Archive for September, 2009

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.

Garlic Shrimp Rice Noodles

Over the weekend we just want to get out of the house because it was so hot. This was at 7pm already! Without any plans we headed to Wal-mart knowing that we can always find sometime or walk around and study the product labels. LOL After about 40 minutes we were hungry and have yet to determine what we wanted to eat. So off we go to the Warm Spring district in Fremont, CA and landed at iPho. The name sound very catchy even their logo using an apple in place of the “o”. Flop their menu opened and didn’t find anything I really like. The menu use the same image and price like many of the other Vietnamese restaurants so I’m like… okay, here we go again. I still dislike pho so I usually get their chicken or seafood noodle soup. But since it’s hot, I’m not feeling soup so I opt to try their Garlic Shrimp Noodle. It was on a separate menu and no detail was provided so when ordered I asked that the noodles be rice and not egg. The server seems puzzle, like it’s not possible or sometime. So I had to like describe to them that everything is the same just sub the noodle. When I got my order it was SWEET! WTH? They took a long time to get my water and not to mention my order so I just chow down for the heck of it and just get it over with.

So yesterday after window shopping I came home and thought about that experience. The fact that it use very little ingredients got me wanting to try making it myself but adjusting the taste, not making it sweet like what they did. The results? Satisfied! LOL Because it’s my dish and I’m making it I get to add and take anything I want. I put a lot of garlic I mean after all it is a GARLIC dish right? I also used olive oil (a lot more than usual) to saute the garlic. Try my garlic shrimp rice noodles recipe (Cha Kuy Teav Bongkear & Ktum Saw) ឆារគុយទាវបង្ការនឹងខ្ទឹមសរ and it might just leave you with a satisfaction smile like it did to me. Mmmmmmm 😛

3-4 oz large size dried rice noodles
5 cups of water
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 stalk green onion, chopped
8 large shrimp, shelled and devein
2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cube chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and reserve 1 tablespoon to dissolve the chicken bouillon. Pour the remainder to cover the dried rice noodles. Allow to soften for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Heat a pan and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the chopped garlic and saute briefly making sure they don’t burn. Add the shrimp and let it brown slightly followed by the the seasonings. Stir to combine and allow to thicken slightly.

Drained the rice noodles completely and add it to the pan. Toss to coat with the garlic sauce. You will have to work quickly so that the shrimp and noodles doesn’t get overcooked. Turn the heat off and throw in the green onions. Transfer to a plate/bowl and serve immediately.

Cambodian Chicken Lime Soup

Cambodian Chicken Lime Soup

I’m revisiting an old dish I made awhile back this time sharing you my step-by-step recipe on how to make this classic delicious Cambodian comfort food called Chicken and Lime Soup (Sngor Jruk Sach Mon) ស្ងោរជ្រក់សាច់ម៉ាន់. This is probably similar to the Thai version of Tom Yum Soup with a clear broth.

This year I feel fortunate because one of my favorite herbs “Basil” is growing nicely in my garden. I used to plant basil before but there were more flowers than there are leaves, even though I pick the flowers early as soon as it comes up. I don’t know what went wrong that year. This year I planted two varieties, the Thai basil (purple stem) and the sweet basil known in Italian cooking. With just a few ingredients I have left I went ahead and made some Chicken and Lime Soup.

I remember this used to be my oldest brother favorite soup because it’s the only thing he knows how to make as it requires very little ingredients. When my Mother first visited Cambodia back around 1995 my Dad was left to take care of us and he too made this soup for us almost every single day, :mrgreen: again maybe it’s because that’s the only thing he knows LOL 😀 Alternatively, you can kick it up a notch by adding other vegetables like banana blossom, oyster mushrooms, lotus roots and many more.

Chicken Lime Soup Ingreidents

Chicken and Lime Soup
(Sngor Jruk Sach Mon)

1 small Cornish chicken, cut into quarters
4 cups of water
2 lemongrass stalk, ends trimmed and pound
5-6 kaffir leaves
3-4 garlic, smashed
2 chicken bouillon cube
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 cup basil leaves
2-3 chillies (optional)

Bring water, lemongrass stalks and kaffir leaves to a boil. Add chicken bouillon cube. Stir to dissolve.

Add chicken pieces making sure they submerge in the stock. Cook until chicken is done. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Once the chicken is cooked remove and continue to simmer the stock. Allow the chicken to cool. Then separate the meat and discard the bones. Shred the meat into pieces with your fingers.

Return the shredded chicken back into the stock followed by sugar and fish sauce. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust to your preference. Turn the heat off and add in the lime juice.

When serving, ladle to a bowl and add chopped basil leaves. Garnish with some chili peppers. This soup can be enjoy alone or as part of a meal with steamed rice.

Cabbage Soup with Pork

Due to the hot weather we’ve been experiencing here in California for the past few days I tried to distance myself from the kitchen. I’ve been eating my Mother homemade salty sun-dried fish with either watermelon or plain rice with water for the past several days now. Today the weather was a bit cooler and so I was happy to be back in the kitchen :) . I have a big head of cabbage left in the fridge and been waiting to make cabbage soup for a while now, this was the perfect time for me to make my yummy Cabbage Soup with Pork (Sngor Spey Sach Jrook) ស្ងោរស្ពីសាច់ជ្រូក. It was light and flavorful. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S ! :mrgreen:

There are two variation to the soup. Both use the same ingredients but presented in different ways. Take your pick. The dumpling version will be the quick and easier version. The stuffed version will take some time. It does make a nice presentation though. 😛 You can also add bean threads in the pork mixture. If you have the time you can make a rich broth with pork or chicken bones. Another way to flavor the stock is by using dried shrimp. The soup can be eaten alone or part of a meal.

½ cabbage leaves
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
toothpicks or green onions to secure roll
cilantro leaves for garnish

Pork stuffing/Dumplings
1 cup ground pork
1 tablespoon dried shredded wood-ear mushrooms, soaked in water til soften then chopped
1 stem green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black paper
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Soup Stock
4 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
½ chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce

Method for stuffed cabbage roll:
Start by blanching the cabbage leaves in hot boiling water with a little bit of salt until soft. Trim away hard stems and set aside.

To make the pork stuffing/dumplings combine chopped green onion, mushrooms, ground pork and remainder ingredients. Mix well.

Place one tablespoon of stuffing at the stem end of each leaf, and fold in the sides. If the leaves are small, you can layered them. Roll each leaf tightly, and secure with toothpick.

Make the stock by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil and add chicken bouillon. Add stuffed cabbage roll and cook in the stock for 5-10 minutes until tender. Then season with sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce. Remove toothpick. Garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.

Method for cabbage soup with pork dumplings:
Follow the steps above for blanching the cabbage leaves. When it’s cool to the touch roll and slice the cabbage. Set in a bowl.

Prepare stock by adding all the ingredients in boiling water.

Combine ingredients for pork stuffing. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of pork filling and roll into a ball. Drop into the stock. Cook about 10 minutes. To serve ladle pork dumplings into a bowl of shredded cabbage follow by some stock. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

…….. and if you happen to have left over stuffing you can turn it into another simple and delicious stir fry glass noodles. Using the same ingredients with the addition of mung bean noodles that has been soaked.

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). 😀 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 😛 (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) បុកស្វាយ. 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) បុកស្វាយ

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

In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic and chilies. Add ½ 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.

Roasted Pickle-Fish with Ground Pork

Roasted Pickle-Fish with Ground Pork (Pahok Kop) ប្រហុកកប់ is a classic Cambodian dish.

It has been 6 years since I started cooking on my own but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve craved classic Cambodian dish such as this one and Steamed Fish Eggs with Ground Pork (Pa’ork Pong Trey) ផ្អកពងត្រី. My parent enjoy fishing during their past time. When a nice big stripe bass is caught she would clean and preserve the fish eggs to make Steam Fish Eggs with Ground Pork, like a custard. Fresh and cooked vegetables are then dipped into the custard. I will have to check with my Mother if she has any preserved fish eggs this season. Until then I will try to calm my cravings with this delicious Roasted​ Pickle-Fish with Ground Pork. The authentic version use Krosang as the sour agent. I don’t have that so I substitute it with tamarind base powder. If you don’t have holy basil, you can use Thai Basil instead. Dip it with your favorite fresh or cooked vegetables. My tomatoes and Japanese eggplants are loaded in the garden so this was another great opportunity for me to enjoy them.

10 banana leaves
½ ground pork
½ lb oyster mushrooms
5 tablespoons lemongrass paste (kroeung)
1 tablespoon ground pahok
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon tamarind base
a handful of holy basil leaves
5 toothpicks (to hold parcels)
assorted fresh vegetables to serve

Prepare banana leaves by washing each of them in hot water. This will make it stronger. Use a paper towel or kitchen towel to wipe it clean. Set aside.

Wash mushrooms and squeeze out excess water. Shred them into pieces with your fingers and set aside.

In a motar & pestal (or a large bowl) combine ground pork, kroeung, sugar, salt, and tamarind base. Lightly pound so the ingredients are all mixed together. Add shredded mushrooms and basil leaves. Use a spoon/fork to fold it into the mixture.

Lay two sheets of banana leaves together. Scoop up mixture and place it in the center. Fold the side like a parcel and secure with toothpick. Repeat this step to make a total of five parcels.

Place on a hot grill and grill until the banana leaves starts to burns. Serve with your favorite fresh or cooked vegetables along with steamed rice.

Taro Dumplings in Coconut Syrup

Another one of my creations. This yummy dessert follow the same steps as my Mung Bean Dumpling in Coconut Milk recipe. The difference is the flavor. For those who doesn’t like mung bean now you can try my Taro Dumplings in Coconut Milk គ្រប់ត្រាវក្នុងខ្ទៈត្នោត. I like them both. 😀 If you like sweet dessert then you can sweeten the dough by adding granulated sugar. If you want to thin out the syrup you can add a little bit of water.

1 lb taro, peeled and cut into chunks
1 ¼ cup glutenous flour
¼ cup granulated sugar (optional)
½ cup palm sugar
1 ½ can coconut milk (13.5 oz can)
a pinch of salt
2 splashes of vanilla extract
8 cups of water
toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Steam or boil taro chunks until soften, about 20 minutes.

In the meantime make the coconut syrup by bringing 1 can of coconut milk and palm sugar and salt to a boil and then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Remove cooked taro and mash with the back of a fork. Mix mash taro with flour (and granulated sugar if you like to sweeten the dumplings) and use knead into a dough.

Pinch a small amount of dough and roll into a ball. If it’s too sticky, dust your hand with some flour. If it’s too dry, dip your fingers in a little bit of water and pat on the dough.

In a big pot bring water to a boil. Drop taro ball and cook until it floats up. Do it in batches if needed. Do not overcrowd. Drain with a stainer and add to coconut syrup.

Add the remainder coconut milk, a vanilla extract. Bring to a boil again and turn simmer another 2 minutes. Serve cool or at room temperature. Sprinkle some toasted sesame before serving.

Red Curry Fish in Banana Leaves

Red Curry Fish in Banana Leaves

Red Curry Fish in Banana Leaves

Here’s another quick and easy fish recipe from one of my cookbook called “Cookshelf Thai” that I wanted to share Red Curry Fish in Banana Leaves ត្រីគ្រឿងក៉ារីក្នុងស្លឹកចេក. Actually I had made this and post up the recipe before this new page layout. That time I grilled it wrapped with parchment paper and foil. It taste great as well. But since I previously shared with you my Jungle Fish in Banana Leaves recipe I thought I put the banana leaves into another use just in case you decide to purchase a whole package of banana leaves.

Again I take the easy route by using skinless boneless fish fillet. These are fairly small so I used two of them. However you can use a whole fish just make sure to scale and clean it thoroughly. Also you want to rub the red curry mixture both inside out.

2 fish fillets
4 banana leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated or minced ginger
1 teaspoon palm sugar or soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon red curry paste
a couple splash of lime juice

Lay two banana leaves and place the fish on the center of the banana leaves.

In a small bowl mix together garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce and curry paste. Spread the mixture over the surface of the fish and squeeze a splash of lime juice on top.

Wrap the bananas leaves around the fish, tucking in the sides as you go, to make a neat parcel. Seal with toothpicks. Repeat with the other fish.

Place the parcel on the grill and cooked for about 20 minutes. There is no need to flip if the fillets are small like mine. The outer leaves will burn. Carefully unravel the parcel. Check that the fish is cooked. Garnish with lime wedge and chili and serve with hot steamed rice. ENJOY!

Drunken Basil Chicken in Clay Pot

Drunken Basil Chicken in Claypot

If there is a 30 minute Asian dish book this recipe should be included. It’s so so easy! I found the recipe online and adapt it to my preference. I somehow do not feel the original name of “Three Cups Chicken”. Don’t get my wrong as I am not dissing the origins but just the name. I love how easy it is to make and the wonderful aroma followed by the delicious taste. According to the history it is a Taiwanese dish and three cups refer to the ratio of the three main ingredients which is sesame oil, soy sauce and wine. I did follow the ratio but still the name I have given “Drunken Basil Chicken in Clay Pot ម៉ាន់ជីក្រហមពល់ស្រាក្នុងឆ្នាំងដី” would give people a better idea of what this dish is all about. But then there wouldn’t be much story behind it would it? Again, all that matters is that it taste good. 😀

This was an opportunity f or me to pull out my cute little clay pot that I brought back with me during my trip to Cambodia. :) For convenience I used skinless and boneless chicken thighs because cooking time was pretty short. However, you can also use bone-in and simmer it for a very long time until the liquid completely evaporate and the bones should also give off a nice taste – if you have the time. I like my dishes spicy so I added some dried red peppers as well. The whole garlic taste amazing! It was not garlic-y at all but soft and nutty? :) And since I also love basil I added a whole bunch. As with any recipe there really is not rules. To me I just study the concept and turn it around so I suggest you to do the same. Taste it and adjust accordingly.

Drunken Basil Chicken in Clay Pot
(Mon Chee Krohorm Pol Sra Knong Chhnang Dey) ម៉ាន់ជីក្រហមពល់ស្រាក្នុងឆ្នាំងដី

1 lb chicken, cut into bite size
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 dried chili peppers
2 inch ginger, peeled and slice
6-10 garlic cloves, peeled
1½ tablespoons sesame oil
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1½ tablespoons shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
a bunch of Thai basil

Sprinkle baking soda on the chicken. Mix throughly and allow to sit about 10-15 minutes. This help tenderize the chicken. You can skip this step if you plan to simmer it for more than 30 minutes. Wash and rinse thoroughly and pat try with paper towel.

In a clay pot or heavy base pan heat sesame oil and add ginger, garlic and dried chili peppers. Fry until fragrant then add chicken pieces. Cook chicken half way then add all the sauces. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to simmer for about 5 minutes or 10 minutes if using bone-in chicken.

Once chicken is fully cooked turn off the heat and stir in the basil. When serving you can dish it out or like me serve it in the clay pot along with steam rice.

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