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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chnor Chrook ~ Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken & Rice Soup

first, this here space was nominated for best food blog over at the Baltimore Sun. it would tickle me pink if you'd mosey over and vote for me and everyday until it's over. it is a pain in the ass having to register, i know. i have no platform, lately i haven't been feeling up to blogging, but i won't tax you or infest your tv viewing with jackass commercials. that'd be assclownery personified. to make it easier, there is a button on my right side bar. just click on it. thanks,  it'll do wonders for my self-esteem.

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when wandering chopsticks was in town two weekends ago we talked a great deal about food; not only what restaurants to hit up, but also the preparation of it on a daily basis, what we grew up eating, it was pure Food Gossip. you'd think we'd be tired of all that food talk but no, i personally wasn't. i happened to mention a blog post Leela of SheSimmers wrote some time ago about the "State of Thai Cuisine" and how some dishes have lost its authenticity, as well as how we don't know the history behind their identity. it was an interesting read.

the gist of the convo was that thai food and cambodian food are quite similar, and there are some vietnamese dishes that are identical to cambodian food. it's the region, as well as due to the french influence way back in the day on the latter two countries. (fyi, Thailand is the only country in southeast asia who was not colonized by an outside power). look, i'm not an expert on food history, it's a burgeoning interest for me, i'm about consuming the food and learning about it is secondary. (tho, i bet if there'd been a such thing as AP Food History, i would've been up on it.)

i made this cambodian chicken rice soup sunday. if you can't tell, i'm on a soup kick right now. (rest assured, i'll be going into bake-mode shortly.) this particular dish reminded me of vietnamese chao, or rice porridge but the sourness of the lemon (forgive me, i had no limes in the house) and the sharpness of the lemongrass reminded me of thailand. heaven in a bowl.

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Shnor Chrook
from the Complete Vietnamese Cookbook by Ghillie Ba┼čan (yeah, i laughed at the title too, it's actually cuisine from Indo-China)

Stock:
1 small chicken or 2 meaty chicken legs
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 oz fresh root ginger, sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, cut in half lengthwise and bruised
2 dried red chillies (i used two fresh green chillies, i'm a rebel)
2 TBL fish sauce (i ixnayed this step)

after Stock has been made:
2 lemongrass stalks, cut and bruised
fish sauce, to taste
1/3 cup short grain rice, rinsed (i used 2/3 cup, i like my rice)

to garnish:
lime wedge (or in my case, lemon. i know, i know!)
1 red or green chili, seeded and cut into thin strips
cilantro, rough chopped
ground black pepper

put chicken into deep pot. add all the stock ingredients and pour in 2Litres/3.5pints/7 3/4 cup water. bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then lower heat and simmer gently with lid on for about 2 hours.

skim off any fat, strain and reserve stock. remove the skin from the chicken and shred meat. set aside.

meanwhile, pour the stock back into the pot and bring to a boil. lower the heat and stir in the lemongrass stalks and fish sauce. stir in the rice, simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes.

to serve, ladle the soup in bowl, and add the chicken on top. garnish with the cilantro and lime wedges.

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9 comments:

  1. Soup season is finally here. Scarf and hat season too if this morning is any indication.

    Would love to be lunching on a big steaming bowl of this today.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mmmmm. That looks so comforting and lovely.

    Cute bowls, too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm on soup kick too! Chicken and rice soup of international origins, in fact. I can't think of any soup in Thai cuisine that would be related to this Cambodian soup, but anything brothy that is infused with lemongrass is my thing.

    Regarding authenticity, I'm also in the process of trying to understand what it really is. I think part of the problem stems from people having different definitions of "authenticity" and it's difficult to have a coherent, fruitful dialogue when we operate on different assumptions.

    At this point, clarity still eludes me. But I have come to see that defining the authenticity of a dish is easier than defining the authenticity of a cuisine.

    And, hey, thanks for the mention! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Wendi, YES! i busted out THREE scarves this week. and i'm not an accessories kinda girl! i had this particular soup 3 days in a row & i was not complaining!

    @ali, the kick of the chili & lemongrass is warming... and soothing too. and thanks, i got the bowls at the korean market, SO CHEAP!

    @leela, i've always always enjoyed reading your blog, for the gorgeous pix but for the content as well. thanks so much for being so inspirational. /gush! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Wendi, YES! i busted out THREE scarves this week. and i'm not an accessories kinda girl! i had this particular soup 3 days in a row & i was not complaining!

    @ali, the kick of the chili & lemongrass is warming... and soothing too. and thanks, i got the bowls at the korean market, SO CHEAP!

    @leela, i've always always enjoyed reading your blog, for the gorgeous pix but for the content as well. thanks so much for being so inspirational. /gush! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm on soup kick too! Chicken and rice soup of international origins, in fact. I can't think of any soup in Thai cuisine that would be related to this Cambodian soup, but anything brothy that is infused with lemongrass is my thing.

    Regarding authenticity, I'm also in the process of trying to understand what it really is. I think part of the problem stems from people having different definitions of "authenticity" and it's difficult to have a coherent, fruitful dialogue when we operate on different assumptions.

    At this point, clarity still eludes me. But I have come to see that defining the authenticity of a dish is easier than defining the authenticity of a cuisine.

    And, hey, thanks for the mention! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mmmmm. That looks so comforting and lovely.

    Cute bowls, too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Soup season is finally here. Scarf and hat season too if this morning is any indication.

    Would love to be lunching on a big steaming bowl of this today.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "chrook" in Khmer actually means "pig" but this is clearly a chicken dish.
    Anyways, it looks great and I love the gorgeous bowl!

    ReplyDelete