stir-fry, and as a relish/salad to accompany grilled fishes as well as other meats. Today I am sharing with you how I make Sngour Jruk Spey ស្ងោរជ្រក់ស្ពៃ (Pickled Mustard Green Soup). Very few ingredients are called for but this soup yield LOTS of flavor! I am using bone-in chicken but you can use pork as well. Bone-in meats I think tend to yield a more flavorful broth due to long period of simmering. The broth becomes rich and the meats get oh so tender, like fall of the bone goodness. However, if time is tight then opt for meats only (without the bone) and chop into smaller pieces as it will cook faster.

Ingredients
3 skinless chicken thighs (about 1 lb) cut into chunks
3 cups chopped pickled mustard greens
5 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon chicken broth mix (or ½ chicken bullion cube)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
chopped green onion or cilantro for garnishing
hot red chili peppers to serve (optional)

Method:
Wash and rinse and squeeze as much water from the pickled mustard greens prior to chopping to remove some of the salt content.

Bring water to a boil and add chicken pieces and garlic cloves. Allow to boil for 10 minutes making sure to remove scum that rise to the surface. If you are using meat only this will be less visible. Cover and simmer stock for 30 minutes or longer if have the time, otherwise 10-15 minutes is sufficient.

Add chicken broth mix followed by chopped pickled mustard greens. Continue to cook another 5 minutes. Finish the soup off by adding sugar and fish sauce. Pickled mustard greens can vary in flavor. Some have a very high salt content even after you rinse it while others make them pretty sour. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Once you are satisfy with the flavor turn the heat off and add chopped green onion then stir to combine. To serve, ladle to a bowl and garnish with fresh whole or chopped chili. This soup can be served as is or along with steamed rice at part of a meal.

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