Pickled Mustard Green Soup

Updated Apr 16, 2010
I’m updating this up with new photo of this soup along with a video cooking tutorial. The recipe is fairly easy and doesn’t require much ingredients but I’ve on a video making spree so thought I capture and show you how I made this yummy soup.

Video Tutorial

Original text below from archive Oct 21, 2009.
Yesterday I headed to Stockton to drop off some stuff at my parent’s house and also stopped by my sister’s salon to get my bangs trimmed. πŸ˜› Mother always try to pack me stuff every time I visit. My fridge is still stock with kwah ko (Cambodian Sausage) and trey ngeat (Cambodian Sun-Dried Salty Fish) from my last visit so there was no need for more of those, yet. Mother still had other goodies for me to bring back home and this time it was jruk spey αž‡αŸ’αžšαž€αŸ‹αžŸαŸ’αž–αŸƒ (Cambodian pickled mustard greens).

My favorite part of jruk spey is the center where the stems are still young and crunchy. I remembered growing up Mother used to make like buckets of jruk spey at a time and us kids would sneak up and pinched the center stem portion of the mustard green then eat them. When it’s time to cook my Mother is left with the outer leaves potion with a hollow center. She would questioned who did it. Of course we pointed fingers at each other and no body dare to admit they were the guilty one. πŸ˜€

Jruk spey can be used to make a variety of Cambodian dish as soups, stir-fry, and as a relish/salad to accompany grilled fishes as well as other meats. Today I am sharing with you how I make Sngour Jruk Spey αžŸαŸ’αž„αŸ„αžšαž‡αŸ’αžšαž€αŸ‹αžŸαŸ’αž–αŸƒ (Pickled Mustard Green Soup). Very few ingredients are called for but this soup yield LOTS of flavor! I am using bone-in chicken but you can use pork as well. Bone-in meats I think tend to yield a more flavorful broth due to long period of simmering. The broth becomes rich and the meats get oh so tender, like fall of the bone goodness. However, if time is tight then opt for meats only (without the bone) and chop into smaller pieces as it will cook faster.

3 skinless chicken thighs (about 1 lb) cut into chunks
3 cups chopped pickled mustard greens
5 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon chicken broth mix (or Β½ chicken bullion cube)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
chopped green onion or cilantro for garnishing
hot red chili peppers to serve (optional)

Wash and rinse and squeeze as much water from the pickled mustard greens prior to chopping to remove some of the salt content.

Bring water to a boil and add chicken pieces and garlic cloves. Allow to boil for 10 minutes making sure to remove scum that rise to the surface. If you are using meat only this will be less visible. Cover and simmer stock for 30 minutes or longer if have the time, otherwise 10-15 minutes is sufficient.

Add chicken broth mix followed by chopped pickled mustard greens. Continue to cook another 5 minutes. Finish the soup off by adding sugar and fish sauce. Pickled mustard greens can vary in flavor. Some have a very high salt content even after you rinse it while others make them pretty sour. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Once you are satisfy with the flavor turn the heat off and add chopped green onion then stir to combine. To serve, ladle to a bowl and garnish with fresh whole or chopped chili. This soup can be served as is or along with steamed rice at part of a meal.

Cambodian Lemongrass Fish Cake

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday, 2 days away. When one thinks of Valentine’s Day the first things that comes in mind almost instantly are red roses, puffy hearts and sweet decedent chocolates. Most definitely fish cakes does not cross people’s mind. For others it’s the sales and discounts at their favorite stores. No matter what people says, thinks or feel about Valentine’s Day it is one of the most celebrated holidays around the world. In my country, Cambodia, it’s refer to as Tngai Bonn Songsa with literally means Boyfriend/Girlfriend Day. I think it extends to Husbands/Wives too, no? Hmmm.. I hope so. πŸ˜€

I went to watch the Superbowl at my Sister’s house last weekend. My Mother sent back with me a couple package of prepared fish paste to post in the store (coming soon). These are prepared fish paste which has some of the basic spices and herbs in there already however, you can still mix your own flavors into them. I’ve added the Khmer Kroeung (lemongrass paste) to make αž”αŸ’αžšαž αž·αžαžαŸ’αžšαžΈαž‘αŸ’αžšαž„αŸ‹αž‚αŸ’αžšαžΏαž„ Pa’het Trey Troong Kroeung or Lemongrass Fish Cake with a kick. You can also add chop green beans and green onions for a whole new flavor and texture. Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner I got a bit festive and shape my fish cakes into hearts. This is totally optional of course. Follow along as I will be using my Mother’s prepared fish paste in a variety of recipes coming soon .

Cambodian Lemongrass Fish Cakes (makes 15)
(Pa’het Trey Troong Kroeung) αž”αŸ’αžšαž αž·αžαžαŸ’αžšαžΈαž‘αŸ’αžšαž„αŸ‹αž‚αŸ’αžšαžΏαž„


1 cup prepared fish paste (available in my store soon)
1/3 cup Khmer Kroeung (lemongrass paste)
1 tablespoon red pepper powder, optional
oil for frying
Cucumber relish, see recipe
cilantro for garnish
shape cookie cutter, optional
a sheet of wax paper 8×10

In a bowl add fish paste and Khmer Kroeung (lemongrass paste). Combine and mix well. Set aside for about 30 minutes.

To form the shape of your choice, just scope out a tablespoon of fish paste and fill it inside the shape cutter using a back of a small spoon to press it evenly. Lay it on a sheet of wax paper to avoid it from sticking. You can also roll it into a ball and press it flat between your palms like a patty. Add a pinch of red pepper powder to the center (one side) for an extra kick, optional.

Heat oil in a pan on high but reduce is back to medium for a minute before adding the patties. They cook up very fast so watch carefully. Fry until golden brown on both sides.

Serve with my cucumber relish or pickled carrots & daikon. Makes great appetizers or enjoy with steam rice for a complete meal.

Jackfruit & Tapioca Pearl in Coconut Milk

Jackfruit & Tapioca Pearl in Coconut MilkI’ve been having a lot of sweet cravings lately. This is not helping my new year resolution to loose weight. :( I was at the Asian supermarket a couple days ago and the fresh fruit selection this season does not look appealing to me not to mention the sky high prices. As I wander down the can goods isle I picked up a couple cans of fruits in syrup, jack fruit and the palm seeds. Those two are my favorites. I’m not too fond of the lychees, logans or rambutans in a can. I prefer those fresh which of course is extremely hard to find because they have to be imported to the USA from elsewhere meaning I have to pay an arm and a leg for them when it’s in season. Try to stay away from the can that says “in heavy syrup” as it can be too sweet unless that is what you are trying to achieve. I like my desserts on the not too sweet side.

I was going to eat them right out of the can but changed my mind when thought about how I have not post any recipes up for awhile. I decide to take the quick and easy route by making αž”αž„αŸ’αž’αŸ‚αž˜αž”αž”αžšαžαŸ’αž“αž»αžš (Baw Baw Knaow) Jackfruit & Tapioca Pearls in Coconut Milk aka Jackfruit Pudding. Ingredients and steps are similar to my Corn & Tapioca Pearl in Coconut Milk. Some people like to make this using sticky rice. I did not have the patience to soak my sticky rice for several hours or wait until tomorrow to make this so I took the quick and easy way out. :)

Jackfruit & Tapioca Pearl in Coconut Milk (makes 3-4 servings)
(Baw Baw Knaow) αž”αž„αŸ’αž’αŸ‚αž˜αž”αž”αžšαžαŸ’αž“αž»αžš


1 can jackfruit (20 oz size)
1 Β½ cup water
4 tablespoons small size tapioca pearl (more if you prefer a thicker consistency)
1 can coconut milk (13 oz)
1/3 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
Β½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Strain jackfruit from can and slice them. Set aside.

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. Again, stir occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your preference. Turn off the heat.

Add slice jackfruit.

Serve warm or cold.

Note: The warm heat will soften the jackfruit. If you prefer a crunchy texture then allow the coconut milk mixture to cool completely before adding the slice jackfruit. Another option is to add when warm but allow the entire pot to cool in the fridge. This will also thicken it up.

Spicy [Grilled] Buffalo Wings

Spicy Grilled Buffalo Wings

Spicy Grilled Buffalo Wings

We were watching a new Thai Movie (Khmer-Dubbed) called “Bok Lahong Yek αž”αž»αž€αž›αŸ’αž αž»αž„αž™αž€αŸ’αžŸ” which translate to Giant Papaya Salad or in Thai “Som Tum”. Just the title itself got our tummy rolling and then the image of Papaya Salad got us drooling. I quickly remembered that we have some papaya in the fridge. So off I go and grab my ingredients to make some Papaya Salad. I saw some chicken wings in the fridge as well which I planned to make some Buffalo Wings. I used to make them often but then I began to cut back ( I was trying to eat healthy LOL) due to the fat content from both the wings, the battered and the oil from having it deep fried. So today I tried something new – at least to me. Perhaps some of you are aware of this method but this was my very first attempt.

Instead of deep frying the wings, I pre-cooked it with some spices and then toss it with a bit of marinade/sauce before transferring it to the grill. Because it’s partially cooked I wasn’t concern about undercooking (pink inside). Plus, it didn’t take long on the grill either. Once the outer skin is crispy and ready to serve, I toss the grilled wings with the sauce again. At first I was a bit wary of the taste because when it’s deep-fried, you get that crunch and since I pre-boiled it and then grill, I wasn’t too sure. But after the first bite, I am positive this is now my preferred method when making Buffalo Wings. The crunch was still there since the skin dries up to a crispy texture when you grill it and the inside was still moist. This is such a healthier version than the deep-fried (sometime battered) hot wings. So here’s my recipe for Spicy [Grilled] Buffalo Wings. As I was eating it with my Papaya Salad, I thought of it as an East meets West dish. πŸ˜€ You can find recipes for my Papaya Salad here.

Spicy Buffalo Wings with Papaya Salad

Spicy Buffalo Wings with Papaya Salad

1 lb of chicken wings
5 cups of water
Β½ onion, skin peeled
7 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon Shaoxing Cooking wine (or distilled white vinegar)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/8 cup Frank’s Original Red Hot sauce
1/8 cup Tabasco Hot Sauce
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn, crushed

Bring 5 cups of water, onion, wine and smashed garlic to a boil. Add chicken wings and boil for about 5-7 minutes (depending on the size of the wings). Drained and dry with paper towel.

In a mixing boil, mix melted butter, Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce and Tabasco Sauce. Add the wings and coat evenly. Transfer to the grill and grill for about 15 minutes on each side. Reserve the sauce.

Spicy Grilled Buffalo Wings

Spicy Grilled Buffalo Wings

Just before serving toss crushed black peppercorn in the remanding sauce and add the grilled wings. Coat it evenly and transfer to a serving plate/tray. You can serve it with the traditional sides such as celery sticks, carrots and ranch|blue cheese dressing or for a healthier version you can eat it like me, with Khmer Papaya Salad or Pickled Carrots & Daikon. πŸ˜›

Spicy Buffalo Wings with Pickled Veggies

Spicy Buffalo Wings with Pickled Veggies

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