Monday, January 07, 2008

OUR CULINARY GEMS: Samlaa Ko Phet | Tamarind Beef Curry

Samlaa Ko Phet is one of the most popular dish in Cambodian cuisine. Very rich, very refreshing and most of all, very Cambodian.

Although it is called “beef curry” in English, it doesn’t have any curry at all! So, don’t be put out with it. Try this beautiful dish and get to know the taste of Cambodia.

Here’s the recipe…

Preparation Time 15 mins
Cooking Time 45 mins
Serves 4


25g Compressed Tamarind Pulp
150ml Boiling Water
450g Beef Fillet
2 Large Chilies, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp fresh Coriander

5cm Fresh Root Galangal, chopped or 1 tsp Ground Galangal
1 stalk of Lemon Grass, chopped or 2 tsp Ground Lemon Grass
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed

2 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tsp Sugar
1 x 40g tin Coconut Milk
150g Aubergines (eggplants) cut into 2.5cm/1-inch cubes
The Juice and grated rind of 1 lime


Place the tamarind pulp in a small mixing bowl, pour over the boiling water and set aside to soften for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the meat into very thin strips 12mm/1/2inch wide and 5cm/2inches long. Set aside.

Place the chilli, coriander, galangal and lemon grass in a food processor and process to a paste. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, add the onion and garlic and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the curry paste and fry stirring for 3 minutes then add the beef and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, sugar and coconut milk and the water in which the tamarind has been soaking to the beef (discard the tamarind pulp), mix well and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the aubergine, lime juice and grated lime zest and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes until the aubergines have softened. Serve immediately.

Bon appetite!

*Thanks to Cambodia Cooking Class website.


Anonymous said...

ewww gross. my friend tried to get me to eat it one time and let's just say that it is one dish i will never eat again. it has given me a bad opinion of their cuisine. i'd much rather stick with my meat and potatoes.

Jake Tornado said...

Hey Anonymous! Every citizen of the world has the right to eat whatever they want to eat and, AT THE SAME TIME, to REFUSE what they don't want to eat. Honestly, it was so FOOLISH of you to be forced by your (imaginary) friend to let you eat this dish and in the end, rant that it's "gross". I may not know what exactly is your "meat and potato" dish but I'm pretty sure that it's much "grosser" than Samlaa Ko Phet. I bet you only sink your teeth in trash and not into these kind of world-class culinary gems. By the way, hae you watched your weight lately? I'm sure your scale shot through your roof that it put the New York Stock Exchange to shame!

curbside_puppet said...

JAKE: whaddup?!?!?! it seemed mr. anonymous has caught you on a fairly bad mood!

but here's the thing for everyone commenting here, if we got nothing nice to share here, we can better keep it to ourselves. say, we didn't like what was written and all that, we can keep the frustration to ourselves and not comment. right?

btw, this blog is for south east asia and southeast asians. this is our (southeast asians) way to make our region more "one."

so to everyone, if we got nothing nice to share, let us zip our upper and lower jaws closed instead.

Anonymous said...

well all I can say is YUMMY! Oh, and thanks for the recipe :)

Nat said...

Haven't even made it yet, but looking forward to it. Looks very simple and very morish. I was looking for a Massaman alternative and found this. Keep up the good work.

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