Monday, April 19, 2010

Some Khmer Cookin

I knew when I returned from my trip that it would be back to reality very quickly, but oh what a weird reality it has turned out to be. This morning I found myself back at my old design job. As my plane landed in Chicago last week, and my blackberry starting loading all the emails I had been avoiding, I received a request for some contract work at the product design firm that I had been laid off from last fall. It's like I have actually traveled back in time...I am just sitting at a different desk.

Except that last night I found myself meeting with my good friend to discuss the dessert table at her wedding, which I will be designing and baking myself. Scary huh? I am also training this week for my oh-so-exciting promotion from hostess to server (big money, big money).

So, reality stomped on me hard this week, and Thailand and Cambodia seem like a distant memory. Luckily I was able to find the time to take a step back, amidst all the craziness, and have a quiet night at home, with a (loose) recreation of one of my favorite Khmer dishes, fried ginger with pork. It was a fleeting moment I fear, but it was nice to relive such an amazing vacation, even only for an hour or two, through such a delicious meal.

Khmer Fried Ginger with Pork and Spicy Soy Sauce

1/2-1 pound boneless pork chop, sliced thinly
1/2 pound ginger, preferably young, peeled and cut into very fine matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
8 oz. can/container of sliced bamboo shoots
3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce (they didn't have fish sauce in my grocery store, but if you can find it, use that instead with a little sugar to balance out the flavor)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3-4 scallions, green and white parts sliced thinly

In a wok (or a large skillet, I do not yet own a wok) heat the oil over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the garlic and fry for about 20-30 seconds, stirring continuously. Add the meat, and stir-fry until it starts to brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. Add the ginger, bell pepper, bamboo shoots, oyster sauce, and soy sauce, and fry until everything is cooked through and tender, stirring constantly, about 4-5 more minutes.

I served this with brown rice and some spicy soy sauce (which is nothing more than a few slices a jalapeno and red pepper flakes soaking in some soy sauce) but any kind of rice, or even rice noodles would work.
It definitely wasn't exactly like the fried ginger we had in cambodia, but it was delicious in its own right and I would absolutely make it again. If only we could be staring at centuries-old temples or sitting on a beach while eating it. I guess the back deck and 65 degree weather will have to cut it for now.


Hungry Dog said...

SOunds great and looks absolutely stunning. I love the colors. Getting back to real life after vacay is tough, but good to hear about your promotion at work and your contract gig. More money=more food.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

What an interesting recipe: I haven't seen much Khmer recipes online. Bookmarked: thanks for sharing!

Weight Gain Help said...

Sure looks wonderful! Good idea with the soy sauce, gonna try that out.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered using galangal instead of ginger? That is what i usually use in Thai, Cambodian, and other regional cuisine from that section of the world as it is from that area and frequently used over the ginger sold in Europe and North America.

Bria said...


No I don't think I have even even had Galangal. Would I be able to find it it asian markets do you think? Its is a lot different than ginger? I love ginger, and would love to try this new ingredient! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

pahonu said...

I have taken a couple of trips to Ratanakiri in NE Cambodia. I ate this dish every chance I could at a little guest lodge in Banlung. So Glad I found this, I could never figure it out, can't wait to try it!

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