Cooking in Cambodia

Guest post from my sister Yemi!

On our last day in Battambang I decided to do a cooking class since it would be my last opportunity to learn how take Khmer food. I needed to learn how to make my two favorites: Lok Lak and Amok (our followers of the blog should know that this is similar to a red curry *see Kampot post*).

We went to the market to buy the ingredients. Even the fish was catch, kill, and cook.  It was all business at the fish market – no mercy.  After the market it was time to get to work. What I liked about Khmer cooking is that it involves wayyyyy less prep than Thai cooking. Each Khmer dish only involved chopping up max 5 ingredients.

The results:

The Lok Lak was disappointing. The teacher tried to explain away the difference in taste by saying that at restaurants (including his) they use MSG to make the Lok Lak more tasty and to give it more color, but that the one we cooked was more authentic. If that’s true, that’s disappointing because apparently I’m in love with the MSG version.

The Amok was incredible – period, point blank. I will be making that in the US. And the fish (snake fish) was so tender, flaked perfectly. Five stars.

The Chicken in Coconut Soup was great too. At first, I thought, why are we cooking soup in 90 degree heat? Well, that didn’t stop me from eating the whole bowl. Sorry yall, forgot to take pics of this dish :-/

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