Cambodian Yellow Curry Paste Recipe (Kroeung)
Cambodian cuisine is not as well known as other South East Asian cuisines; we’ve all heard of about Thai and Vietnamese favourites, most have dabbled with a bit of Malay food but you’ll rarely find a Cambodian dish on a restaurant menu anywhere outside of Cambodia. Which is a shame, because done right, Cambodian food is delicious.
If you want to cook Cambodian food then learning how to make a decent ‘kroeung’ (curry paste) is important; it forms the base for some of our favourite dishes too, like creamy coconut tofu and vegetable curries and Cambodian Wedding Day Dip which most vegetarian and vegan travelers passing through Siem Reap will have sampled in Chamkar (one of the most popular veggie restaurants in Temple Town).
We made this delicious ‘Root Vegetable Kari’ with our kroeung curry paste
Unlike a Thai curry paste, Cambodian kroeung doesn’t knock your head off with chilli and it’s full of bright yellow fresh turmeric. It’s aromatic, full of lemongrass, turmeric, garlic and galangal, it smells and tastes delicious and will keep in the fridge for a week so you can keep adding it to stuff (stir fries, dips, soups) as you go along.
Our version comes courtesy of Executive Chef Chanrith at one of our favourite luxury hotels in Siem Reap, the cool, laid back and classy Shinta Mani Club; shared with us during our day learning how to cook Cambodian food in luxury where we learnt to cook some of the amazing vegan food we’d been eating in their restaurant Kroya.
(To make about 200g of kroeung)
4 lemongrass stalks
10g fresh galangal
40g fresh turmeric
3 cloves of garlic
2 kaffir lime leaves (remove the stalk in the middle of the leaf)
Peel and chop all ingredients.
The prepared ingredients ready for the next stage
Pound all ingredients in a pestle and mortar
If you don’t have a pestle and mortar (or are feeling lazy) you can blitz all of the ingredients in a blender but you will need to add a little water…
The finished paste should be smooth with just some fibres from the lemongrass.
Now get cooking (and eating!) and tell us how you got on!