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

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

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.

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