Earlier final 12 months, I had the nice fortune to journey to Cambodia to go to a pal who lives there. I had a protracted keep, so had loads of time to discover Phnom Penh and the encircling areas – and eat numerous meals!
Most folks in Phnom Penh purchase their meals from the markets. I noticed each dwell and freshly killed chickens, fish that have been nonetheless wriggling, a really pungent fermented fish known as prahok, and baskets piled excessive with all types of recent produce like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, child (pea) eggplant, banana flowers, morning glory, and water spinach.
It was all so colourful, chaotic, mesmerizing, loud, and messy! Luckily, I used to be in a position to get a cooking lesson from a chef in Phnom Penh who helped me be taught extra about all of the components I noticed out there and taught me a number of the fundamentals of Cambodian cooking.
I’ve tailored this recipe for Coconut Shrimp Stew to a point since acquiring all of the components that I discovered to prepare dinner with in Phnom Penh proved tough right here within the States. However, I’ve left two conventional components within the recipe: lemongrass and recent turmeric.
You can usually discover each of those components within the produce part of a well-stocked pure meals retailer or an Asian market. Lemongrass appears to be like like a protracted, thick shoot and turmeric appears to be like like a smaller, extra orange-hued model of ginger. If you’ll be able to’t discover them, substitute the zest of 1 lime and one lemon, plus further lime juice to style, for the lemongrass and substitute floor turmeric for the recent turmeric.
Also preserve an eye fixed out for kaffir lime leaves, which you may discover close to the lemongrass and turmeric. These are elective for this recipe and add a vivid perfume to the soup, however the recipe might be simply as scrumptious with out them.
This stew makes a fast weeknight supper, particularly in case you are utilizing shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined. You’re greatest off shopping for frozen shrimp labeled IQF, or Individually Quick Frozen. (The “fresh” shrimp within the seafood case has normally been beforehand frozen, thawed, and has now been within the case for an indeterminate period of time.) Frozen shrimp will be shortly thawed in a bowl of cool water.
In my time in Cambodia, I discovered that Cambodian delicacies resembles Thai delicacies in some ways, however it’s extra delicate and never fairly as spicy-hot. This stew is an ideal instance of the meals from this area.
So make a journey! See the world! Or on the very least, style it on this scrumptious shrimp stew.