Group Writing: How to Prepare Kampot Noodles

 

Did you know that noodles originated in Cambodia? Well, according to the Khmer legend of Dhmen Jay, noodles were introduced to China around the start of the Common Era. If you’ve read my previous post on noodles, you’d know that num banh chok is a fermented rice noodles. Making num banh chok is very laborious, as you can probably tell from that post.

I’m not certain of the age and provenance of num banh chok, but my aunt’s third-grade teacher’s family claimed to have been making Khmer noodles for more than a thousand years. And there are many villages all over Cambodia that have claimed the same. There are a few areas in Kampong Thom and Kratié provinces that have been making num banh chok for more than two millennia.

Today, I am introducing you to one of the dishes. Num banh chok kampot is a noodle dish served with crushed dried shrimp tossed with a pineapple fish-sauce dressing and topped with roasted peanuts and coconut cream. Kampot is a coastal province, which explains the use of dried shrimp. Kampot fish sauce is considered to be the best in the nation. The same goes for agricultural products grown in the province, such as peppers, durians, rambutans, and pineapples.

I’ve included a substitution for the noodles since you won’t really find fresh num banh chok outside of Cambodia.

Num Banh Chok Kampot

  • 1 lb. fresh num banh chok, or 1-8 oz. package of rice vermicelli
  • 1 ¼ cups dried shrimp
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, roughly crushed
  • ½ head of lettuce, torn to bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cucumbers, julienne
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, trimmed
  • A handful of herbs (mints, basil, coriander etc.)
  • A handful of young mango leaves (optional)
  • A handful of sesbania javanica flowers (optional)

Pineapple Fish-Sauce Dressing

  • ¼ slightly ripe pineapple, julienne
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar (preferably palm sugar)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 bird’s eye chili (optional)

Dressing: Pound the garlic and chili in a mortar. Spoon out and place the garlic/chili mixture into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well. Taste and adjust accordingly. You can either add in the pineapple at this time or you can wait until you assemble the dish.

Noodles: If using dried rice vermicelli, prepare it according to the direction on the package.

Shrimp: Soak the shrimp in warm water for 20 minutes. Rinse them several times and drain. Pound the shrimp with a mortar and pestle until they become crumbly. Conversely, you can use a food processor.

Assembling: In a bowl, add all the trimmings, noodles, some pineapple, and shrimp. Add some fish-sauce dressing and coconut cream. And top everything with crushed peanuts. Enjoy!

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There are 14 comments.

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  1. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Now I’m hungry!!!

    • #1
  2. Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum Member
    Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum
    @

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Now I’m hungry!!!

    Me, too…Who’s prepping and cooking? 

     

    • #2
  3. Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum Member
    Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum
    @

    LC, what does this scrumptious-sounding dish look like when served?  It’s probably a feast for the eyes, too, yes? Thanks, as always…

    • #3
  4. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… (View Comment):

    LC, what does this scrumptious-sounding dish look like when served? It’s probably a feast for the eyes, too, yes? Thanks, as always…

    Updated with pictures.

    • #4
  5. Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum Member
    Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum
    @

    LC (View Comment):

    Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… (View Comment):

    LC, what does this scrumptious-sounding dish look like when served? It’s probably a feast for the eyes, too, yes? Thanks, as always…

    Updated with pictures.

    Ummmm, beautiful and tasty…How spicy, LC? Thanks for the pictures!

    • #5
  6. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… (View Comment):

    LC, what does this scrumptious-sounding dish look like when served? It’s probably a feast for the eyes, too, yes? Thanks, as always…

    Updated with pictures.

    Ummmm, beautiful and tasty…How spicy, LC? Thanks for the pictures!

    Khmer cuisine is not spicy. The little heat in Khmer food comes mostly from spices, especially peppers. We do eat a crazy amount of black peppers. We hardly cook with chilis. But we always have a small bowl of fresh chilies to be added by the individuals at the dining table. If you ever stumble on Khmer recipes, you’ll see chili is always listed as optional.

    • #6
  7. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Now I’m hungry!!!

    I keep saying, from Ricochet thread to thread to thread, that the site should strike a deal with a 24 hour food delivery service. (It’s funny to imagine that behind the app, the same back office operation would handle dispatching and billing for Silent Cal Productions as well as Far Out, Man Munchies). A great many memorable Ricochet posts seem to mention or involve food, like @hankrhody‘s wonderful computer series. 

    Of course, if I keep hitting that “order” button, I’d end up looking like the Michelin tire man. Then again, that would be yet one more cross promotion opportunity for the powers that be.  

    • #7
  8. She Member
    She
    @She

    Sounds delicious!  As soon as I’ve assembled the ingredients, I’ll get to work.  More recipes please.

    • #8
  9. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Pork chops, lemon meringue pie, beer, and now noodles. 

    We got us a Ricochet dinner! 

    • #9
  10. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Does the word kampot have any connection to our compote?

    • #10
  11. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Does the word kampot have any connection to our compote?

    Nope

    • #11
  12. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    LC: Well, according to the Khmer legend of Dhmen Jay, noodles were introduced to China around the start of the Common Era.

    AD?

    • #12
  13. Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum Member
    Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum
    @

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):
    AD?

    Yes, sir…

    • #13
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    LC (View Comment):

    Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… (View Comment):

    LC, what does this scrumptious-sounding dish look like when served? It’s probably a feast for the eyes, too, yes? Thanks, as always…

    Updated with pictures.

    Ummmm, beautiful and tasty…How spicy, LC? Thanks for the pictures!

    Khmer cuisine is not spicy. The little heat in Khmer food comes mostly from spices, especially peppers. We do eat a crazy amount of black peppers. We hardly cook with chilis. But we always have a small bowl of fresh chilies to be added by the individuals at the dining table. If you ever stumble on Khmer recipes, you’ll see chili is always listed as optional.

    So now we have another wonderful main course to go with the pork chops, the applesauce, and the lemon meringue pie! Wash it all down with a home brewed beer, or a lemon-lime soda with Grandma’s Greenies!


    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the February 2019 Theme Writing: How Do You Make That? There are plenty of dates still available. Tell us about anything from knitting a sweater to building a mega-structure. Share your proudest success or most memorable failure (how not to make that). Our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    March’s theme is posted: “Unexpected Gifts.”

    • #14
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