Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I figured I'd take a moment of my time and impart some wisdom I have learned. That wisdom is good soup. I have this go-to Cambodian soup recipe I really love to make. It ends up being pretty cheap to make, although I do shop at places like Whole Foods so it's not that cheap I suppose. most importantly it is delicious!!! It is no secret that I keep that I think the flavor profiles of Southeast Asian cuisines are my favorite. Salty, sour, sweet, spicy it's all in there. This little number is a great late night dish because it's fairly quick to make. Anyway on to the goods.
1. Chicken - White, dark skin on or off it's up to you. I prefer it to be on the bone for flavor but that's me.
2. Chicken Stock - Scratch made is best but that is admittedly time consuming.
3. Galangal - It's in the ginger family, very prevalant in Southeast Asian dishes. You can use ginger as a substitute.
4. Lemongrass - lot's of it and there is no substituting for this. It's Cru-sch! I have container of it in my freezer pre-chopped. It just makes things easy.
5. Kaffir Lime Leaves - They are tasty and much required. I keep them in my freezer.
6. Thai Basil - It's way dfferent than common basil. Don't try to substitute for it. If you can't find it then skip it.
7. Fish Sauce - Um, it's a must and it's delicious. Easy to find.
8. Rice - Jasmine is the usual here.
9. Cilantro - Super common, but if you can find Saw Grass then go for it!
10. lemon and/ or lime juice -
11. Garlic - as much as you want
12. Shallot - Easy.
13. Green Onions - Easy.
14. Fermented Shrimp paste - It's not for the faint of heart it's stinky and delicious. You have to venture into Asian markets for this. If you don't have it no worries.
15. You can extra things if you want like Chinese long beans, bok choy, cabbage, mushrooms. You can make a vegetarian version as well just sub vege stock and straw mushrooms.
16. Black pepper or Sichuan pepper - Sichuan is around if you look for it. It's awesome because it makes your mouth go numb.
17. Thai chilies - birds eye or you can use serrano or jalapeno if you like.
Now we come to the cooking part:
Step 1: Chicken stock, water (cuts the salt a bit), fish sauce, shrimp paste, galangal, lemongrass, garlic, rice, black pepper. Bring to a boil.
Step 2. Now add chicken and shallot and anything from ingredient 15. Oh yeah, reduce to a simmer. It's pretty much ready when the chicken and the rice are done.
Step 3. I'll bet you're asking what about all that other shit you told me to buy. My answer is "I'm just getting to that!" In a serving bowl, add chopped green onion, chopped cilantro, lemon and/or lime juice (fresh squezzed yo!), Chopped kaffir lime leaves, chopped Thai basil leaves, chopped chili peppers.
Step 4. Ladel hot soup over the fresh ingredients in the bowl and give it a little mix and you're in business. Khmer style.
I think that pretty much covers it. You'll notice I don't give quantities because I don't cook savory dishes that way. You should always build your flavors to taste. Don't let me dictate how much fish sauce is too little or too much for you. Obviously you can always add more of something but it's pretty hard to take it away.
I added a pic. But it's not mine. I forgot to take one but I wanted to at least give a pretty good representation of the finished dish.
Bon Apple Tits.
Posted by Nerd Love-Bot at 12:14 PM