Posts Tagged ‘Cambodian’

DELICIOUS Stir Fry Pickled Mustard Greens with Beef | ឆាជ្រក់ស្ពៃសាច់គោ ឆ្ងាញ់ៗ ងាយៗ

Video Tutorial:

Originally post 12.13.10

I asked my Mother to make me a big bucket of pickled mustard greens because where she reside things are much cheaper. Pickled mustard greens can be used to make so many delicious dishes. It can be enjoyed as is with grilled or fried fish or use it to make Pickled Mustard Green Soup. I’ve made Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Greens with Roasted Pork Belly and Pickled Mustard Green Fried Rice before. Today I share with you another dish utilizing this tasty pickled mustard greens.

Originally I wanted to do a video tutorial for this Cambodian Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Green with Beef,​ឆារជ្រុក់ស្ពីសាច់គោ (Cha Jruk Spey Sachko) but due to gloomy Autumn weather plus my crazy sleeping pattern by the time I step in the kitchen there is hardly any natural light left. Without sufficient natural light recording is extremely challenging. This is why I settle for a blog post instead.

The secret on how to make beef tender like how they serve it up at Chinese restaurants
Slice the beef thinly across the grain and soak it in baking soda mixture. For the recipe below I used ½ teaspoon baking soda and about 1½ cup water. Soak for about 15-20 minutes then drain and rinse the beef well to remove any residue. Use paper towel to remove excess water. From here you can marinade the meat to your liking.

Cambodian Stir-Fried Pickled Mustard Green with Beef (makes 1-2 serving)
(Cha Jruk Spey Sachko) ឆារជ្រុក់ស្ពីសាច់គោ

Ingredients
½ lb. beef, thinly sliced
about 3 cups chopped pickled mustard greens
3 cloves of garlic, peel and minced
bird’s eye chili, slice lengthwise (adjust amount to your liking)
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
½ tablespoon oyster sauce, optional
cilantro springs for garnish
oil for stir-frying

Method:
Get your pan nice and hot then add the oil. Swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan.

Toss in your garlic and stir fry about 20-30 secs. It should not take long to turn golden brown. If it does, it means the oil is not hot enough.

Next add the chili if using and continue to stir fry until fragrant, about another 20-30 secs.

Add sliced beef and cook to your liking (medium, well-done). Add sugar, fish sauce and oyster sauce if using. Stir to coat.

Toss the chopped pickled mustard greens and continue to stir it for just a minute to incorporate all the flavors.

Dish out, garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with steamed rice. ENJOY!

Cambodian Lime Soup with Prawns | វិធីធ្វើស្ងោរជ្រក់បង្គា

Video Tutorial:

Cambodian Stir Fry Holy Basil ឆាម្រះព្រៅ

Video Tutorial:

Steamed Fish with Lime Juice ត្រីចំហុយទឹកក្រូចឆ្មាខ្ទឹមស

Video Tutorial:

Cambodian Outside of the Pot Soup ស្ងោរជ្រក់ក្រៅឆ្នាំង

Cambodian Grilled Corn with Coconut Sauce

Video Tutorial:

Cambodian Ratatouille

Cambodian Ratatouille known in Khmer as សម្លកកូរ, (Somlaw Koko) is a simple-basic hearty stew which uses assorted vegetables and strong flavorings from pickle fish or fermented fish (prohok), Khmer Kroeung and ground toasted rice. It’s also consider Cambodia’s National Dish.

Over the years, many different versions of Somlaw Koko has been created. Some added coconut milk to this stew. Growing up, my Mother never used coconut milk to make Somlaw Koko. Personally, I think the flavor is too rich and if you were to substitute the ground toasted rice with tamarind soup base, it would turn into Cambodian Sour Soup with Coconut Milk with assorted vegetables or similar to Cambodian Curry. I will leave it up to you, the Chef, to decide what works best for your taste bud.

The vegetables I used here came in a convenience package all mixed together. If you don’t have all or any of these listed you can surely use what’s in season or available in your area. Depending on the type of vegetables use you might want to separate them and add them in the order it takes to cook. My group contains pumpkin which probably might need to be added first, however at this quantity I did not bother dividing them and I did not mind a bit of crunch to my pumpkin either, again a personal preference.

Video Tutorial:

Cambodian Ratatouille (makes 5 servings)
(Somlaw Koko) សម្ល​​​កកូរ

Ingredients
1 teaspoon oil
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 tablespoon ground pickle fish (prahok)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground toasted rice
4 tablespoons lemongrass paste (Khmer Kroeung)
1 lb your choice of meat (chicken, pork, or fish) cut into bite size pieces (I used pork ribs)
2 lbs assorted vegetables (pumpkin, shredded papaya, green beans, aubergine, Thai eggplants, fuzzy squash)
8 whole bird’s eye chilies (optional)
3 cups water

Method:
Heat oil in a pot and add palm sugar. Stir quickly until partly dissolve. Becareful not to burn the sugar. Remove the pot or adjust the heat if necessary.

Add in pickle fish (prohok) and stir these two ingredients together until fragrant.

Next add the meat. Stir fry until the meat is coated and slightly brown.

Add lemongrass paste and stir to combine followed by fish sauce and some salt.

Carefully slide in the assorted vegetables. Add in the chilies too if using them.

Scatter the ground toasted rice all over the vegetables. Mix it in slightly, and finally add the water.

Cover and allow the soup to return to a rapid boil. The meat on the bottom is now fully cooked. Give it a stir so the vegetables have a chance to cook and soak up all the flavors. It’s a good time to taste and adjust accordingly. Cover the lid again and continue to cook just a few more minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve with steam rice. ENJOY!


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.

Cambodian Popcorn Chicken

In my attempt to try and create a Cambodian version of Popcorn Chicken I decided to use Khmer Kroeung which is the base flavor for many well-known Khmer dishes such as the Cambodian Spicy & Sour Soup and Fiery Stir-Fried Lemongrass Quail, just to name a few. I will therefore name it Cambodian Popcorn Chicken, ម៉ាន់គ្រឿងបំពង (Mon Kroeung Bomporng). I am extremely happy with the outcome. It was delicious and there was that hint of Khmer Kroeung in every single bite. The only thing I sort of regret is not having fresh holy basil leaves so I opt for Thai basil leaves instead.

One of the greatest things I love about living in the Bay Area beside the weather is the availability of the different ethnic food. Seems like everything is within proximity. You don’t have to drive too far or fly out of state. If you visited California recently especially around the Bay Area or Southern California you might of seen a bunch of small Asian Fusion Style Chain Cafe such as Quickly and Tapioca Express. Although there drink selection is overwhelming I can’t seem to resist ordering is their Popcorn Chicken or otherwise known as Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken or just plain Salt & Pepper Chicken. It is not the same as the Popcorn Chicken you get from KFC or American restaurants. The one you get from Quickly or Tapioca Express is flavored with Asian spices such as star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel. These spices together make what is known as Five-Spice Powder. This was my inspiration for creating this delicious Cambodian Popcorn Chicken.

I also made a red pepper salt mixture as a sprinkle because I just love the spicy flavor in savory dishes. This is of course optional. This spicy flavored salt can also be sprinkle on fried eggs, omelets, chickens and many more items that calls for a splash of the usual salt and pepper.

Cambodian Popcorn Chicken (makes 1-2 serving depends if serving as a snack or with rice)
(Mon Kroeung Bomporng) ម៉ាន់គ្រឿងបំពង

Ingredients
¾ lb chicken (breast or thigh meat) cut into bite size pieces – for this recipe I used a whole large chicken breast
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ tablespoon fish sauce
½ tablespoon oyster sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon Shaoxing wine, used as a tenderizer
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Khmer Kroeung
½ cup sweet potato flour or also label as potato starch
holy basil leaves or Thai basil leaves as garnish
oil for deep frying

Spicy Flavored Salt Mixture
1½ tablespoons red pepper powder
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
½ teaspoon salt

Method:
To make the spicy flavored salt mixture combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. You can definitely adjust the amount to taste. Set aside for later use.

Marinade the chicken pieces with garlic, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, salt, sugar and Khmer Kroeung. Mix well, cover and marinade for at least 30 minutes or overnight for best flavor. Try to bring it to room temperature prior to proceeding with the next step.

In a heavy pan/pot heat oil over medium heat. While waiting for the oil to heat up sprinkle sweet potato all over marinaded chicken pieces. Use more if necessary. There will be clumps therefore I just use a strainer to shake off the clumps so that it doesn’t end up in the frying pan as it is rather difficult to fish out small pieces of burnt flour in hot oil.

When the oil is hot and ready, deep fry the chicken pieces until golden brown. Depending on the type of meat (white/dark) in addition to the cut sizes it can take anywhere from 3-4 minutes to fry.

Test a piece and once it is cook use a medal strainer or slotted spoon to transfer them to paper towels or paper bags to remove excess oil.

Next toss in the basil leaves in the hot oil. Be extremely careful because this cause a loud popping sound and sometime oil splashes if the leaves are not thoroughly dried. Protect yourself with a splatter guard or quickly toss it and step far away until the sizzling sound decreases. It should only take 20-25 seconds to fry the basil leaves.

You can transfer the chicken to a serving plate or serve it in paper bags garnish with fried basil leaves. Sprinkle with spicy flavored salt if you prefer.

This delicious dish can be served as a snack or eaten as a meal with steamed rice. ENJOY!

Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge with Fried Noodle

This is one of my childhood favorite weekend dish while growing up in a 300+ Cambodian refugee apartment complex Park Village in Stockton, CA back in the late 80s. Mainly because the lady in one of the apartment in the complex known as Chanrith’s Mom had the Cambodian fried noodles available for sale at only $1 per a zip lock sandwich bag. We would reserve some of the fried noodles and add it to porridge the next meal. Not that the fried noodles were difficult to make but there were plenty leftovers. You can make the porridge with your choice of meat or seafood. You can also use the Congee|Rice Porridge recipe that I’ve posted before. Some also like to add extras such as liver, gizzards, intestines and blood cube. I prefer mine with without those extras.

I made my Cambodian chicken rice porridge with fried noodle, បបរសាច់មាន់គុយទាវឆារខ្មែរ (Bobor Sach Mon Kuy Teav Cha) with the help of canned chicken stock and leftover cooked steamed rice. This saves me time from making the chicken broth from scratch. You can certainly start with uncooked rice it will just take a bit longer and requires an additional cup of liquid. There isn’t much seasoning going on because the rice grain absorbs the flavors from the chicken stock as they expand. You want just a basic porridge and allow individual to adjust their bowl to taste using the seasonings and garnishes.

If you happen to have Chinese donuts or twisted donuts known in Khmer as Jap Kwai it would pair well with this porridge.

Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge with Fried Noodle (makes 2 serving)
(Bobor Sach Mon Kuy Teav Cha) បបរសាច់មាន់គុយទាវឆារខ្មែរ

Ingredients
1 14 oz can chicken stock
2 cups water
2 skinless chicken thighs
1 cup cooked rice
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 oz dried rice noodles, small size, pre-soak in warm water 30 minutes or until soften
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
½ teaspoon pure sesame oil

Seasonings and Garnishes (pictured below)
fried garlic
lime wedges
cooked shredded chicken
fried rice noodles
chopped cilantro
fermented soy bean
chili and garlic sauce
mung bean sprouts
white or black pepper (not pictured)

 

 

Method:
Bring chicken stock and water to a boil and add the chicken pieces. Allow it to come to a boil again and then simmer cover until the meat is cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.

Add rice to stock and cook on low heat until the grains expand and becomes soft, about 25 minutes. If using uncooked rice it will take additional time. If the heat is too high the liquid will evaporate more so make sure to keep it nice and low with the cover on but do monitor it so it does not spill over. If it get too dry add more chicken stock or plain water and stir so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Once the chicken has cool to touch discard any bones and use your fingers to shred the meat and set it aside with the other finish seasonings and garnishes.

Strained the pre-soak dried noodles and toss it with sweet soy sauce and sesame oil. Heat a non-stick pan until hot and add the noodles. Use chopsticks to swirl and move them around so they don’t stick to the bottom. If it appears to be dry just splash some water to soften it up. Transfer to a plate and set it aside with the finish seasonings and garnishes

Once the rice has turned into porridge season with sugar and fish sauce.

To serve the porridge ladle into individual bowls and each person can add their own toppings as well as adjust to taste. ENJOY!

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