Birthday Surprise in Cambodia
Thank you to Bambu Stage for helping us surprise @travel_az922 for her upcoming birthday! And thanks to @saorikktn for suggesting it in the first place to make this memory-making possible🥳 The rest of the food was a delicious feast as well!
The craftsmanship of the shadow puppets were amazing and the stage production was more than I expected. It was fun being able to try the instruments and have the chance to move the shadow puppets. It really gave me an insight that they’re difficult to control!
Archie, their mascot dog, was a sweetheart too❤️
This bowl of nom banh chok consists of fresh fermented rice noodles (made by artisanal noodle making families who make noodles the way their ancestors have done for over a thousand years), doused with a light fish curry broth, served with crunchy veg such as green beans, cucumber and banana flower, and garnished with fragrant herbs, foraged wild leaves, and edible flowers.
It’s my favourite Cambodian dish and it’s also Cambodia’s favourite dish and, some would argue, the national dish. Once eaten for breakfast, like many breakfast noodle soups in SoutheastAsia, it’s now eaten any time of the day.
Nom banh chok is a dish that has many cousins in the region and I’ve been tracing their origins and journeys as part of the Cambodia culinary research and Cambodian cookbook that Terence and I have been working on, on and off, over six years.
Our dream is to work on the project full time and complete the final research, interviews, recipe testing, and photo shoots in 12 months - here in Cambodia, neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and the Philippines, as well as India, Sri Lanka, Java, Yunnan, and in the Cambodian diasporas in the USA, Australia and Europe.
We’re now seeking patrons to support our work to do that and you can become a patron on the Patreon website for as little as US$2 a month, the price of a coffee -> https://www.patreon.com/laradunston
You’ll get access to patron-only content, perks and merch, and the opportunity to follow our research and travels, meeting people we interview and photograph along the way. You’ll see pages of our book, get to give feedback, ask questions, and share your thoughts, memories, stories, and your recipes if you wish, for a chance to be featured in the book.
You can read more about why our research is so necessary and what sets our cookbook apart from the rest on Patreon. Link in bio. Thank you xx
NEW POST Our Cambodian cookbook and culinary history project needs your patronage in the good old-fashioned sense of the word – encouragement, assistance and support – and you can become a patron of our project on the Patreon website for as little as US$2 a month or the price of a cup of coffee -> https://www.patreon.com/laradunston
As some of you know, if you spotted my earlier posts, four days ago we launched a Patreon page to seek patrons for a project that Terence and I have been researching, writing and photographing on and off for six years — the first comprehensive Cambodia culinary history and Cambodian cookbook. We would love your support.
Our Cambodian cookbook and Cambodian culinary history will be the first comprehensive English-language resource to Cambodian cuisine and culinary culture, covering dishes from every Cambodian region, parts of neighbouring countries where there are Khmer communities, including Isaan in Thailand, Southern Laos and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, the Cambodian diasporas in the USA, Australia and Europe, as well as recipes of a new generation of creative young chefs cooking in Cambodia and abroad.
The book’s culinary history will reveal the long rich story of this wonderful cuisine – a cuisine that has influenced its neighbour’s cuisines as much as it has been influenced by them due to their shared histories – while the cookbook will document and help to preserve Cambodian and Khmer recipes, particularly those of the older generation that are at risk of being lost when that generation passes.
Unlike any other Cambodian cookbook it will identify the sources of each of the recipes and share the lives and stories of the Cambodian cooks behind the dishes, and the kitchens that they cook them in. It will be much more than a cookbook. It will be a document of a generation and their time and place in a country that is changing very rapidly. We hope you’ll become a patron and join us on the final stages of this journey.
Cambodia’s food traditions are influenced by many of it’s neighbouring countries - Thailand, Vietnam, Loas, and China, as well as colonial French. However, there are numerous dishes that are identifiably Khmer (Cambodian). For example the most famous and the ‘national dish’ is ‘Amok’. Amok is a unique from most curries in that the only cooking process used is steaming. It is commonly cooked in banana leaf bowl, or in a fresh coconut husk. It has a custard like consistency. Amok can be made with seafood, chicken, or tofu for vegetarians. Cambodians prefer a flaky white fish (fresh water). The main ingredient for amok is Cambodian traditional fresh spice paste ‘kroeung’. Kroeung is made of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric, garlic, and shallots.
When in Cambodia you can find amok on every corner, but most Cambodian meals consist of multiple dishes. A typical Cambodian meal consists of a soup, a salad, a main dish fish (like amok), vegetables, dips, rice and a sweet dessert. Cambodian dessert is normally based on fresh fruits and sticky rice to complement the meal.
Amok is traditionally eaten during Khmer Water Festival, where Cambodians celebrate the reversal of the Tonle Sap River. However, the origin is unknown.
Cucina Cambogiana 🇰🇭:
- “Morning glory” con aglio e peperoncino in salsa di soia e salsa d’ostrica;
- Insetti e rane fritte con sale, pepe, peperoncino e lemongrass freschi; - Serpente d’acqua essiccato e poi abbrustolito accompagnato da succo di limone, pepe, peperoncino e aglio.
Non siate schizzinosi. Il serpente sapeva di carne secca e gli insetti sono croccanti (ad eccezione dei bachi da seta. Quelli sono mollicci dentro).
Buon appetito insomma 🎋
A few days ago I launched a @patreon page with the goal of finding patrons willing to pledge $2 a month, the price of a cup of coffee (or more, if they wish!) to support our final year of work on our epic Cambodia culinary history and Cambodia cookbook, which we've so far self-financed for six years.
Patrons will get to participate in the process, sharing tips, stories, memories and recipes (if they wish), get private access to our research, sneak previews of pages of the book, a credit in the published book, and special perks!
You'll find more info here, where you can also sign up (only takes a minute): https://www.patreon.com/laradunston
The book will be the first of its kind, because we're not only compiling recipes from cooks and chefs from around Cambodia and in the Cambodian diasporas in the USA, Europe and Australia, we are crediting the cooks as sources of the recipes, as well as featuring their portraits and telling their life stories, along with the story of Cambodia and its long rich culinary history. That history includes loads of original research and dispels many myths about Cambodian food.
As an added incentive for patrons, we're giving away lots of perks to entice you on board, from signed books once it's published to bespoke itineraries, surprise gifts of exclusive merchandising, and much more. Details on the link above.
If you can't contribute $2 a month, PLEASE SHARE this with any family, friends and colleagues who are keen to support the creative work of writers and photographers; love Cambodia and Cambodian food; or love cooking, culinary history and history in general.
Why do most cookbooks and culinary histories ignore Cambodia? Most travellers to Cambodia's Siem Reap that we meet know very little or nothing at all about Cambodian food, even when they confess to being 'foodies' and enthusiastic home cooks with bookcases filled with cookbooks.
Six years ago, during our first year researching Cambodian cuisine, we scrutinised every Cambodian, Southeast Asian and Asian cookbook and culinary history that we could get our hands on. It was bewildering and sad to learn that most Southeast Asian cookbook authors excluded Cambodian food or lumped it in a chapter with other cuisines, typically Lao or Burmese food.
One cookbook writer had chapters of recipes from Vietnam, Thailand and Burma in her book, yet combined recipes from Cambodia and Laos into one slim section. Her Thai food chapter was 63 pages, a third of the book, while the Cambodia and Laos chapter was just 30 pages long.
The rich cuisines of Cambodia and Laos, while sharing common elements, are also distinct, just as the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar are similar yet different. Who knows why she thought the cuisines of Cambodia and Laos weren’t worthy of more research, more pages, and separate chapters. Solomon is not alone. Most Southeast Asian cookbooks simply leave Cambodia out altogether.
Click through to our Patreon page if, like us, you feel that Cambodian cuisine and culinary history deserve more attention, and become a supporter of our project for just $2 a month.
More info here:
If you can't contribute, please share with friends, family and colleagues who are interested in food, travel, storytelling, and history.
Thank you xx
Yesterday I launched a @patreon page with the aim of creating a community of patrons to support the Cambodia cookbook and Cambodia culinary history we've been working on for six years. You can learn more about it here: https://www.patreon.com/laradunston
You can become a patron for as little as US$2 a month and support the project. It is the first of its kind because we're not only gathering recipes from around Cambodia and the Cambodian diaspora, we are crediting the sources of those recipes, and we are also telling the life stories of those cooks, and the story of Cambodian food, and its long rich history.
Patrons will have the chance to get involved, contribute feedback, advice and tips, share stories, memories and recipes, and help test recipes if they wish — or they can simply read about our research, our progress, and the wonderful people we meet, such as these women in a village in Battambang. A percentage of the profits from the sales of the published books will go to cooks such as these lovely ladies.
Patrons will get credits in the books, a copy of the book depending on the tier of support, and we are also offering other incentives to entice you on board and join the last year of our journey in completing the book.
If you can't contribute, please share with friends, family and colleagues who are interested in food, travel, storytelling, and history; in helping to preserve culinary traditions that are at risk; in supporting the promotion of Cambodian food; and who value the work and craft of writing and photography. #cambodia#cambodianfood#cambodiancuisine#cambodiancooking#khmerfood#khmercuisine#khmercooking#culinaryhistory#cambodianculinaryhistory#culinarytravel#culinaryjourneys#foodwriting#travelwriting#cookbookwriting#writing#photography#foodphotography#portraitphotography#books#cookbook#cookbooks#publishing .
Is this the best nom banh chok in Siem Reap? These pretty bowls were presented to us at a new noodle stall called ‘Pachok’, located in the food court at @theheritagewalk which was recently started by Sony, a Cambodian who has just returned home after seven years living in Australia.
It had been recommended to me as Siem Reap’s best nom banh chok, so I how could I resist? Beautifully presented with seasonal flowers and fragrant herbs and crispy greens, the fresh fermented rice noodles come from a noodle maker out at Preah Dak near Banteay Samre each day. The coconut curry gravy was subtly spiced and light, the way Cambodians like it with this dish, and it was thankfully not too sweet, which is the current trend.
It was delicious and very moreish. I thought I was finished but I kept finding myself reaching for my spoon... I’ll definitely be returning. It’s a lot closer than my favourite nom banh chok restaurants which are out at Preah Dak.
But is it Siem Reap’s best? Which leads me to the question: what makes a great bowl of nom banh chok, my friends? I know what I like, but what about you? Would love to hear your thoughts.
So we begin our journey for Kravanh Siem Reap . . An offering ceremony for the spirits of the land to let them know of our good intentions before we begin renovations this afternoon. We look forward to warmly welcome you to our Kravanh home in the not so distant future.
Another dish that one must try is this - corn fritters!! Crispy at the outer and juicy in the inner!! One piece is certainly not enough.. Another recommended dish is their fried rice. Don’t be fooled with the thought that it’s just a fried rice but I must say that the fried rice tastes way better than any other dishes, aside from corn fritters.
Brochettes de boulettes de poissons et sardines à la citronnelle façon cambodgienne 🇰🇭 Dès qu'on faisait un barbecue, je voyais les brochettes jaunes. Et je peux vous dire que ça faisait ravage.
Dans un mortier ou un mixeur, mélanger la citronnelle, les feuilles de laurier ou feuilles de kaffir, le thym, le galanga, l'ail, le gingembre et l’ail jusqu’à obtenir une pâte bien épaisse.
Placer ensuite les poissons dans un bol et mélanger avec la sauce huitre, citron, sauce poisson, miel et l'huile.
Ajouter la pâte (kroeung) jusqu’à ce que le bœuf soit bien enrobé. Enfiler délicatement les lanières de poisson sur les brochettes de bambou. Laisser reposer une petite heure.
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