A meaty Cambodian soup that whets the appetite with its refreshing sour taste. The beef and vegetables make it a balanced meal. Eat it with rice and the meal is complete.
This recipe serves 2.
- 1 lb sliced chuck steak
- ¼ lb tripe (optional)
- ½ lb water spinach, cut into 2 inch lengths
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 4 cups of water
- SPICE PASTE
- 3 stalks chopped lemongrass (3/4 cup)
- 6 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh galangal or 1 Tbsp galangal powder
- 4 chopped lime leaves
- 2 chopped chili pepper
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp guava paste or fresh guava
- 1 Tbsp cream-style pickled fish
- ¼ cup basil leaves
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Blend all the ingredients in the Spice Paste list with ¾ cup of water.
- Heat oil on low heat in a medium pot. When the oil is smoking slightly, fry the spice paste until it smells fragrant and turns a little brown.
- Add the beef and fry until brown.
- Add the sugar, fish sauce, guava and some ground black pepper.
- Cook for about 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. Add the water spinach and the bell pepper.
- Add the creamy-style pickled fish and lemon juice. Adjust the saltiness and sourness according to taste, by varying the amount of pickled fish, lemon juice and water.
- Garnish with basil and serve with plain boiled rice.
Cooking hint: If you find that there’s too much liquid in the soup, take off the pot cover and allow the liquid to reduce.