Cambodian Style Stir Fry Lemongrass

There are several version of stir fry lemongrass out there such as the Vietnamese and the Thai. Each region has their own uniqueness and distinctive flavor. This can also be said for my Cambodian Style Stir Fry Lemongrass, ឆាគ្រឿងសាច់ចិញ្រ្ចាំ (Cha Kroeung Sach Jengjram). While some can just chop up stalks of lemongrass then throw it into the stir fry and call it Stir Fry Lemongrass, Cambodian style is rather a bit more complex. As long as I can recall Cambodian Stir Fry Lemongrass use what we call “Kroeung” which is a made with a combination of aromatics.

I’ve mentioned it many times that this had got to be one of my top 3 Cambodian dishes. The spicier the better! In the past I’ve made this stir fry using finely chopped quails in my Fiery Stir-Fried Lemongrass Quail. This time around, using the same recipe I’ve decided to go with store bought ground pork and made a tutorial to show how quick and easy it is to whip up this delicious Cambodian dish. In addition, because it’s winter fresh holy basil are nearly impossible to get my hands on therefore I have opt frozen holy basil which I had preserve from the fresh one during the summer. See my steps on how to preserve holy basil leaves for later use.

Video Tutorial:

Cambodian Style Stir Fry Lemongrass (makes 2-3 servings)
(Cha Kroeung Sach Jengjram) ឆាគ្រឿងសាច់ចិញ្រ្ចាំ

Ingredients
oil for stir frying
½ cup lemongrass paste, Khmer Kroeung
½ tablespoon finely chopped Pahok (optional)
1 lb ground meat of your choice (chicken, pork, turkey, quail)
jalapeños, sliced lengthwise (adjust amount to taste)
2 teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
½ tablespoon tamarind soup base
½ cup of holy basil leaves

Method:
Heat a pan and fry the lemongrass and pahok (if using) until fragrant. Add your choice of ground meat and continue to stir fry until they are cook. It will be dry but that’s okay.

Next add jalapeños and the remainder ingredients. Quickly stir to combine the ingredients. Taste and adjust to your preference. Turn the heat off and add holy basil leaves. Give it a final stir and transfer to a serving dish.

How to Preserve Holy Basil Leaves
You will need holy basil leaves and oil.

Pick out the leaves and tender stems. Flash rinse them quickly and thoroughly dry them. If you have a salad spinner, this would be an excellent way to dry them.

Once they are fully dry, heat a pan to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the pan and toss in the holy basil leaves.

Flash fry the leaves by quickly tossing them around so the leaves are coated with the oil. The heat and the oil will cause the leaves to wilt a bit, this is perfectly fine. Since the leaves are light and tender it should not take very long, less than a minute. If you have a large amount to preserve, I suggest you flash fry them in batches to prevent over crowding.

Next transfer it onto a platter and allow to cool. Once cool you can bag them up in small batches (servings) and store it in the freezer.

When it is time to use, you can defrost it slightly and add to recipes that calls for holy basil.

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