cambodian food recipe salaw machu kroeung

Salaw Machu Kroeung

This Cambodian main dish is a salty, sour & spicy soup with a distinct Cambodian taste due to yellow kroeung, a unique mixture of lemongrass, turmeric, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and other Asian spices.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cambodian, Khmer
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 400 kcal
Author Yuen Mi | A Travel Diary


  • 1/2 lb beef thinly sliced
  • 1/4 lb beef tripe soaked in vinegar, scrub with salt and rinsed
  • 1/4 lb beef lung
  • 1/2 lb water spinach (ta-kuon) separate leave and stalk, cut stalk into 2 inch pieces
  • 4 stalks celery cut into small pieces
  • 5 cups water
  • 5 tablespoon kroeung
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind juice
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock powder
  • 1 tablespoon fermented mud fish (pahok) substitute: fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup basil


  1. Make kroeung and set it aside for now.
  2. Place tripe and beef lung in a soup pot, cover with water and cook 15 minutes. Drain and rinse, cut into bite-size pieces. Cut beef into thin slices. Combine the beef lung, tripe and beef into a large mixing bowl. Add kroeung, salt, tamarind juice, and chicken stock powder to the meat mixture. Mix well.
  3. Transfer the meat/kroeung mixture into a large soup pot, and cover it with water. Cover the pot and let it cook to a boil. Once it boils over, lower the heat to a simmer (medium-low). When the meat is tender, add water spinach stalk and celery. Adjust the taste to suit your palate – add sugar if you want a bit of sweetness ( I don't use sugar in mine), more prahok or fish sauce for a saltier taste, more tamarind juice for tartness. Once everything is cooked, add the water spinach leaves and basil leaves. Turn off the heat right away as you don't want to overcook the leaves. Most families don't add the water spinach leaves, but we do, since I like the taste of it, and it's wasteful to not use everything.