Saturday, September 07, 2013

Orange Cous Cous Salad

I made this salad the other night.  I didn't want to cook much but I didn't mind dicing up a few things.  It turned out to be amazing!!!

Orange Cous Cous Salad

1 cup cous cous, cooked
1 orange, segmented
1 chicken breast, cooked & cubed
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 tomato, diced
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 avocado, diced
1/2 carrot, diced

salt & pepper
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tbsp yogurt

Mix all ingredients together. Enjoy!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bitter Melon

One thing that took me a bit to decide to try was something called 'bitter melon.'  I read a few places it is something that is really good for your health (something that should have clued me in that I would like it... wheatgrass shot, anyone??) however I shyed away.  That is until my stomach had been hurting for days and I read that bitter melon was something that could help.  Since you can get bitter melon very inexpensive in Cambodia I figured why not give it a try.

And I love it.

I've only made one recipe however I've made it several times so I figured I would share with you!

Kristie's Stir Fried Bitter Melon Recipe
(for one person)

My recipe looks similar to this...
I grabbed this pic from the web.

1 bitter melon (Cut several in half, scrape out the seeds, slice thinly (little moon shapes)
1 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 onion, sliced thin
1 carrot, sliced thin
1/4 cup frozen peas

1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tbsp miso paste

I put the soy sauce, apple cider vinegar and miso paste in a small sealable container and shake to mix up.

In a small bowl put the bitter melon with a little bit of salt.  Let it sit for a few minutes and then add the onion and carrot and cover with cool water.  I let this sit for about 10 minutes to soften. Discard water.

In a fry pan over medium heat add the oil, bitter melon, onions, carrots and garlic.  Stir fry to soften (about 2-3 minutes).  Add the sauce.  Let cook until vegetables are soft and the sauce is well incorporated into the vegetables.  Turn off the heat.  Add the peas and let sit until no longer frozen.

Its pretty easy and  pretty delicious (with the sweet of the vinegar and the bitter of the melon I like how the flavors work out).  I have had it with many things on the side (noodles, rice, taro rice cake).  I've also added protein sources (egg or tofu).  And have liked it every way I have made it.

Sunday, March 03, 2013


Mmmm... Korean food... I seem to want it all the time lately.

I have been to a Korean friends house where they serve their kids what they call 'kimbap' but its really just taking rice and wrapping it in seaweed.  Which is delicious but I've learned that its not really kimbap.

For the first time I got kimbap from the school cafeteria.  I don't know why I waited so long!!! Its only $1 and its amazing.  Needless to say I'll be doing this a lot more often.

Well, all this to say I've been sick for a bit and now I'm on a short term 'diet' where I'm limiting any simple carbs that I eat.  Can I tell you how hard that is in the land where all food comes with white rice and all sauces use sugar??

Basically that means I'm having to cook.  And I'm too lazy to cook anything difficult.  So, I bought brown rice from the market (it pained me to have to buy uncooked rice when cooked white rice is so cheap and plentiful here) and cooked some up the other day.  At home I had seaweed so I decided to make the kid version of kimbap at home...  it was delicious!! I have had it every day for the past 3 days and I love it more and more... even when I use cold rice (I don't have a microwave to easily heat up left over rice so I eat it cold...).  For as much as it hurt to buy rice at the grocery store, I was reminded of how much I LOVE brown rice.  Yummy!!

So I figured I would share the recipe here so you can make it at home.

Super Easy Kimbap

cooked brown rice
seaweed sushi wraps
salt and pepper

I tear 1 sheet of seaweed into 4 square pieces.  I then put 1 to 2 tbsp of rice into the wrap.  Add salt and pepper.  Fold the sushi wrap around the rice and eat.

Can it get easier than that??!!??

If you want a more Korean version of kimbap you can try this recipe.  I found it online and it looks delicious and still pretty easy.  In fact, I may try it at home myself soon... on a day I don't feel like being lazy.  Well, maybe I'll just buy it in the cafeteria.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cooking with Kristi(e)!

Lets switch from Indian to Korean.

And, by this, I mean... I can't believe I haven't posted this sooner. Actually... I totally thought I had...

So, months ago now my roommate, also named Kristi -- hence the post title -- and I went to our Korean friend's house and had the most amazing dinner. She kept telling us that we could make it ourselves. Of course we had to try.

Luckily Kristi has spent a year living in Korea and has a huge love of almost all things Korean so she knows what most of the ingredients are. She was able to go to the Korean market and get rice cakes and fish cakes. She was also able to walk me thru Bayon Market as I got the red pepper paste. We have made it twice and loved it both times.

Dukbokki (spicy rice cakes)
4 cups water
rice cakes (we used about 1/2 package)
fish cakes (we used about 1/2 package)
4 T red pepper paste
2 T sugar
1/4 t red pepper flakes (optional)
1 t soy sauce
1/2 large onion, largely diced

In a pot, boil the water for about 5-10 minutes on medium heat. Add the rice cakes, red pepper paste, sugar, and hotpepper flakes. Stir it constantly.
When the water starts to evaporate and the mixture starts to get thick add the onion, ramen and soy sauce the pot.

Keep stirring until the sauce is thick, the rice cake is shiny, and the ramen is cooked.

Other ingredients that I noticed in a lot of dukbokki recipes are garlic and sesame seeds.  Feel free to add those too if you would like.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bongiam Bawbaw Sat'dai

I learned how to make a Khmer dessert yesterday!  Other than being called bongiam (Khmer word for dessert) the only other name I was given for it was bongiam bawbaw sat'dai which is literally translated as dessert rice porridge bean.  Which, doesn't sound like an American dessert but it is very Asian.  And I love Asian desserts (well, unless they have corn in them but thats a very different story)

Since I was taught how to make it at the orphanage I don't have exact measurements but I'll give you the closest that I have.  And, the amount we made served about 30 people.  The kids loved it (so did I) and were hiding the left overs around the orphanage so that they could eat it later.  One of the kids even hid some in an empty Coke bottle.  I thought that was hilarious!

with Leak (eating the portion that he hid for later)

Bongiam Bawbaw Sat'dai

finely shredded meat of 2 or 3 coconuts
2 kg dried black eyed peas
handful of salt
2 kg white rice
2 kg sugar

Soak the black eyed peas and remove any debris from the water.  Drain and then boil in water covers the beans in a large pot with a cover about 45 minutes to an hour.

In the meantime, using a cheese cloth wring the milk from the shredded meat of the coconut.  Save the milk for later.

Using the same shredded meat of the coconut, take about a quart of water and pour it over the coconut. Use it to get more of the milk from the coconut.  Do this 4 or 5 times.  Save the watered down milk for later.

Once the black eyed peas are half cooked, drain the water.  In a large pot, bring the watered down milk to a boil.   Add the beans and salt.  Make sure the beans are fully covered by the milk.  You may need to add more water.   Let cook for about 45 minutes. Add the white rice and continue cooking. Once everything is almost done add the sugar.  Let cook long enough for the sugar to mix in.


Also, if you want an easier version or if its hard to get the coconut meat I'm sure you could cut the recipe at least in half and buy canned coconut milk.  And, you could probably buy canned beans too.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Samlor Nam Ngau

After the mission team left from Siem Reap in December, they left Stephanie to stay with me a few extra days.  Yay!!  On the drive back to Phnom Penh, Peter and Kandi took us to a restaurant for lunch that I had been in before and thought was... ok.

However this time it was much different.  

I was pretty sick and Stephanie wasn't feeling too well either.  Both of us thought soup sounded good.  When looking at the menu Stephanie immediately said she wanted 'chicken with preserved lemon soup'.

I may or may not have stared blankly at her.

But, in my normal fashion I said, 'ok but I also want the vegetable soup.'  In my mind I was thinking at least I would be able eat half of the vegetable soup if neither of us liked the other soup.

The soup came, it didn't look too appealing... yellow-ish broth with chicken on the bone sitting inside.  Nothing else.  But I am very thankful I decided to forgo the look and still try a bite.  IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!!! We barely touched the vegetable soup and devoured this one.  And, later that night we were both disappointed when we didn't take some of that soup as take-away.  

Seriously, I can't stop thinking about that soup to this day.  That amazing.

I've tried to find preserved lemon soup that would compair here in Phnom Penh however I'm probably not looking in the right places because I've yet to find it.  I did a Google search and found a recipe for it.  I haven't made it yet, and with how lazy of a cook I am here I may not make it for a while, however I wanted to share the recipe with you in case you want to attempt to make it and then tell me about it.

Samlor Nam Ngau

1/2 Chicken (cut up to 8 pieces) (or pork or beef or duck)
1 Preserved lemon (cut in half)
5 cups Water
2 cloves Garlic (do not peel)
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Yellow onion (sliced)
1 stalk  Green onion (chopped)
Black pepper

In a soup pot, place chicken, yellow onion, preserved lemon, garlic and pour water in. Cook till the meat is tender to your liking.  Season with sugar, salt and fish sauce.  Sprinkle green onion and black pepper.

Serve hot with rice.

One thing I learned is to trust Stephanie's culinary expertise.  I mean her brother is a pretty renowned chef.  Why did I even question her to begin with??

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Northern Indian Chai Masala

So a long time ago I posted a recipe for chai tea.  Now that I've been to India I've found that I have a new love for chai and a completely new understanding for the different flavors of chai.  Depending on where you are in India they make their chai masala completely different.

On a side note, me and my traveling companions were completely confused by the 'chai masala' term they were using for the tea we were drinking... that is until we had someone explain to us that the term 'chai' means tea and the term 'masala' means spiced.  So spiced tea... which is exactly what it is.  It also made me laugh because in the US when we say chai tea we are, essentially, say 'tea tea.'  Our friend Dheeraj at one of our guest houses thought it was hilarious so he also started calling it 'tea tea.'

Dheeraj and his dad also gave us their chai recipe that I've now made since I've been back home in Cambodia so I figured I would share what I made.

Tea Tea

Me with Chai in India

1 1/2 c water
2 1/2 c milk
3 T black tea
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t ginger
3 T sugar

Add water, milk and black tea to a pot over medium heat.  Once boiling turn off add pepper, cardamom and ginger and then turn back to medium again.

Now you want to bring to a boil 3 times (basically let it start boiling over so the boils almost hit the top of the pot, turn off the heat, once the bubbles are gone turn the heat back on, let it boil over, and then do the same thing again).

Add the sugar.  Stir it up.  Strain and drink :)

Now, this is close to their recipe except they used waaaaay more sugar (at least double it).

If you want to change it up a bit, my favorite is to decrease the pepper to 1/4 t pepper, add 2 cloves, add 1/4 t cinnamon and use about 1 T sugar.

You could also google search Indian Masala Chai Recipes and get many more ideas on fun chai recipes.

Jeera Rice

Yes yes, I fail to blog here often. However, I want to maintain some of my cooking recipes here as I cook... which is very, very little now that I live in Phnom Penh.  However, I just took a trip to India and learned a few new recipes while I was there.

One recipe I learned was for Jeera rice.  I fell in love with this rice and made the girls I was with order it quite a number of times only to find out later that its ridiculously easy to make.  So easy its only 3 ingredients.  So, without further ado, here is this easy recipe.

Jeera Rice

cumin seeds
day old rice

In a skillet heat the oil over medium head.  Add cumin seeds to toast.   Add rice and enough water to make the rice fluffy.  Cook until headed.

And now you can cook an Indian dish.  Simple, right?!?!?!  And you thought you could never cook an Indian meal.