Thursday, March 27, 2008

Village cooking lessons: Day 2

Samlor Majoo Kroeng Sait Gou (Sour Soup with Morning Glory and Beef)

*Note: In Cambodia Morning Glory is not a flower, but an aquatic vegetable with a hollow stem, sometimes called Water Spinach.

For a picture of what it can look like go here.

Step 1: Remove leaves from the Morning Glory. A few smaller ones can be left on the ends. Using the flat side of a knife (preferably a cleaver) flatten the Morning Glory stocks, then chop into 1.5" pieces.

Step 2: Add 5-6 garlic cloves and pieces of galangal rhizomes to a mortar, then smash them together. Add the "kroeng" mix (pounded lemongrass and tumeric root and other things) and continue pounding. Add some finely chopped kaffir lime leaves (or add some sour tamarind paste later) to make it sour.

Step 3: Cut up the meat into small bite-sized pieces.

Step 4: Heat some oil in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add the pounded mixture along with some "prahok" (Cambodian fish paste) and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the meat and cook until it's browned. Cover with water and bring to a boil then simmer. Once it's simmering add the Morning Glory pieces. Cook until those are soft.

Eat with steamed rice.

Village cooking lessons

I'm back in "cooking school" with my Cambodian mom. I am learnign how to make some standard Cambodian dishes so that I will be able to make them in the future.

Day #1: Fried meat and vegetables (aka stir-fry)
Now I already know how to do this, but was told I needed to know how to make it tasty.

Step 1: heat oil (any kind will do).

Step 2: add freshly minced garlic to cook until golden, then add a spoonful of sugar.

Step 3: add chopped meat. We used pork, but beef will do just fine, and of course tofu. Let cook thoroughly so there's no pink in the middle.

Step 4: when meat is cooked, add the vegetables. We used sliced onions and angle-sliced cucumber, but you can choose you can choose your favorite. I think using onion is a must, and you can choose carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, or any other vegetable. The key thing, however, is to pay attention to your chosen vegie's density to determine cooking order and time. Cauliflower takes longer so it should go in first. Onions and cucumbers tend to be softer so they go in later.

Step 5: I think there is some salt added to taste, but I must have been looking away when it was added. Very important: check the taste of the dish using a spoon. If it isn't salty enough, add salt. If it's too salty, add water and/or sugar. Finally serve it in a serving bowl alongside steamed rice for your meal.

[sorry no pics for this one as I didn't have the camera with me.]