Papaya & Mango Salad with Seafood

Papaya & Mango Salad with Seafood

Papaya & Mango Salad with Seafood

This salad was inspired by a dish I had while dining at a restaurant called Phó Appétit . I went straight to the grocery store afterward to buy the ingredients and try and make it at home. That evening, I made my first attempt and loved it very much, more than the one I ordered. :)

I’ve made it again recently and here is my take on Green Papaya & Mango Salad with Seafood ញុំាល្ហុងនឹងស្វាយខ្ចីជាមួយគ្រឿងសមុទ្រ (Ngorm Lahong & Svay Kjey Jear Muy Kroeung Samot).

Note: I’ve tried it with pork (grilled & steamed) and it taste just as good.



1 cup of shredded papaya
1 cup of shredded green mango
¼ cup of shredded carrots (optional)
10-12 sprigs of mint, chopped reserve some for garnish (use more if you like mint)
10-12 shrimps, peeled & devein
8-10 fresh squids, cleaned and cut into pieces (you can use frozen squid as well which has already been cleaned and cut)
2 cup of water
1 tablespoon vinegar (white or rice)
1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon peanuts, crushed

2-3 chilies, finely sliced (I used green chilies here.)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice ( I used the pulp too!)
2 teaspoons sugar

Combine vinaigrette and set aside.

Next you are going to poach the shrimp and squid. In a pot/wok mix 2 cups of water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir to disolve and add the shrimp and squid. Bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn off heat completely. Allow it to sit for several more minutes then rinse in cool water and set aside.

In a salad bowl add shreded papaya, mango, carrots, mint, shrimp and squid. Pour vinaigrette and toss them all together. Taste and adjust accordingly.

To serve arrange on a plate and sprinkle some crushed peanuts. Garnish with a few sprigs of mint.

Pickled Lime Chicken Soup

Pickled Lime Chicken Soup

Another Cambodian comfort food. I think pickled lime ណាំងូវ (Num Ngov) is an acquired taste because I recall growing up not liking the smell so it was hard for me to take a step forward and eat the darn soup. But as time goes by I got used to it and became a fan of Pickled Lime Chicken Soup ស្ងោរម៉ាន់ណាំងូវ (Sngor Mon Num Ngov). I crave it even more when I moved away from my Parents. I love it most during cold winter days or when I’m feeling under the weather just like some people crave Chicken Noodle Soup when they are sick.

Pickled Lime | Num Ngov

I believe you can purchase pickled lime at some Asian Supermarket however it’s very easy to make it yourself. About 3 years ago I got a whole bunch of limes for dirt cheap so I decided to pickle them. The longer you keep it, the better it gets (at least in my opinion). One pickled lime goes a very long way!

Enjoy my recipe for Pickled Lime Chicken Soup. I have made this with a variety of chicken (black, game hen, regular whole chicken) and each one has it’s own uniqueness and equally delicious. You can either cook the chicken in bite size pieces or cook it as a whole and then remove and hand shred the meat and discard the bones which is how I made it today.

Pickled Lime Chicken Soup Ingredients

Pickled Lime Chicken Soup (makes 2-3)
(Sngor Mon Num Ngov) ស្ងោរម៉ាន់ណាំងូវ

2 chicken leg quarters
1 pickled lime
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and mash (amount adjust to your liking)
2 stalk green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
5-6 tablespoons fish sauce (adjust to taste)
5-6 dried chilies (optional)
3 cups of water

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add chicken and garlic and dried chilies if using. Cook chicken throughly, skim off foam if necessary. If you are using bite size chicken, proceed to the next step. If you want to remove the meat from the bone, now is the time to do so. Remove cooked chicken from the pot and allow to cool before picking off the meat. Then return it back to the pot.

Add sugar, fish sauce and pickled lime. Break the pickled lime into pieces to release the flavors into the soup. Continue to cook and mix it all in another 2 minutes. Taste and adjust sugar and fish sauce accordingly.

Turn off the heat and add the green onions. The soup can be enjoyed as it or eaten with steamed rice.

Basic Papaya Salad

Basic Papaya Salad Ingredients

Basic Papaya Salad Ingredients

Another Papaya Salad បុកល្ហុង (Bok Lahong) post. I was making some the other day to enjoy with my Mother’s homemade Cambodian Sausage ខ្វាគោ (Kwah Ko) . It was a very last minute thing. I went through the fridge and saw some papaya so I began​​ gather what I have at the moment and try to put it all together. I just wanted to show that you don’t have to get all fancy with the ingredients to enjoy Papaya Salad. It’s nice though if you have special sauces or salty crabs (my favorite) but if you don’t, then no worries.

My basic Papaya Salad recipe is quick and simple not to mention satisfying especially when paired with Cambodian Sausage or any grilled meat for that matter. I am not going to be listing measurements as this is one of those dish that you just have to go by what you like. For example, some like it on the sour and spicy side; add lots of lime and chili peppers. Others like it sweet and salty; adjust palm sugar and fish sauce. Always taste before removing from the mortar & pestle so that you can make adjustments.

Papaya Salad with Cambodian Sausage

Papaya Salad with Cambodian Sausage

Note: After making Papaya Salad often I find that palm sugar works the best because it has this slimy consistency unlike regular white sugar. I prepare it by breaking it into small pieces and pouring fish sauce on top so that it dissolves (as pictured above).

shredded green (unripe) papaya
shredded carrots (optional)
shrimp paste
palm sugar
fish sauce
lime juice
roasted peanuts, lightly crush
garlic, roughly chopped
chilies, roughly chopped
fresh herbs (mint, basil, Asian mint)

Other veggies to consider adding: , tomatoes, shredded cabbage, lettuce, water spinach, snake bean, bac-ha …etc

In a mortar & pestle first add the garlic and chilies (if using) and pound. By chopping them into smaller pieces first, it will be easier and faster to get it crushed up.

Next add ¾ of the shredded papaya followed by shrimp paste, lime juice, palm sugar + fish sauce and continue to pound until all ingredients are combined. Use a fork on one hand to toss and move the salad around while you are pounding the salad with your other hand.

Finally, add the remainder shredded papaya and carrots and tomatoes (if using) and mix it in lightly with the other ingredients. By adding this last batch you are giving the salad an extra crunch because it was slightly mix and not pound. This is optional as you can toss everything in at once. Taste and make adjustments if necessary.

Once you are happy with the flavors, scoop it out onto a serving plate and serve with your favorite herbs and vegetable alongside some grilled meat like Cambodian Sausage. :)

Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

A few days ago we stopped by to have lunch at Tri-Valley Seafood nearby my old workplace in Pleasanton, CA. We were actually planning to have Pho because that’s what they used to serve but I guess they changed management so now it’s a Chinese Restaurant with Dim Sum severed all day. Not having dim sum for awhile, and Pho too often, I decided to pick some dim sum dishes off the menu. We picked Steamed Chicken Claw aka Chicken Feet, Steamed Pork Ribs, Siu Mai, and Steamed Rice in Lotus Leaves which took forever to come out. It was the very last item to be served. We order it to eat along side our other dishes. At one point we were about to cancel it but the server finally came out. By that time we were full to enjoy the taste. Normally I just pick it off from the cart but I guess when it’s made to order, it takes awhile to steam that sticky rice. In addition there were some items that we just grab as the server go from table to table to try and sell the dish. We grabbed the crispy shrimp balls and the sesame ball with sweet beans.

Out of all those dishes, while eating I really wanted to try making two things, the Steamed Pork Ribs ឆ្អឹងជំនីរជ្រូកចំហុយ (Cha’ung Jomnee Jrook Jomhoy) which I’m going to show you now and the Chicken Feet which I might attempt to make soon. Their Steamed Pork Ribs version has a lot of fat which I did not like. And also picking out the bones was a bit annoying. So what I am going to be using is a leaner cut of pork without the bones. I am using Black Bean Sauce so the color is a bit darker opposite from what some dim sum places might serve you, a lighter color because they use the whole black beans.

Steamed Pork with Black Bean Sauce Ingredients

Steamed Pork with Black Bean Sauce Ingredients

½ lb country style pork ribs
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon black bean sauce
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon shaoxing Chinese cooking wine
slice chilies (optional)

Cut the pork ribs into small bite size pieces. Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix in the pork ribs. For best result allow to marinade at least 30 minutes or overnight which is what I did.

Marinade Pork

Marinade Pork

I’m using my aluminum steamer but if you are using a wok, set steaming rack inside of wok and fill with water almost up to height of rack. Bring the water to a vigorously boil and then lower it to med-high. Transfer marinaded ribs to steaming rack. Steam for about 20 minutes or until ribs are no longer pink. Make sure to check your steaming water so it doesn’t run out. Replenish with additional water, if needed.

Aluminum Steamer | Pork Ready to Steam

Aluminum Steamer | Pork Ready to Steam

Pickled Carrots & Daikon

Pickled Carrots & Daikon

The first batch of Cambodian Sausage (Kwah-Ko ordered had already gone out and some had already received them. Thank you very much for purchasing them. A comment from a buyer wanting to enjoy the sausage with the pickled carrots and diakon as I had pictured prompt me to post up my recipe for Pickled Carrots & Daikon ជ្រក់ក៉ារុតនឹងឆៃថាវ (Jruk Karot & Chai Thao). These pickled vegetable also makes a great pair with BBQ meats.

This is actually my second batch. The first one i made had a strong vinegar smell and taste so the second time around I dilute it with water as you find in my recipe. Also I added sugar for that touch of sweetness which I find helps cut that bitter taste from the daikon. If you don’t like it sweet then by all means, reduce the amount of sugar. Also, if you prefer more carrots than daikon or vice verse, then adjust accordingly.

1 ½ lb carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 ½ lb daikons, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 ¼ cup boiled water (at room temperature)
1 cup vinegar (distilled or rice vinegar)
½ cup sugar + 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon salt
1 quart empty jar

Combine carrots and daikon and sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt all over. Mix well and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. By doing so, it will draw out the liquids from the carrots and daikon.

Next, do a quick rinse on them and squeeze out all the excess water. The vegetables should be flexible, a bit soft but not soggy. Stuff them into the empty jar. You can also add fresh chilies as well.

Mix water, vinegar and sugar then stir until the sugar is complete dissolve. Add the mixture into the stuffed jar up to the top leaving about ½ – 1 inch space on the top. Sealed the jar store it in the refrigerator until ready to use which to me was the following day.

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.

Corn & Tapioca Pearl in Coconut Milk

Corn & Tapioca Pearl with Coconut Milk

Corn & Tapioca Pearl with Coconut Milk

Now that fresh corn is in season it is a perfect time for me to treat myself to sweet dessert featuring Corn & Tapioca Pearl in Coconut Milk known in Cambodian as បង្អែមបបរពត (Baw Baw Pot). You can actually substitute corn with banana, taro, or even beans. I prefer my dessert to not be too sweet and rather allow the natural sweetness from the corn to come through therefore adjust the amount of sugar, tapioca pearls or even coconut according to your taste.

Corn & Tapioca Pearl with Coconut Milk Ingredients

Corn & Tapioca Pearl with Coconut Milk Ingredients

3 corn on a cob, slice kernel off
1 ½ cup water
3 tablespoons tapioca pearl (small size)
1 can coconut milk (13 oz)
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a pot bring water to a boil and add tapioca pearls. Cook for 2-3 minutes then simmer for another 10 minutes or until the pearls turns translucent (no whites). Stir occasionally so they don’t stick. Larger tapioca will take longer to cook.

Add the remainder ingredients and cook for about 5-7 minutes stirring. Then simmer low until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your preference.

Serve warm or cold.

Tip: If you want a more thicker sauce store it in the fridge for several hours.

Cambodian Style Chow Fun

Cambodian Style Chow Fun | Mee Ka-Tang

Cambodian Style Chow Fun | Mee Ka-Tang

Known in Cambodian as មីកាតាំង (Mee Ka-tang) it is one of my favorite noodle dish. OMG, my mouth still watering even though I just had a big plate. 😀 I don’t want to kill my appetite by making another one right away so I’m just going let my cravings ride for awhile LOL.

I have made Mee Katang many times but with dried wide noodles. The taste was good until I got my hands on the fresh noodles yesterday (only 99 cent for a packet serves 2-3 people). It was G-O-O-D to the power of 10!!! :mrgreen: I’ve also made this with seafood, chicken and pork in the past and I think that they are unique and equally delicious. Some people like their Mee Katang wet while other like it dry. I like mine in between. :)

While you can cook everything in one pan, I find that cooking it separately is much better in that you can control how wet and dry you want your Mee Katang to be. I also like to add extra Chinese broccoli just because it’s one of my favorite vegetable. I did not do exact measurement so what I am listing here are estimates and should be serve as a guide. Adjust the amount according to your taste.

Mee Ka-Tang Ingredients

Mee Ka-Tang Ingredients

1 tray fresh wide rice noodle (or dried)
choice of meat (chicken, beef, pork or seafood)
2 eggs
6-7 stalks of Chinese broccoli aka gai lan, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 small carrot, sliced
4-5 garlic, minced
½ cup of chicken stock
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
3 tablespoons maggi seasoning
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons oyster sauce

Start off by scrambling the two eggs and set aside.

Scramble Eggs

Take about 2 tablespoons of maggi seasoning and coat the fresh noodle. If using dried noodles first soak the noodles in warm water for 30 minutes then rinse in cold water. Add noodles to a pot of boiling water and boil for 1 minute, then rinse in cold water again, then coat with maggi seasoning.

Wide Rice Noodle

Toss your choice of meat with 1 tablespoon tapioca starch and 1 tablespoon maggi seasoning. Marinade with 5-10 minutes.

Fry the noodle in a non-stick pan (add oil if necessary) until golden brown. Remove it and keep warm.

Saute garlic in oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the meat and saute until cooked. Add 1/4 cups chicken stock. When stock starts to boil, add carrots, Chinese broccoli and season with oyster sauce and sugar. Stir well and let cook a bit longer. Mix remaining tapioca flour separately with the remaining 1/4 cup chicken stock, then stir in with the meat & Chinese broccoli until it thickens. Taste and adjust accordingly.

To serve, spoon the gravy over the noodles and top with scramble eggs.

Note: If you prefer a more wet gravy, add more chicken stock.

Cambodian Stir-Fried Lemongrass Chicken

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken

Yesterday I mentioned about my Mother making some Cambodian Lemongrass Paste (Kroeung) for me (available for sale here). Today I used this Kroeung to make a tasty Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken ឆាគ្រឿងសាច់ម៉ាន់ (Cha Kroeung Sach Mon). I am making this with a bit of variation. For example the real Cha Kroeung uses Holy Basil ម្រះព្រៅ (Maress Prov). I only have Thai Basil and Sweet Basil growing in my garden this year so that’s what I’m using. I don’t know about others but I normally make this with ground meat as I feel that the flavors really penetrates through the ground meat more. But as you can see in the picture I did not ground my chicken. I was in a hurry. :mrgreen: The jalapenos and onion are also optional. You can substitute bell peppers or leave them out completely if you don’t like them. Also to truly make it authentic Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken add some pahok sauce to it. You don’t have to if you don’t like the taste or smell of pahok sauce.

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients

2 chicken breast, cut into bite size
6 jalapenos, slice into long sticks (remove seeds – optional)
1 medium onion, slice
1 cup of Cambodian Lemongrass Paste
1 cup basil leaves
4 tablespoons pahok sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar
3-4 tablespoon fish sauce (adjust to taste)

Bring a pan to med-high heat and add the chicken. Cook chicken thoroughly then remove and set aside.

Next in the same pan, add the lemongrass paste and fry until fragrant. (You can also just add it to the cook chicken but I like to fry the paste just to release the flavor and allow the moisture from the past to evaporate. It’s totally a personal preference). Once the paste is fragrant, return the chicken and combine it together.

Next add the pahok sauce if using. Followed with jalapenos and onions then sugar and fish sauce. Combine all ingredients together and adjust to taste.

Finally, turn the heat off and add the basil leaves. It will wilt once you mix it in. Plate it up and serve with steam rice.

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.

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)

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.

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