Today I went to cooking school, Khmer style. First up we went to the local market to buy ingredients. Lets just say the fish was pretty fresh there, as the sellers have to kill fish, then cut it up and descale it etc. Nice and gory start to the day.
The first dish we cooked was my favourite amok curry. Now this was done in true “from scratch” style, including chopping everything finely, then pounding it in the mortar and pestle to make a delicious curry paste. I can also say I know how to get coconut milk from a coconut. I hear some of you say, crack it open and drain the juice and you’d be wrong. You get the flesh out of the coconut and put it in a mesh bag. Then in a bowl with some water you start kneading and squeezing the coconut milk out of the flesh. Preparation for this dish took well over an hour. Cooking it took 3 minutes and it was amazing and delicious.
Second dish was a chicken and thai basil curry, that was way too hot! It was much easier to make because we already had some curry paste made from the previous dish. Final dish was a much simpler one known as Loc Lac. Basically some beef cooked up and placed on top of a salad, mostly lettuce and tomato.
Anyway I have a cookbook with all the details in it. Some of you may get lucky and I’ll cook chicken amok or as I suggested maybe kangaroo amok!
I then went to walk off the food, walking past the french colonial buildings by the river.
The next couple of days I’m traveling to the town of Kampot in the south of Cambodia. So tomorrow is a bus trip back to Phnom Penh and the following day a trip to Kampot. I’m looking forward to Phnom Penh as i know where the coffee shops are 🙂