Cambodia & Thailand


Original Word: Lowell, Massachusetts
Nationality: Cambodian
Language: Khmer
Population: 14,952,665
68th largest country in the world.
Capital: Phnom Penh

I grew up in southern New Hampshire. We were about a 20-30 minute drive from Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell is my parents hometown and my mom has worked in the community of Lowell her entire life. Lowell is rich in different cultures. Greek, Portuguese, Irish, Korean, and especially Cambodian. Statistically, it has the largest population of Cambodians in the world except for Cambodia. Surprisingly, I have never encountered the Cambodian cuisine so I was very intrigued.

Amok Chicken (Cambodian Chicken Curry)

1 tbsp oil
2 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced
1 red chile, minced and deseeded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch ginger piece, peeled and grated
1lb/500g chicken breast, diced
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
6 kaffir lime leaves or lime zest from one fruit
2 tbsp sugar

1. In a wok or large deep skillet heat up oil.
2. Add lemongrass, chile, garlic, and ginger and cook for one minute.
3. Add chicken pieces and stir fry until the outside has developed some color.
4. Add coconut milk, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves or zest, and sugar.
5. Simmer for 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked and curry has developed flavor.
6. Serve with rice noodle and veggie stir fry.

This was really good. I would make it again. I am falling in love with the sweet, sour, salty flavor combinations of the Indian Ocean. The next recipe is in the same vein.


Original Word: Pad Thai
Nationality: Thai
Language: Thai
Population: 67,091,089
20th largest country in the world.
Capital: Bangkok

I love Pad Thai! Rice noodles with a sweet/sour sauce and adorned with peanuts. Yum!! Here in Beeston we have a two Thai restaurants. I always get the Pad Thai because no matter what I do it is never good when I make it. They must put some magic dust in the sauce. When David and I go for lunch (cheaper) he always gets larb gai. It is this spicy minced chicken dish. If you know me I cannot handle spice. I like to say I can barely handle mild salsa. But, David’s larb gai is worth the pain! I decided to take a swing at it.

Larb Gai (Spicy Minced Chicken)

1 tbsp oil
2 stalks of lemongrass, thinly sliced
1-2 red chiles, minced and deseeded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
1 red onion, sliced
1lb/500g minced chicken (I used turkey because that is what I could find.)
2 cups green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 lime, juiced
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar

1. Heat oil in a wok or a large deep skillet. Add lemongrass, chiles, ginger, and garlic and stir fry for one minute.
2. Add mince and cook completely. Set aside.
3. Add onion and fry until it starts to develop color. Add green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add cooked mince and stir. Add lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar. 5. Simmer for until half of the liquid evaporates.
6. Serve with basmati rice.

This was delicious. I wouldn’t say it was as good as the restaurants but it was a great change-up with the ground turkey. It was a great alternative to turkey burgers, meatloaf, or meatballs. If you are on the Paleo diet you could serve this with lettuce wraps and I bet it would be incredible.



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