South East Asia

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!

28. Brunei: Curry with aromatic rice

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If you ask someone to point Brunei Darussalam on the world map, most likely the person will get stumped and struggle! No wonder as this country is one of the smallest nations on earth that is located on the island of Borneo in South East Asia. Besides sharing its border with the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, it also faces the South China Sea in the North. Brunei’s economy is based on natural gas and oil. Luckily nature doesn’t suffer to much, there are still many beautiful rain forests to be found in Brunei. The main religion practiced in the country is Islam and Sharia laws are strictly adhered to.

cropped-cropped-brunei1.jpg

Here are facts about Brunei:

  • Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is well known for being a keen collector of cars. Once the sultan had more than 530 Mercedes-Benzes, 500 Rolls-Royces and 360 Ferraris in his car collection.
  • Table manners include eating and passing food with right hand only with the exception that while holding a heavy plate with a right hand, the left one can be used to support the right wrist
  • Pointing the index finger while in conversation is considered to be rude, instead using thumb to point is encouraged.
  • The 600 years old Sultanate of Brunei is the oldest Muslim dynasty in the region.

This curry has no specific name but I apparently it is very typical in Brunei, and so tasty!

brunei curry

Ingredients curry: 1 stick of sereh (lemongrass),  hand full of chopped coriander, 1 chili deseed and roughly chopped, thumb size piece of ginger roughly chopped, 1 large white onion roughly chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, zest en juice of 1 lime, stewing beef, 1 can (400ml) coconut milk, canola oil, turmeric to taste, 

Ingredients aromatic rice: 1 cup of rice, cinnamon stick, 4 cardemon pods. 

Put the sereh stick, coriander, chili, ginger, onion, garlic lime zest and juice in the blender and blend until it’s a smooth paste. Brown the beef in big pan with the canola oil. Add the the curry paste and fry a a little more for about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk. Add bring to a boil. Then put in the oven 160 degrees C for about about an hour I let it sit a longer because I like my curry quite thick.

Ten minutes before serving you start the with the rice. Cook the rice as you normally would but add a stick of cinnamon and a stick of lemongrass.

Here is some Brunei music, it sounds really funny! Never heard anything like it 😛