Khmer Stir Fry Salmon and Ginger (Char Khgney Trey Salmon)

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It is only second day of winter and I already felt like I am coming down with something. I hope I do not pass it on to the kids. Coming home late as usual and no dinner from any of the mums, I decided to cook Khmer stir fry salmon with ginger and hope that the ginger will help me fight the cold although it may be a little too late.

This dish is our family favourite. It is one of the dish that I had proudly created as we love ginger stir fry. The Khmer traditional stir fry ginger uses pork or chicken. My freezer always has ginger and salmon. I took a piece of salmon out of the freezer before I left to work this morning just in case I might need to cook something quick as I was not sure if we were eating at Borey’s mum when we pick up Aaron after work. Borey already cooked rice which meant our dinner will be ready in about 15 mins. Hurray! My shredded gingers were still frozen in the freezer, but it can be cooked right away.

If you cannot handle too much gingers, just use a little bit of ginger for the flavour and the dish would still taste great. I encourage you to give this dish a go and tell me how you like your ginger stir fry.

Recipe for Khmer Stir Fry Salmon and Ginger (Char Khgney Trey Salmon)
Serve: 2
Time: 15 mins preparation, 15 mins cooking

What you need:
1 piece of salmon fillet – skin free (palm size piece)
1 large piece of fresh young ginger (or a cup of shredded young ginger)
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp sweet thick soy sauce (se-eve khup in khmer)
1 tsp light soy sauce
olive oil

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Process:
1- Peel skin off ginger and slice into thin strip. This can be prepared early and stored for weeks in freezer

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2- Cut the salmon in to thick slices (about 2cm thick)

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3- If you use frozen ginger, put frying pan on hot plate and defrost ginger in the frying pan (high heat). Use the wooden spatula to toss it around to speed up the defrost process. When the gingers become soft and watery, add a little olive oil and keep stirring every now and then to fry the gingers till golden in colour

4- If you use fresh ginger, start with coating the hot pan with olive oil and then add ginger and fry gingers till golden in colour by stirring it every now and then

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5- Remove gingers from pan

6- Add a little olive oil to the pan and add garlic. Saute garlic for a few seconds till golden colour

7- Add salmon and quickly toss with garlic for a few seconds then add all the seasonings and stir gently to combine the fish and the soys and not braking the fish. Turn the heat off after 2 to 3 mins so the fish is not overcooked

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8- Add the ginger and toss slightly to combine

9- Transfer to a plate and serve with steam rice.

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Tips: You can use other white fish fillets

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Pickled Carrot, Cucumber, White Radish and Ginger (Chruork Carrot, Tror Sak, Thaitao, Khgney)

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I like to go through my fridge each week and check what is left and what need to be purchased. I am a fridge manager, a role inspired by my ex-collegue James Claridge who is an amazing guy who knows just about everything and is very passionate about saving our planet. By doing this, I make sure the fridge is clean and most importantly things are used by date and waste is minimised. This week I have a couple of carrots, some cucumbers, gingers and a piece of white radish left in the fridge so I am making Cambodian pickles.

This pickle is a side dish which goes very well with BBQ or grilled meat, grilled fish, fish cakes or grilled beef kebabs or can be used as a starter with a cold meat plater. It is very easy to make and again like many Cambodian dishes, there are many ways to pickles vegetables. It is also very versatile as you can choose or leave out vegetables as you prefer. White radish may not be everyone’s cup of tea as it has very strong smell and taste. Therefore if you don’t like it, leave them out.

The pickle will last up to three weeks in a sterilised jar, not in my case as I would empty the jar in a week. It is good to have them sitting in the fridge for days that I don’t have time to do much cooking. It would make a very nice gift also.

I hope that the recipe is easy to follow and happy pickling!

Recipe for Cambodian pickled carrots, cucumbers, white radish and ginger
Made: 2 small jars (recycled pasta sauce jars)
Time: 15 mins preparation, 5 to 10 mins process

What you need:
3 cucumbers
3 carrots
1 small white radish
1 small piece (thumb size) ginger
1 tbsp salt for washing the vegetables
1/2 tbsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 clove of garlic (optional, I do not like raw garlic so I did not use it)
2 to 3 chillies (optional, I love mine hot)

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Process
1- Peel carrots, ginger and white radish
2- Wash all the vegetables
3- Cut cucumbers into small wedges

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4- Slice carrots and radish into thin slices (approximately 2mm thick). If you want to make flowers, carve the vegetables vertically as in picture below before slicing, but this is purely for presentation

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5- Combine all the chopped and sliced vegetables in a large bowl and add the one table spoon of salt. Squeeze the vegetables together with the salt to soften the carrots and the radish and to get some juice out from the cucumbers. This process is called salt wash. It is done to remove the bitterness from the radish and to remove some juice from the cucumbers. This step can be skipped if you don’t mind the raw taste of the radish. This step is also recommended if you want to eat the pickles right away

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6- Wash the salted vegetables lightly and squeeze all the water out and drain well

After the salt wash process, the vegetables looks softer, but still are crunchy

After the salt wash process, the vegetables look softer, but are still crunchy

7- Add the rest of the ingredients to the vegetables and mix well

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8- Transfer into sterilised jars and leave them in the fridge. This can be served straight away although the flavour will intensify when all the veggies soak up the sweet and sour flavours

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