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.
The Khmer Kroeung (spicy) and Prohok (fish paste) are rarely absent in Cambodian cuisine, especially in soup. Samlor Korko (សម្លកកូរ) is among most favorite Khmer soup for daily family dishes. It’s a spicy fish soup composed of many kinds of vegetables. And it’s the Khmer soup that used both Khmer Kroeung and Prohok. Samlor Korko has a long history in which it was a royal dish and later on the receipt was revealed to outside the palace and become popular by all Cambodian.
Most of favorite Khmer foods are associated with the Kreung (a mixture of Khmer herbs), Prohok (fish pasted), Kapik (fermented shrimp) and also coconut milk. My last post was about Pineapple in Cambodia, in which pineapple is among popular vegetables of Khmer dishes. So today I would like to present a favorite Khmer foods related to pineapple called Samlor Khtis (សម្លខ្ទិះ), Fish Soup with Coconut Milk and Pineapple. It need more times to prepare, yet it’s easy to cook. It’s a typical delicious Khmer dish for lunch.