Archive for December, 2010

Cambodian Hot Pork and Pumpkin Curry

About a month ago my Mother gave me three pumpkins. I did not have a menu plan but I do know that these things can be kept for a very very long time so I did not resist in bringing all three of them home. The first recipe that came to mind is Cambodian Pumpkin Pudding in Banana Leaves (Num La’pov). I did not feel like making desserts out of them yet since I usually end up eating them all by myself which isn’t a very good idea therefore I opted for a savory dish like this Cambodian Hot Pork and Pumpkin Curry, ការីល្ពៅសាច់ជ្រូក (Kari La’pov Sach Jrook) .

The recipe was adapted from a cookbook in my collection entitled The Food & Cooking of Cambodia which I recently repurchase because I misplace my first copy. Actually this wasn’t the first time I’ve made a curry using pumpkins I usually do just a simple and quick version by using store-bought Thai red curry paste. This Cambodian version use Khmer Kroeung as the base which gives it a distinctive Cambodian taste. As always with curries you can serve it with either steamed rice, crusty bread or rice noodles.

Cambodian Hot Pork and Pumpkin Curry (makes 3-4 serving)
(Kari La’pov Sach Jrook) ការីល្ពៅសាច់ជ្រូក

½ tablespoon oil
1 slice galanga, finely sliced
5 red chillies, finely sliced (reduce amount for a milder curry)
½ small sweet onion or 2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tablespoons Khmer Kroeung
½ tablespoon palm sugar
1 lb pork, cut into bite size chunks
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 kabocha pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into bite size chunks
4-5 kaffir lime leaves, reserve 1-2 leaves and slivered for garnish
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Stir in galanga, chillies, and onions and stir-fry until fragrant. Add Khmer Kroeung and stir-fry until it begins to color. Add palm sugar.

Stir in the chunks of pork and stir-fry until golden brown on all sides. Stir in shrimp paste and pour in coconut milk.

Bring to the boil, add the pumpkin and kaffir lime leaves, and reduce the heat. Cook gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin and pork are tender but not mushy and the sauce has reduced. If you prefer a thinner curry then feel free to add water or stock.

Add fish sauce and season to taste. Garnish the curry with slivered kaffir lime leaves.

This curry can be serve with rice, noodles or crusty bread. ENJOY!

Cambodian Stir Fry Pickled Mustard Green with Beef

I asked my Mother to make me a big bucket of pickled mustard greens because where she reside things are much cheaper. Pickled mustard greens can be used to make so many delicious dishes. It can be enjoyed as is with grilled or fried fish or use it to make Pickled Mustard Green Soup. I’ve made Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Greens with Roasted Pork Belly and Pickled Mustard Green Fried Rice before. Today I share with you another dish utilizing this tasty pickled mustard greens.

Originally I wanted to do a video tutorial for this Cambodian Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Green with Beef,​ឆារជ្រុក់ស្ពីសាច់គោ (Cha Jruk Spey Sachko) but due to gloomy Autumn weather plus my crazy sleeping pattern by the time I step in the kitchen there is hardly any natural light left. Without sufficient natural light recording is extremely challenging. This is why I settle for a blog post instead.

The secret on how to make beef tender like how they serve it up at Chinese restaurants
Slice the beef thinly across the grain and soak it in baking soda mixture. For the recipe below I used ½ teaspoon baking soda and about 1½ cup water. Soak for about 15-20 minutes then drain and rinse the beef well to remove any residue. Use paper towel to remove excess water. From here you can marinade the meat to your liking.

Cambodian Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Green with Beef (makes 1-2 serving)
(Cha Jruk Spey Sachko) ឆារជ្រុក់ស្ពីសាច់គោ

½ lb. beef, thinly sliced
about 3 cups chopped pickled mustard greens
3 cloves of garlic, peel and minced
bird’s eye chili, slice lengthwise (adjust amount to your liking)
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
½ tablespoon oyster sauce, optional
cilantro springs for garnish
oil for stir-frying

Get your pan nice and hot then add the oil. Swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan.

Toss in your garlic and stir fry about 20-30 secs. It should not take long to turn golden brown. If it does, it means the oil is not hot enough.

Next add the chili if using and continue to stir fry until fragrant, about another 20-30 secs.

Add sliced beef and cook to your liking (medium, well-done). Add sugar, fish sauce and oyster sauce if using. Stir to coat.

Toss the chopped pickled mustard greens and continue to stir it for just a minute to incorporate all the flavors.

Dish out, garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with steamed rice. ENJOY!

Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts & Tofu

Growing up I never really enjoy eating Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts & Tofu, ឆារសណ្តែកបណ្តុះនិងតៅហ៊ូ (Cha Sondaek Bondoss Nung Thao-Who) because there was no meat. It’s a perfect Asian vegetarian dish if you replace some of the sauces. I would rather have my fried eggs with soy sauce over hot steamy rice. However it’s been so long since I had this stir-fried dish and when all I had was leftover bean sprouts from making Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge with Fried Noodle and some fried tofu, I knew I had to bring this dish back. It’s another Asian quick, easy and healthy dish to put together especially if you are trying to cut back on carb in-take.

Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts and Tofu (makes 1-2 serving)
(Cha Sondaek Bondoss Nung Thao-Who) ឆារសណ្តែកបណ្តុះនិងតៅហ៊ូ

3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 bird’s eye chili, optional
8 oz fried tofu, cut into bite size pieces
8 oz bean sprout, rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly
1½ tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 stalks green onion, green part only, cut into 1 inch pieces
oil for stir frying

Heat a pan with oil and add minced garlic. Quickly stir it around until golden and be careful not to burn. Add chili if using. Stir about 25 secs until fragrant.

Add fried tofu. Technically the tofu are cooked already so you are just reheating it.

Next add the bean sprouts followed by the remaining seasonings. Give it a quick stir to incorporate the ingredients.

Turn off the heat and add green onion.

Dish out and serve as part of a meal or on it’s own. ENJOY!

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