Cambodian Hot and Sour Coconut Soup with Catfish (Somlar Machu Ktiss)

Cambodian Hot and Sour Coconut Soup: Healthy and Wholesome Somlar Machu Ktiss (Cambodian Hot and Sour Coconut Soup) is almost as complex as Cambodian curry, so it doesn’t make regular weekly appearances on our dinner plate, but when it does, I always jump in joy and anticipation. So healthy, explosively flavourful, complex and beguilingly delicious, I can’t help but go for a second or a third round. Needless to say, there are never any leftovers when my mother prepares this somlar machu ktiss.  Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I am quite lucky. While my friends struggle with the newest …

Steamed Fish Recipe: Cambodian Sour and Spicy Steamed Fish with Lemongrass and Galangal

Fish: A Fundamental Role in Cambodian Food Culture Although many Cambodians love steamed fish recipes, It never appealed to me. There were many Cambodian recipes that call for fish but in my childhood, I hated them all. So, when I was young and fickle, I avoided fish (stewed, fried or steamed) like Cookie avoided jalapeno peppers. When she’s being a pest like ripping up toilet papers, I would hold a freshly broken jalapeno pepper in front of her and she would back away quickly. The sides of her lips quirking up in disgust. The exact same reaction I unconsciously make every …

How to Make Cambodian Lime and Fish Soup (Sgnor Trey)

Khmer history is written in our food. Our ingredients. Many of our dishes are similar to our South-east Asian neighbours, adapted to our taste. Curry spices such as turmeric and star anise came from India, stir-frying came from the Chinese culture, and the use of banquette, and fondness for tenderizing meat with lime juice show traces of French cuisine from the time when Cambodia was a part of French Indochina. Khmer food and food recipes were varied and abundant. However, during the Khmer Rouge atrocity from 1975 – 1979, Khmer food culture, took a crippling blow. During those brutal years of …

How to Make Cambodian Noodle: Num Banh Chok

Num Bahn Chok: Cambodian Rice Noodle While staying with my mother in Cambodia for a few months, I’ve learned to appreciate one of her favorite Cambodian food, a traditional breakfast called num banh chok or Cambodian noodle –rice noodle served with fish gravy and freshly foraged wild grown Cambodian vegetables (some of which does not have an English name), eaten with a few chilli peppers on the side. Like all our morning breakfast in Cambodia, it’s served at room temperature, in a plastic bag, delivered to our house. No, we did not make the call for delivery. Every morning, our local vendor would …