Num Ansom Chek (Rolled Banana Rice Cake)

Num Ansom Chek (Rolled Banana Rice Cake)

Hello Everyone! February flew by in just the blink of an eye, and before we know it, in a couple of days it’ll be March already! This also means that this will be the last Cambodian recipe that I will be sharing on my blog, for now. There are still so many wonderful recipes that the country has to offer, and maybe one day I’ll revisit the cuisine and discover more dishes that’ll take a liking to my tastebuds.

For our last Cambodian cuisine, I’ll be sharing a popular street snack that is sold across the country, known as Num Ansom Chek, or in English, Rolled Banana Rice Cake. It is a traditional Cambodian snack that is low fat, healthy, and easy to make as it only requires a few ingredients to put together. In many Cambodian snacks, banana is used because of its abundance in the tropical region, and its ritual value. Of course, it is also delicious and sweet!

Num Ansom Chek (Rolled Banana Rice Cake)

Other than bananas, this snack also includes sticky rice and grated coconut. Sometimes, jackfruit is also added, but since I’m not a huge fan of jackfruit, I’ve replaced them with strips of mango instead. You may also add red mung beans or black beans and it can also be sweetened with palm sugar if desired. All of this is then carefully rolled and enclosed in a banana leaf. The resulting cylindrical-shaped snack is then steamed until tender and fragrant.

In Cambodia, this sweet delicacy is traditionally prepared for important celebrations such as Cambodian New Year and the religious festival Pchum Ben (Festival of Souls). With a culture that is heavily influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism, during a festival, it is common practice to offer food to the monks at the temple, and the ghosts of our ancestors, relatives, and friends. One of the foods that they offer is Num Ansom Chek because of their ability to be kept for days without being spoiled. This is due to them being wrapped and steamed in banana leaves.

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original where I drew my inspiration from over on Vanier Culinary by Thun-Carl Sieu.

Num Ansom Chek (Rolled Banana Rice Cake) Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS* | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | MAKES 6 ROLLS

*Allow for 6 hours to overnight to soak the glutinous rice.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 ripe mango (optional)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sweet glutinous rice, soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
  • Salt, to taste
  • Banana leaves, 6 of about 15cm x 20cm pieces

METHOD

  1. Drain the water from the soaked rice and mix the grated coconut in with the rice.
  2. Peel and cut the bananas in half and sprinkle a touch of salt over them.
  3. Take a piece of banana leaf and place a small portion of the rice and coconut mixture in a horizontal line along the longer side of the banana leaf. Place a banana half in the centre of the rice and strips of ripe mango if you wish. Top the fruits with more rice, there should be enough to fully surround them.

Num Ansom Chek (Rolled Banana Rice Cake)

  1. Roll the banana leaf tightly around the rice to form a log and fold both edges in to seal. Make sure that the leaf is not loose so that the mixture can use it as a mold. Use string to secure the banana leaf wrapping if needed. Repeat until all of the bananas have been wrapped.
  2. Stack the rolls in a steamer and steam over boiling water for about 60 minutes.
  3. Once done, allow to cool slightly before unwrapping and serving. Enjoy!

Num Ansom Chek (Rolled Banana Rice Cake)

Num Ansom Chek (Rolled Banana Rice Cake)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pancit Lucban (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Thick Flour Noodles)

Pancit Lucban (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Thick Flour Noodles)

Hello Everyone! So tonight, I’m sharing with you a dish that I think I over indulged in during my recent trip back to the Philippines earlier on the year in March/April 2015. We spent a ridiculous amount of lunches and meriendas in Buddy’s while we visited our relatives in the provincial City of Lucena. Anyway, the dish, known as Pancit Lucban or Habhab, is a version of pancit that originated in the Quezon province. This noodle dish may draw many resemblances to the traditional Pancit Canton, but there are some apparent differences. The main difference is all in the type of noodles used; Pancit Lucban/Habhab uses dried flour noodles known as miki Lucban which are not the same noodles used to make pancit canton. In addition, miki Lucban noodles that are made fresh also have a much softer texture than that of pancit canton.

Here’s a fun fact for you – well okay, it’s not really a fun fact but it is quite interesting and may be one of the reasons you’d probably go out and have a handful of Pancit Lucban. That’s right, a handful. This version of pancit is traditionally served over a piece of banana leaf and is eaten without any utensils. I know what you’re thinking, how exactly do you eat noodles without any utensils?! Well, imagine eating a sandwich. You will need to grab the banana leaf with the noodles in it and put it directly to you mouth. Don’t eat the banana leaf though! Below is a picture of my cousin and my Mom back in 2008 (I think) having some Pancit Lucban from a street food vendor during a dog show/walk in Lucena:

My Mom & Cousin eating Pancit Lucban the traditional way

It’s probably not the most glamorous way to eat your noodles, but it may be an exciting experience especially to those who find this way of eating very foreign to them. Miki Lucban is unfortunately not commonly found in stores around Brunei, not even in the Filipino section. So instead, we used Pancit Canton which actually makes calling this dish Pancit Lucban a sin! *cheeky grin*

Pancit Lucban (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Thick Flour Noodles) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 45-50 MINS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g pancit canton (or miki Lucban if available)
  • 250g tiger prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 100g snow peas, topped and tailed
  • 3-4 dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pcs thin sliced pork belly, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 chicken crown, breasts removed and sliced, bone reserved
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 chayote, peeled and sliced
  • 5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Whole black peppercorns

METHOD

  1. Add the reserved chicken bone, dried bay leaves, about a teaspoon or two of whole black peppercorns, and salt to a medium-sized pot filled with about 1.5L of hot/boiling water. Turn the heat up to high and leave to boil for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile heat a large frying pan over medium-high and add in the chunks of pork belly. Cook until browned. The oils released from the pork belly should be enough to sauté the garlic and cook the onions, but if needed, add a little bit more oil if there isn’t enough. Then add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute, then followed by the diced onions. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes in total.
  3. Add in the sliced chicken breasts, and season with a bit of salt and ground black pepper and give it a good mix. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then add in the prawns, followed by the chayote, carrots, and snow peas. Mix well and leave to cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Lastly, add in the gai lan and cook until just slightly wilted. Once done, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same frying pan, add about half of the chicken stock to the pan together with the soy sauce, ground salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the canton noodles in and cook until all the liquid has evaporated (if the noodles are looking a bit dry, you may add more stock, a ladle at a time). Make sure that while cooking, you mix and untangle them periodically. Altogether this should take about 10-15 minutes. Halfway through, add in half of the cooked meat and vegetables to the noodles and mix well.
  5. Serve immediately topped with the extra meat and vegetables, and with calamansi, or alternatively a lemon wedge. Enjoy! Note: best served with a splash of vinegar!

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BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2015: Marissa Mai

Sò Lông Nướng Mỡ Hành (Grilled Mussels with Buttered Green Onions)

Hello Everyone! Hope you have a fabulous weekend so far 🙂 If you haven’t heard from me, my name is Marissa and I am a Sydney-based food blogger over at Maiyummy, where my primary focus is on Asian Street Food. This week I am extremely glad to be given such a wonderful opportunity to guest blog on Amcarmen’s Kitchen for the first time for a mini collaboration series known as Auguest. Allison first launched the idea of Auguest last month, and I am really honoured to be part of her series, reinventing our local street food cuisines into casual dining dishes. While she was staying at my place, we have cooked up multiple storms in the kitchen together where we both showed each other how to make some delicious Filipino and Vietnamese dishes. Later on today you can head on over to Maiyummy for Allison’s featured blog post.

Before I lead you guys into my secret Asian adventure, I should probably give a bit of an introduction to myself. I was born and raised in Vietnam and came to Australia in 2008 and have been living in Sydney ever since. At first I was really amazed by how diverse and multicultural Australia is, especially in food, language, and music, ranging from a variety of Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, and many more. Back in Vietnam, I could only find authentic local Vietnamese food and some of the popular Asian flavours like Korean and Japanese; but to be honestly the taste is entirely different to what I have been experiencing here in Australia.

Sò Lông Nướng Mỡ Hành (Grilled Mussels with Buttered Green Onions)

I launched Maiyummy and made my first post in June 2015, exactly 2 months ago. A very special thanks Amcarmen’s Kitchen for being such a great supporter and influencer as she continuously motivated me to start up my blog while she was living at my place. We cooked, brunched, and shared our food together, creating memories that will last forever. Even though I am still new to blogging, I cannot thank her enough, and if you have the chance to, please follow her blog, Facebook, and Instagram page for great tips on cooking European food where I learned so much from her. While you’re there feel free to check out all my food adventures over on Instagram.

The recipe that I am going to share with my lovely audience today is a common seafood street food known as Sò Lông Nướng Mỡ Hành, or Grilled Mussels with Buttered Green Onions. Seafood is probably the most common ingredient in Da Nang, a place famous for its coastline, beautiful beaches, and of course a variety of fresh seafood. The idea of this dish originated from this city, and it simple, quick, and easy to cook; it is quite delicate and rich in texture. Not everyone can eat spicy or sour food, but this dish can accommodate the tastebuds of anyone who loves the freshness and the real taste of Vietnamese seafood.

Sò Lông Nướng Mỡ Hành (Grilled Mussels with Buttered Green Onions) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg fresh green mussels (or scallops), washed and cleaned thoroughly
  • 100g peanuts, roasted and crushed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2-3 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1 stalk spring onion, sliced
  • Cilantro or coriander leaves
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Unsalted butter (optional)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and set aside.
  2. Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and place the mussels into the pot for about 2-3 minutes or until their shells open up. Remove from the pot and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Break one side of the shell open and place the mussel onto the prepared baking tray.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat up the olive oil over medium-high and add the sliced spring onions in. Toss them around using a spoon for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the fish sauce and half of the sliced chillies to the spring onion mixture. Stir to combine and then equally spoon the mixture over each mussel.
  4. Place them in the oven for about 7-8 minutes, then reduce the temperature down to 150C (300F or gas mark 2) in order for the mussels to cook slowly. Keep checking the oven and check till the mussels are sizzling, then immediately turn off the heat (for a creamier texture, I personally add a little bit of butter on the top of the mussels during the last few minutes of its cooking time before taking them out of the oven).
  5. Remove the mussels from the oven and arrange them onto a wooden board. Garnish with some crushed peanuts and remaining chillies. Serve them with salt, pepper and coriander leaves. Enjoy!

Sò Lông Nướng Mỡ Hành (Grilled Mussels with Buttered Green Onions)

Sò Lông Nướng Mỡ Hành (Grilled Mussels with Buttered Green Onions)

HAVE A LOVELY WEEK 🙂

~ OH MAI YUMMYYYYY

Recipe Copyright © 2015 | maiyummy

PS: This is Allison here writing a quick note to apologise for the late upload – I was busy all day yesterday and didn’t have time to proof read Marissa’s post, do some editing (both photographs and writing) to be able to get this recipe up yesterday. Nonetheless I hope you enjoyed her recipe today and stay tuned for another Vietnamese dish by her tomorrow! xx

myTaste.com