In the same way that I took a cooking class in Hanoi, I also couldn’t resist taking one in Siem Reap. It was the best $10 I’ve spent in an activity so far. Nothing’s more exciting than hearing it from the locals themselves on how to prepare their dishes. And being able to whip up a foreign dish is something you can happily show off to family and friends back home. It’s easier than you think
I took the class at Temple Bar in Pub Street. They had this spacious spot on the second floor with all the bells & whistles for a whole afternoon of cooking. Aside from the lessons, $10 entitled us to a free t-shirt, a market tour and a list of recipes. Plus, we got to eat all those large portions we cooked!
First thing on the agenda was visiting Old Market across the street. Old Market is the best place in Siem Reap to buy pasalubong but it also has fresh food, vegetables, a spice section and food stalls. I highly recommend a visit here.
For the cooking class proper, we peeled, sliced and cooked the ingredients as needed. We had individual chopping boards and cooking stations.
Here’s what went in the mango salad -
And here’s how the finished dishes looked like -
This Khmer curry was exquisite. It’s not so spicy as I thought and very filling to eat because of its mix of vegetables like diced eggplant, carrots, sweet potato and long beans. This is made with coconut milk and spice paste.
Amok is perhaps the most popular dish in Cambodia. It is amazingly simple: consists of pork, chicken or fish cooked (again) in spice paste, coconut milk and seasonings, simmered in eggs and then wrapped in banana leaf.
Pumpkin or squash turned out to be good for dessert too. We just boiled this is water, sugar, precooked sago and coconut cream. Egg yolk was added in the end. ’twas yummy!
Green mango salad. I can eat this everyday just to be healthy