Saturday, June 3, 2006

Cambodian Food (in the ghetto)

First stop, the day after I arrived was a Cambodian lunch place in some suburban ghetto. Gritty surroundings, lots of barbed-wire, geeks galore from Silicon Valley, and some amazing food.

We ordered a catfish hamok (also spelled as h'mok and amok), and a dish with long beans. (I'm sure I'm not doing justice to the pronunciation.)

The h'mok is fish chunks mixed with coconut milk, and ground coconut meat. It's heavy on the galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and particulary kapi (or gkapi) (fermented shrimp paste.) All of this is wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed.

The aromas are simply sublime! My sister was generous enough to let me have the "first smell".

The CC openly admits his addiction to gkapi (watch for a post on this later), but this is not for the faint of heart, and is definitely an acquired taste.

The CC was also just impressed that the long bean dish contained long beans. Far too often, restaurants substitute French beans (what a copout!)

Talk about an auspicious beginning to a vacation!

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