A big part of getting to know a country is by tasting its cuisine. Even though I have been to Cambodia before I found it hard to describe what the Khmer kitchen is like. What better way to gain a little bit more knowledge about the Cambodian cuisine than attending a cooking class? Beyond Unique Escapes offers authentic Cambodian cooking classes with traditional Khmer ingredients. Let’s cook!
How the locals do it
I was greeted and picked up from my resort at Soujourn Boutique Villas by a lovely lady named Nawi. After meeting the other aspiring chefs Nawi took us to a local family to show us what a real Cambodian kitchen looks like. In return for letting us peek into their home, the family received a bag of rice in return. So attending a cooking class at Beyond Unique Escapes does not only mean you’re becoming a Khmer Masterchef yourself, it also means you’re giving back to the community.
Cooking it is!
Nawi then took us back to the kitchen where the cooking would take place and introduced us to the chef and instructor, Channiy. Both Channiy and Nawi spoke English so well and wouldn’t do anything without a big smile.
The first dish we prepared was ‘Fish Amok’ or, in my case, Tofu Amok, a typical Khmer dish containing fresh ingredients such as turmeric, galangal, lemongrass and garlic. The second dish we prepared was a desert, namely Sticky Rice Flour Balls with Palm Sugar. And last but not least we prepared a mouthwatering Khmer Mango Salad.
Whilst we were cooking Channiy and Nawi made sure we had everything we needed and answered all the questions we had. For instance, did you know the mango they use for their mango salad is not ripe yet, so that it has a specific (but good!) sour taste?
Ready, set, eat!
After our hard work in the kitchen it was time for the moment we all had been waiting for: eating our freshly prepared dishes! My absolute favorite was the mango salad, sweet ‘n sour at the same time and oh so tasty. I also really enjoyed the sticky rice flour balls, and the Amok was fingerlicking good as well.
If you’re interested in doing a cooking class in Cambodia and you’re in Siem Reap I would highly recommend attending a class of Beyond Unique Escapes. Not only do they give back to the community, but 5% of their profits goes directly to HUSK, an NGO working with communities in Siem Reap.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll stop blogging because I still have some of the Amok waiting for me in the fridge… 🙂