|Cooks in Tuk Tuks|
Cambodia cooking class! So, after our visit to Psar Leu market, we came back to The River Garden hotel for the cooking class portion of the day. We made a banana flower salad, chicken amok, and a dessert of sweet potato, sago and coconut milk. (You may remember this is the same dessert we had at Angkor Palm - yum!)
|Ingredients for Banana Flower Salad|
|Ingredients for Amok|
|Ingredients for Sweet Potato, Sago & Coconut Milk|
It was an interactive class, with lots of participation. We chopped...
... we pounded...
... we sliced, we grated, we stirred, we cooked!
One interesting ingredient I wanted to tell you about was the banana flower, which was the basis of the salad we made. Here's what they look like at the market.
Once you peel away the outer leaves / petals, you can see all these super-cool mini unripe bananas!
Our teacher told us that you can actually eat the unripe bananas, and they're a common Cambodian snack, served with thin slices of lime and a mixture of chilli, sugar and chicken stock powder. He made us some to try, which I thought was really cool. It was definitely an acquired taste - the unripe bananas were hard, unsweet, and very sappy - but I found the mixture of lime and dipping salt very addictive. (Yay for MSG!) I think the lime and dipping salt would be great with green papayas.
But back to the salad... to prepare the banana flower for the salad, you remove the tough outer leaves, the unripe bananas, and then finely shred the petals. I don't think you can buy banana flowers in Melbourne, and we were told that you can use Chinese cabbage as a substitute.
|Banana flower salad ingredients|
|Banana flower salad and dressing|
|Banana flower salad|
We also made chicken amok, pounding the spice paste from scratch. I know fish is traditional, but they kindly said we could do chicken, seeing as Sandra doesn't eat seafood. (According to the website, they can cater for vegetarians as long as you tell them when you book).
|Cooking the chicken Amok|
Finally, we made the sweet potato, coconut milk and sago dessert. The key ingredient is dark, rich palm sugar.
|Adding the palm sugar for the Sweet Potato, Sago and Coconut milk|
And then it was time to eat! Everything was delicious - we were excellent students, obviously!
|Sweet potato, sago and coconut milk|
We got all the recipes given to us in a little booklet - I'm going to retry them at home, to make sure they work with local ingredients, before publishing them here. Look forward to it! Cambodian dinner party, anyone?
The Cooks in Tuk Tuks class cost $25USD per person at the time we visited, and included a market visit, the cooking class, lunch, and a booklet of recipes to take home. (Drinks purchased with lunch are charged on consumption). It was a really fun day, and it was great to get a little insight into local life and Khmer cuisine.