Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Photos (II) of Sihanoukville, Cambodia (October 13-16, 2008)

I spent one day at Sihanoukville learning traditional Khmer cooking from a friendly local chef. Cambodian cuisine is typically less spicy than that of its neighboring countries, but it relies on many of the same flavorings: coconut, lemongrass, ginger, basil, mint, lemon/lime, turmeric, chili, garlic, shallots, and the ever-present fish sauce. Over the course of the day, we made four popular and very tasty dishes: beef lok lak, banana flower salad with steamed chicken, fish amok and pumpkin custard.
My friendly - and very patient - teacher prepares banana flower for a salad
Beef lok lak is cooked in a modified oyster sauce and served with a salt, pepper and lime juice dressing. It is typically accompanied by steamed rice.
Banana flower salad with steamed chicken, served in a banana flower petal. The sweet, salty and tart dressing can also used for green papaya or green mango salads.
Fish amok, steamed in banana leaf, is a Cambodian specialty, often served with rice. It doesn't look like much here, but the combination of ginger, turmeric, shallots, chili and coconut milk can't be beat. Amok can also be made with chicken, prawns or tofu.
Custard steamed in a pumpkin shell makes a nice end to a meal, although my favorite Cambodian dessert is sticky rice with mango

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