I LOVE LOVE Cambodian Kroeung! I can pretty much eat or at least try anything that is made using Khmer Kroeung. Kroeung is used in one my most favorite food in the WWW (world wide world) which is Stir Fried Lemongrass___, ឆារគ្រឿង __, (Cha Kdov (Kroeung) ___.) Fill in the blank with your choice meat. It’s such a delicious dish that I can seriously go off my diet streak if I make it often. YES, it’s that BAD, in a delicious way of course. Another popular favorite among Cambodian is the Sour and Spicy Beef Soup with Water Spinach, សម្លម្ចូគ្រឿងសាច់គោ (Somlaw Machew Kroeung Sach Ko).
For my love of Kroeung I do try to create new dishes utilizing this fragrant spice mixture. However, Cambodian Lemongrass Stuffed Game Hen isn’t so new since I’ve shared with you my recipe for Cambodian Grilled Lemongrass Chicken, សាច់ម៉ាន់អាំងប្រឡាក់គ្រឿង (Sach Mon Arng Prolak Kroeung) and Cambodian Stuffed Chicken Wings, ស្លាបម៉ាន់បោក (Slab Mon Baok) in previous post. What’s new in this recipe is the ingredients I used to make the stuffing. It might sound like too much to accompany rice but then the thought of stuffed turkey with mash potatoes and gravy all in one meal came into mind. That isn’t much right? 😀 Come to think about it if I have a date this Thanksgiving this might just be the ideal Cambodian Thanksgiving Dinner or two.
I decided to go with mushroom and bean thread noodles as the stuffing. These two ingredients works like a sponge and will soak up all the flavorful juices. They do not take long to cook which is perfect since game hen are fairly small and doesn’t require long roasting time. Enoki mushroom was used because that’s what I had sitting in my fridge at the moment. It’s also very affordable at only $0.49 a package! You can definitely upgrade to fresh shitaki or king oysters mushroom if you want.
Cambodian Lemongrass Stuffed Cornish Game Hen (make 2 servings)
(Mon Doat Ngort Kroeung) មាន់ដុតញាត់គ្រឿង
1½ lb cornish game hen with giblets inside removed
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
1 teaspoon cayenne or paprika pepper powder, optional
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2-3 tablespoons Khmer Kroeung
1 pkg (3.5oz) enoki mushrooms, cut off bottom 1½-2 inch and rinse gently. Squeeze excess water.
1 bunch bean thread noodles, it comes in the pink netting (glass noodles), soak in warm water until soften
1 cup holy basil leaves
leafy green for garnish
Rinse Cornish game hen thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry with kitchen towel and set aside.
To make the marinade combine brown sugar, fish sauce, white pepper powder, paprika (if using), sesame oil and Kroeung in a bowl. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the marinade and pour it on the Cornish game hen then rub all over. Tip: Put the chicken inside a freezer bag and pour the marinade on top. Use you hand and rub the marinade on the chicken from the outside of the freezer bag.
To make the stuffing add mushroom, bean thread and holy basil leaves into the remainder of the marinade and mix well.
Cover the chicken and allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight. Cover the stuffing and store it in the fridge until it’s time to roast.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Stuff the chicken with the prepared stuffing and use toothpicks to sew the skin together so that it does not spill out during roasting. One diagonally and one across.
Place the breast side down on a rack and roast for 30 minutes. Then carefully flip to roast on the other side for another 20 minutes or until the juices run clear when you pierce the inner thigh with a fork. For a crispy golden brown skin crank up the heat to 450 degrees and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Remove and tent with foil. This is extremely important if you want a tender juicy meat. If you start cutting through now the meat is still hot and the juices will just flow out. You don’t want a dry meat do you? Be patient and let it rest for 15 minutes or so. In the meantime you can clean up or set the table.
Split in half to reveal the mouthwatering stuffing and arrange on a platter with some garnish.
Serve with hot steam rice and some soup. ENJOY!