Soup

32. Cambodia: Pork and Rice Soup

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Welcome C! I can’t believe it we have been through al the countries with an A and a B time has flown by and I have learned so much already about cooking and about the world. I have to admit it makes me little proud that it’s been going so well! Thanks to all of you! So later this week I promise I will bake a nice big cake and add the recipe :D.

But now Cambodia, when I started googling Cambodia pictures of hidden temples and statues in the rainforest came up. It reminded me a little of Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. But apparently that was filmed in Sri Lanka (I get distracted very easily, I have the attention span of a goldfish, it’s disturbing, we call it sdbing = studydodgingbehaviour). Cambodia seems to be known for it’s deep blue seawater, enchanting rainforests, fairytale like mangroves, great food, majestic temples, and happy people. So what else it there about Cambodia that your probably don’t know:

  • Tarantula kebabs are a popular delicacy in Cambodia.
  • Cambodia is the most unexplored country in Southeast Asia. Here tourist can really dive into the life of ancient Asia. Even today, in Cambodia it is possible to meet a person who has never watched TV.
  • The most common myths about Cambodia: There is a war, it is very dangerous here, everyone walking around with guns, kill people, hunger, poverty and unrest.
    In fact, Cambodia is certainly not a rich country, but it is so fertile that no one is starving here. The war ended 30 years ago.
  • Cambodians love to sleep outside in the hammocks.

cambodia

I love South East Asian food, it’s so light and healthy. This week I made Pork and Rice Soup! It was great, when I put the pan on the table my brother mentioned it looked like glue! But it’s sooo yummy, a great budget midnight meal!

Pork and Rice Soup
Pork and Rice Soup

Ingredients Marinate pork: 200 gram ground pork, 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce, 2 teaspoon sugar

Ingredients Broth: 9 cups of water, 2 stalks of lemongrass (cracked), thumb size piece of ginger peeled and smashed, 4 flat anchovies (packed in oil), salt to taste, 3/4 cup of jasmine rice (rinsed in cold water and drained), 2 table spoons of peanut oil, 5 cloves of garlic,

Ingredients Toppings: 1/4 cup of Thai fish sauce, 1 bird chile (chopped), 4 shallots (peeled and diced), 2 cups of beansprouts, 1 bunch of scallions thinly sliced, 1/2 roasted unsalted peanuts, 1 lime, salt and pepper

In a small bowl stir the pork with fish sauce and sugar. Set aside. Place water, ginger, lemongrass, salt and dried shrimp (if using) in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil. Boil steadily for 5 minutes. Add rinsed rice to the pot. When it returns to a boil, lower heat and simmer gently, uncovered, until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. While the rice is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly, until tender and golden, about 3 minutes, Regulate the heat so they don’t burn. Transfer shallots to a condiment bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same skillet and toss in the garlic and anchovies (if using) Stir-fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the pork and cook, stirring and breaking up any lumps, until the pork is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the pork stir-fry to the soup pot, once the rice has finished cooking. Stir through. Season with salt, to taste. Mix the bird chile with ¼ cup fish sauce in a small condiment bowl. Set aside. Just before serving, gently reheat the soup. Divide the shredded cabbage or sprouts among the bowls. Add a pinch of shredded basil and a pinch of scallions to each bowl. Ladle the soup on top. Add a bit of each topping and a generous grinding of black pepper to each bowl. Serve with a lime wedges and prik nam pla on the side. Enjoy!

I found some Cambodian popmusic this videoclip is definatelly worth watching, i don’t think you can find anything more dorky on the entire internet, but it’s hilarious. If you know the lyrics you can even sing along!

29. Bulgaria: Tarator

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Bulgaria the oldest country in Europe. After WWII Bulgaria fell under the Sovjet regime where it became communist republic, in 1989 Bulgaria became independent but the communist architecture can still be found throughout the country. Sofia has been the capital of Bulgaria since 1879. The roots of Sofia date back to the 5th century. Nowadays Sofia is Europe’s cheapest capital for shopping, so shop till you drop! At about 10 minutes from Sofia there is a beautiful skiing resort called Vitosha. Apart from an rich history, cheap shopping and beautiful skiing resort Bulgaria also has a stunning nature; green forests, mighty rivers and over 40 large mountains with beautiful fairytale like mountain villages.

Bulgaria

Here are some fun facts about Bulgaria

  • Bulgaria is the only country in the world to have fired an elected municipal official over playing Farmville. In 2010, Dimitar Kerin, a Plovdiv city councilor, was dismissed in order to “have more time to tend to his virtual farm”. (Well they certainly have their priorities straight!)
  • Bulgarians express approval by shaking their heads rather than nodding.
  • Name Days” are celebrated in addition to birthdays in Bulgaria. As a matter of fact, most Bulgarians value their ‘Name Day’ more than their birthday. A Name Day, or “Saints Day” is celebrated by people named after a particular Saint.
  • Michael Palin upset Bulgarians by saying it is most famous for it’s gypsies (How ignorant can you be, Michael Palin?)

So this recipe is what I would call the gazpacho of Eastern Europe! It’s a perfect dish to bring to the beach on a hot summer day, or to bring to a picnic! It’s quick, refreshing and tasty!

taratorIngredients: 2 large cucumbers, 2 garlic cloves, 5 tbsp of fresh dille finely chopped, 1l yoghurt, 3 tbsp of crushed walnuts, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt to taste

 Peel cucumbers and chop into very small dices. Mince garlic cloves, sprinkle with the salt and olive oil and add to the cucumbers. Add yoghurt, walnuts and chopped dill and some cold water to adjust density according to your taste. Keep into refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with an ice cube in every bowl
Here is some Bulgarian music

8. Antigua en Barbuda: Pepperpot soup and Ducuna

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Another Caribbean dream, toes in the sand cocktail in my hand. Thousands of tourists visit every year to live this dream, frankly I wish I was one of them because it looks awesome, hmmm maybe one day! Located in the Caribbean and in the Lesser Antilles, it’s two major islands, many many smaller ones, and with an area of 440 sq km or 170 sq miles it’s feels like you are isolated from the rest of the world.  Antigua Barbuda has a very small population, the largest city only has 25,000 inhabitants. Every year 250,000 people visit Antigua Barbuda, which seems bonkers, but apparently they seem to manage just fine. Strangly this small population produces some fine athletes, the worlds best lacrosse players. Another tradition is donkey race, ( I would love to see that!) and they do this just because it fun to watch. There is not much more to say about this tiny beautiful island, they don’t have a strange past or strange manners, except that it’s also very popular for mobsters to . So I guess I should just start writing the recipe. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I made a Pepperpot soup and ducuna as a sidedish: It was amazing! When I read the ducuna recipe I was really sceptic, and I didn’t think it would turn out as good as it did! It tasted really sweet but the kind of sweet that I’m not used to but still it was delicious! I made quick version of the pepperpot soup and adjusted some ingredients because I couldn’t find okra so I used green beans and added a little extra cornstarch to thicken the soup. This recipe is for 6 people.

Antigua Barbuda dish
Antigua Barbuda dish

Ingredients Pepperpot soup: olive oil, 700 gr of sirloin steak trimmed and cut into bitesize pieces, salt to taste, 1 small white onion (chopped) , 1 clove of garlic (chopped) , 2 chili’s chopped(I left the seeds in one because I like the spice), 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, 5 cups of water, 3 teaspoons of cornstarch, 1 large sweet potato (diced), 1 cup of chopped okra or 300 grams of green beans (cut in half), 3 hands of spinach, 3 spring onions, cup of coconut milk, 1 vegetable stock cube. Heat oil in a large pan and fry of the steak with a good pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, until no long pink on the outside. This takes about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion, garlic, chili and thyme to the pan and fry for about 1 minute. Mix the water, cornstarch and stock cube and add to the pot along with the sweet potato and beans (or okra). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer until the veggies are almost tender. Stir in the spinach and some salt, cook 2 or 3 more minutes. Add the steak and spring onions. Add the coconut milk and stir it in. 2 more minutes on the heat and DONE! Ingredients Ducuna: 2 sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup of sugar,  1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, salt to taste, all spice to taste, 1/2 cup of raisins Grate the sweet potatoes and put them in a bowl with the sugar, set them aside for 10 minutes. Add flour, salt, all spice and raisins. Divide the dough in 4 and make packages of lightly greased aluminium foil. Fold the foil to create sealed parcels. Now comes the strings part! Place the packages in a large pot of boiling water for 45 minutes. Remove from the foil and done! 😀

3. Algeria: Traditional Fish Soup

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Algeria located in the north of Africa, the 10th largest country in the world. Yet only 10% is inhabited. The other 90% is covered by the Sahara desert, the largest desert in the world. To me the Sahara desert brings up a lot of romantic thoughts about nomads who live in the desert in small groups and travel from oasis to oasis on camels. For me it’s very hard to imagin not to have water from the tap or the take a shower whenever it pleases, but ofcourse I am aware that clean tapwater is a luxury a lot of people around the world can’t afford or in very limited ways. Like in most African countries I would not advise drinking tapwater because you will regret it the next day on the toillet. Here are a few facts about Algeria:

  • Women make up 60% of Algeria’s judges, 70% of the lawyers, and 60% of the student population. What’s more, they have a bigger household income contribution than men. (GIRLPOWER!!!!)
  • Alcoholic drinks are rarely found in Algeria because of Islamitic orientation, they are seldom found in foodestablishments, and even if they are available they are not listed on the menu.
  • Only 12% of Algeria is inhabited because over 90% is covered by the Sahara desert.
  • Petroleum and gas make up 98% of Algeria’s export.

Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 large red onion, 3 garlic cloves, 300g whole tomatoes (tinned), 1 tsp paprika, pinch of saffron, salt and black pepper to taste, 2 large potatoes, cubed,3 celery sticks, diced, 2l chicken stock, 900g firm white fish cut into steaks

Heat the olive oil in a  frying pan and fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and tomatoes and continue to simmer until most of the liquid is gone. Add the spices, potatoes, and broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.Add the fish and continue to cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Allow the soup to cool a little, purée in a blender then return to the pan and simmer for a further 10 minutes to heat thoroughly. Serve in soup bowls garnished with chopped coriander.