Bang Em San Daek Khiev
Green bean dessert is one of popular desserts for Cambodian. People usually having dessert after their lunch or after they are off from work in the evening. Dessert stalls are common in Phnom Penh and also mobile stalls which selling many kinds of popular Khmer dessert. Most of desserts are easy to prepare that Cambodian people also like to cook dessert at the weekend for whole family serving. Some popular desserts that most often be cooked are Chek Khtis (Banana coconut milk dessert), Bang em la pov (Pumpkin coconut milk dessert), and also green bean dessert which in Khmer we call bang em san daek khiev (bang em = dessert; san daek = bean; khiev = green).
If you also would like to try green bean dessert by your own, you can refer to the recipe below.
Ingredients for 3 servings
- 100 g of green bean: soak it for about 1-2 hours, then wash it well and drain.
- 500 g of shredded coconut meat: we need two kinds of coconut milk, thick and thin. So the first wringing of coconut meat need 250 ml of water, and this first outcome of coconut milk is thick, we keep it in different bow. After that, we will need about 750 ml of thin coconut milk right into the cooking pot. So wring it for several times. To be easy, you can order people to get ready these two kinds of coconut milk for you when you buy coconut at the market. The canned coconut milk is also available, but it’s can replace for thick coconut milk only, and then use pure water for thin coconut milk.
- 100 g of palm sugar or 150 g of refined sugar. If you use palm sugar disc you have to turn it into sugar power. Simply put the sugar disc on the cutting board and use knife to slice it. For Cambodians, we always use palm sugar for all kinds of desserts, because it makes better natural sweet flavor and giving the dessert the great aroma of palm sugar.
- Place the pot of thin coconut milk on fire, just about 5 minutes later, it’s boiling; now add green bean and a little salt, decrease heat to medium. It need about 30 minutes to 45 minutes for the green bean to be soft and break out. So be patient, because too much heat will cause the coconut milk becomes dry before the green been turns soft.
- After the green bean become soft we can add sugar. Do not add all at once, in case it’s too sweet.
- Then add the 250 ml thick coconut milk. Now if you feel the dessert is too thick (less water), you can add some boiling water and adjust your sweet level. Bring your dessert to boiling and it’s done.
Green bean dessert can help reduce the heat inside our body. If we intend to have it for this reason, my mom also added wax gourd in the green bean dessert and they can go well together.
Green bean dessert is also serving with ice and adds some milk. Mostly if you order green bean dessert from the dessert stall you will get this version. So if you cook your green bean dessert at home and want to serve with ice too, your green bean dessert must be sweeter and don’t need to have much liquid.
Samlor Machu Trokuon – Common Soup of Khmer Meals
Samlor Machu Trokuon or Water Spinach Sour Soup is a very common soup of Cambodian daily meals. We cook it very often because it’s easily goes with other foods and always make our meals delicious. The recipe of Samlor Machu Trokuon is very simple. However, the young people of modern days might not know how to cook water spinach sour soup. So if it’s the case, you can refer to the recipe below.
Ingredients for 3 servings
1. Water spinach / Trokuon: two bunches, cut it into 5cm long pieces, take only young parts, wash well and drain.
2. Fish: a small fish of about 300 g (can be trei ros, trei po or trei kae), wash well and cut it into round slices of about 1.50 cm thick.
3. Ripe tamarind flesh which seeds are taken out ready for sour soup tasting. Need only a round piece as big as a small ball of about 3 cm in diameter.
4. One lemongrass stalk, beat it to be a bit flat; a small piece of galangal (mdeng), these are for reducing the smell of fish and increase aroma of herb.
5. Two tbsp sugar, 5 tbsp fish sauce
6. M’orm to top up for aroma
1. Put a cooking pot contains about 750 ml water onto fire. When the water is boiling, add in fish with a little salt, lemon grass stalk and galangal, decrease heat to medium.
2. Put tamarind flesh in a small bowl, take the boiling water from the pot into the bow and start to crush tamarind. Then pour the tamarind water back into the pot, if it’s not sour enough, do it again.
3. By now the fish is cooked, so add water spinach, add sugar and fish sauce. Next taste and adjust to your flavor. Increase the heat and bring it to boiling, then the water spinach is also cooked.
Water spinach sour soup is usually goes well with other dry foods such as fried or grilled dried fish or fried fish.
Depend on the favorite of each person, prohok is also added in Khmer water spinach sour soup. In this case, we will use less fish sauce and more sugar. Prohok will be crush in the same time with tamarind, we will need about 3-4 small fishes of prohok only.
Nhorm Sdav – Khmer Salad
Sdav or Sdao is a kind of big growing tree in the wild of Cambodia, but it’s now brought to grow in the village also, because of its edible and contain health property. The edible parts are its young leaves and flowers with delicious bitter taste. Sdav is a seasonal plant, the new leaves and flowers only grow out during the month of November to February in Cambodia. It’s when Sdav begins to grow new branches and its flowers also grow out with new young leaves.
Sdav is served as vegetable for dipping with Teuk Kroeung and other Khmer dips. But Sdav Salad or Nhorm Sdav is a popular food for Cambodian.
Ingredients for 2 servings:
- 1 small bunch of Sdav of its young leaves and flowers
- 100 g pork
- 100 g fish flesh or smoked fish (optional)
- 1 tomato
- 1 cucumber
Ingredients for dressing:
- Ripe tamarind
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 shallot
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 or 2 red chilly
Preparation of the dressing
Put ripe tamarind in a bow, add 3 tbsp boiled water and start to crush it so that its flesh slips away from its seeds. Then take out the seed. Garlic and red chilly finely chopped, shallot slice thinly. Then add all into the bow of tamarind included sugar and fish sauce. Then taste it to the right flavor of sweet sour sauce.
Preparation for Sdav Salad
Put the bunch of Sdav into a bow to dip it with boiling water. Do not dip it into the boiling water on fire. But after the water is boiled, pour it onto the bow of Sdav. Then Sdav will turn into a very beautiful green leaves. Just for 5 minutes, Sdav must take out from boiled water and wash out with cold clean water. After drained, Sdav leaves and flowers must be picking up from its branches. And this is ready for Sdav.
Pork after boiled, thinly slice into small slices. If you choose to add fish or smoked fish, then it’s must be grilled, then remove bones. Tomato and cucumber also thinly slice. Coriander also finely picked, and cut into small pieces. Now mix all the ingredients together and add the tamarind sauce slowly.
Nhorm Sdav or Sdav Salad is a great food for people who like bitter vegetables. Everyone in my family like it, we will have a big meal with Nhorm Sdav that consists of the bitter flavor of Sdav, the sweet of cucumber, the sour of tomato, the aroma of coriander, and the hot of chilly.
If you haven’t tried Nhorm Sdav before, give it a try!
Prohok is Khmer fish paste that has become the best Khmer preserved food since ancient time. Thus most of Khmer traditional foods are having prohok as ingrediant. It is very often used in Khmer soups such as Samlor Korko (Khmer fish soup with vegetables), Samlor Tumpang (bamboo shoot soup), and also Khmer sour soup with water spinach. Prohok Khtis is another favorite Khmer food, which prokok is cooked with ground pork and coconut milk.
Today I would like to present another dish of prohok which is more special for prohok lovers, it is prohok ching chram plae krasaing, the chopped prohok with krasaing fruit. The preparation is simple without involving fire.
- 100g prohok
- 3-4 krasaing fruit (a kind of fruit having a thick hard and dark green cover, look like a green orange. The flesh inside, together with its edible tiny seeds, taste sour. Khmer people use it for this special prohok dish. Krasaing is also used instead of turmarine for sour soup.)
- 3 stalks lemongrass
- 5-6 kaffir lime leaves
- 6 cloves garlic
- 4 red chilly
- 4-5 tbps sugar
- 3/4 tbps salt
- Prohok must be cleaned with warm water, then finely chop
- lemongrass, thinly sliced, then also chop well
- Krasaing fruit, split into two parts, and take only the flesh inside, also finely chop.
- After all, prohok, lemongrass, krasaing, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, and chilly are chopped well together. Then add sugar and salt and taste it to your favorite.
Chopped prohok with krasaing fruit taste great with the mixture of prohok, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, especially, the sour taste of krasaing. It’s served with steamed rice together with many kinds of fresh vegetables such as cucumber, water spinach, long bean, eggplant, green banana, and more.
Khmer Bitter Melon Soup
Bitter melon is a well known vegetable for most of us, especially Asians. It’s among popular vegetables for our daily receipts. Bitter melon is cooked as soups, bitter melon fried or stir fried with egg, bitter melon stir fried with beef and many other delicious dishes from bitter melon. The young bitter melon is even eaten as salad with Prohok or Prohok Khtis.
For the bitter melon soups, we usually see more often the stuffed bitter melon soup, in which the bitter melon are cut into 6 cm sections, take out its seeds and the white fluff part, and fill in the ground meat. To be more simple, bitter melon is cut into small pieces and cook with chicken or pork. Today I would like to present the Khmer bitter melon soup which contain the flavor of Khmer food, in Khmer it’s called ‘Samlor Praher Mras’.
Ingredients for 2 servings:
- 1 bitter melon (about 200g)
- 250 g fish flesh
- The Khmer Kroeng: lemon grass leaves sliced into very tiny pieces; finger root (ខ្ជាយ) thinly sliced; turmeric thinly sliced; 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced. Then finely pounded all of them in the mortar.
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- Split the bitter melon into two part, remove the seeds and the white fluff part, then sliced it into thin slices.
- Fish after cleaned and drained, boil it in a pot with about 550 ml of water. After about 10 minutes, the fish get cooked. Take it off from fire, keep it cool and take out its bone.
- We have a choice of pounding the fish flesh with the pounded Kroeung or just mix with it while the fish flesh is in small pieces. Though it’s pounded or not, after they’re together, add sugar and fish sauce.
- Reheat the soup of boiling fish just now, let it boiling, then add the mixture of the Kroeung and fish flesh, the bitter melon is also added. About 10 minutes later, when the bitter melon is cooked, adjust the flavor.
The Khmer bitter melon soup is served with steamed rice and dip with chilly-fish-sauce. The bitter taste of bitter melon is going very well with the Khmer Kroeung, that made Samlor Praher Mras a popular soup for daily dishes of Cambodian families.
Krolan is a kind of food in which sticky rice is cooked in bamboo tubes. Visitors from Phnom Penh to other provinces will often see Krolan being selling on the bus stops on national roads, especially the trip from Siem Reap, Pusat, Battambang, Kratie, and Kampong Chhnang. Some visitors might be wondering about what’s inside those tubes that they are selling?
Ambok is pounded rice (by the action of making it) or flatten rice (by the shape of it) that is a kind of Khmer snack made from paddy rice. Ambok is a main offering of moon praying ceremony on the full moon day of the 12th Lunar month. During this period of time is the harvest time of paddy rice in Cambodia. The new harvested paddy rice grains are well suited for making delicious ambok. Ambok is only available one week before the full moon praying ceremony day and about one month after the ceremony.
At the first time seeing ambok, one might not know that it’s made of paddy rice grain. So have you ever wondered how ambok been made?