Unusual Fact: Traditionally, birthdays are not celebrated in Cambodia. Older people might not even know their birthdays.
As the title of this post suggests, this week we cooked Cambodia, and did it while we were camping!
Camp cooking can sometimes be a little restricting with ingredients and equipment. We cooked our Cambodian meal in this kitchen.
Unfortunately due to our circumstances we could only make one dish from Cambodia. I used a recipe from a cookbook called The Essential Asian Cookbook. This is a really great book as it has fantastic recipes from many asian countries including China, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, India, Pakistan, Burma, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. We made a chicken and pumpkin stew.
I really loved the flavours from this recipe. The smell that comes out of the pot while cooking is heavenly. The scents of of the lemongrass, tumeric galangal, kaffir lime and spring onions all comes out equally and entices you to cook quicker. Now you might be wondering what a galangal is. It is ginger like in its shape and taste, however, it is harder than ganger and its flavour isn’t as strong. It took me a while to grate the 2TBS required for this recipe.
This recipe asks for you to bake and blend some rice. This is essentially making your own rice flour. When we camp, we don’t take our oven or food processor with us so we bought some rice flour instead. I used about 2TBS of rice flour to substitute the 1/2c of rice asked for in the original recipe. We were not able to source any green paw paw so instead we used some green cabbage. Other than that this recipe is super easy and delicious. Finally we served our stew on top of some steamed rice.
Chicken and Pumpkin Stew
1/2 cup (110g) short-grain rice or 2TBS rice flour
1kg chicken pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 TBS lemon grass, finely chopped (white part only)
2 tsp grated fresh turmeric or 1tsp ground turmeric
2 TBS grated fresh galangal
6 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
6 spring onions, chopped
4cups/1 litre chicken stock
500g pumpkin (cubed)
1 small green pawpaw, peeled and chopped
125g snake beans, cut into short lengths
Preheat oven to moderate 180˚C. Spread the rice on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove the rice from the oven, allow it to cool slightly then process in a food processor until finely ground.
Heat the oil in a large pan; add the chicken pieces in batches and cook for 5 or until brown. Drain on paper towels
Add the garlic, lemon grass, turmeric, galangal, lime leaves and apring onion to the pan; cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until spring onion is golden. Return the chicken pieces to the pan; add stock, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Add pumpkin and paw paw and simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Add the beans and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes or until chicken in tender. Stir in the ground rice (or rice flour), bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly.