Soto Ayam

4 chicken cutlets (or 4 boneless chicken legs)
6 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
2 stalks lemongrass , finely chopped
4 lime leaves
8 cloves garlic
3 shallots
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 (4-inch piece) galangal, peeled
1 (4-inch piece) fresh turmeric, peeled
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
4 oz. rice vermicelli
3 scallions , thinly sliced
2 red chili peppers , sliced
3 hard boiled eggs , peeled and quartered
1 cup bean sprouts
Juice of 2 kaffir limes
1/4 bunch cilantro , chopped
1 cup cooked rice

In a Dutch oven, sauté the chicken in half the oil for 5 minutes.

Add water, coconut milk, half the lemongrass, the lime leaves, spring onions, half the garlic, tomato, celery, and salt.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.
Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside.

Remove skin and bones from chicken and cut into strips. Set aside.

Prepare a spice paste: With a pestle and mortar or a food processor, grind the shallots, ginger, galangal, turmeric, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, the remaining lemongrass, garlic until obtaining a smooth paste.

Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Sauté the spice paste and hot pepper slices for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.

Add broth and reserved kaffir lime juice. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Cook the rice vermicelli according to the package directions. Drain.

Blanch bean sprouts in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain.

Place all the ingredients in large bowls.

Pour the broth into each bowl. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
Serve with rice.

Shan Noodles

Shan noodles can be served over a bed of rice noodles or served with broth.

1 lb chicken (or pork), chopped
8 oz. dried Shan noodles (rice noodles)
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped
8 tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder (optional)
8 tablespoons peanuts, crushed
2 scallions, chopped (for garnishing)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Place the dried noodles in a large bowl of cold water.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Turn off the heat, and place the dried rice noodles.

Heat oil in a large wok. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger for 6 to 8 minutes.

Add chili powder and continue to stir fry for minute.
Add the chopped chicken (or pork), tomatoes, tomato paste, and stir well. Add soy sauce and sugar and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until all tomatoes are crushed.

Put a handful of noodles into a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of chicken curry, crushed peanuts and adjust with soy sauce to taste. Add a few spring onions. Serve immediately with pickled mustard greens (optional).

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Burmese Golden Curry

5 duck eggs (or large chicken eggs)
6 tablespoons peanut oil
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 onions, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 thai chilis, thinly sliced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (1/2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tomatoes, puréed in food processor
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1/2 bunch cilantro , chopped
Salt

Place the duck eggs in a pot, cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, remove the pot from the heat and let stand 12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot and peel them under cold water.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium/high heat. Add the shallots and fry for about 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
Add the duck eggs into the hot oil, then lower the heat. Fry them for 4 minutes, regularly turning them to brown them all around. Take them out of the pan and transfer them to a plate.
Add the onions, turmeric, paprika, chili, garlic and ginger to the pan and fry for a 5 minutes, then stir in the puréed tomatoes, tamarind concentrate, fish sauce and brown sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes to reduce.

Cut the eggs in half and carefully place them back into the pan. Pour some of the mixture over the eggs, making sure that they are coated generously and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Finish by sprinkling the fried shallots and roughly chopped cilantro on top of the eggs.

Lok Lak (Cambodian Shaking Beef)

1 1/2 lb beef steak, sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 scallions, chopped
For the marinade
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon Kampot pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chicken broth powder
2 teaspoons potato starch (or cornstarch)
3 teaspoons paprika

For the sauce
Juice of 5 limes
3 tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic , chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Kampot pepper

Sides
A few leaves lettuce
2 ??tomatoes , sliced
Steamed white rice

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a salad bowl, add the meat and stir well.

Marinate the meat for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Heat the 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or pan and fry the chopped scallions over medium heat until they turn light brown.

Add the meat, mix well and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a bowl, stir all the ingredients of the lok lak sauce vigorously.

Prepare large plates.

In each plate, place a bed of lettuce leaves and a few slices of tomato.

Place the meat on the lettuce leaves and sliced ??tomatoes.

Serve with steamed white rice.

Place a small bowl of lok lak sauce on the side or the center of each plate.

Lap Khmer (Cambodian Laab)

3/4 lb beef tenderloin, sliced ??very thinly
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 teaspoons chopped fresh lemongrass
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon pahok (fish paste)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
1/3 lb yardlong beans (or green beans), cut very finely
1/2 lb soybean sprouts
2 tablespoons rice, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 small red hot peppers, chopped

Drain the meat by pressing it to get rid of all its water and its blood. Set aside.

Heat a small skillet. When it is hot, add the oil, garlic and lemongrass, mix well and add water and pahok (fish paste).
Leave the pan on medium heat and cook for 2 minutes after reaching the boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Place the raw beef in a large bowl. Pour the fresh lime juice over the beef. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, sugar, and onion and mix well.

Add the beans and the soy sprouts and mix well.

Add the pahok and mix well.

Add the toasted rice powder and herbs, and mix well.

Garnish with chopped red hot pepper before serving.

Tuk Trey (Cambodian Chili Sauce)

4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 red hot peppers, chopped
3 teaspoons roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 limes, squeezed
7 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons water

In a mortar, pound the garlic, peppers, lime juice, sugar and water with a pestle to obtain a paste.

Add the fish sauce and mix. Add the peanuts and mix well.

Recipe Notes
There are many variations of this sauce. You can adjust the ingredients according to your taste: – By adding more fish sauce if you want it to be salty, or more water for the opposite. – By adding more sugar if you prefer it sweeter. – By adding more lemon juice if you want to accentuate the sour side.

Libyan Beef and Chickpea Soup

1 1/2 slices hearty white sandwich bread (2 ounces)
8 ounces 90 percent lean ground beef
Kosher salt
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
14 1/2 -ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies
1/3 to 1/2 cup harissa, plus more to serve
1 1/2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 1 cup mashed
Lemon wedges, to serve

In a medium bowl, combine the bread and 3 tablespoons water. Let stand until the bread absorbs the water, about 5 minutes, then use a fork to mash to a smooth paste. Add the ground beef, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ¼ cup of mint. Use your hands to mix well, then form into 20 balls (1 tablespoon each) and place on a large plate. Refrigerate until needed.

In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes with juices and the harissa, then cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and whole and mashed chickpeas, bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to medium and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Add the meatballs and stir gently to distribute. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low and cook until the meatballs are no longer pink at the center, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in the remaining ½ cup mint. Taste and season with salt. Serve with lemon wedges and additional harissa.
Tip: Don’t forget to mash 1 cup of the drained chickpeas; the chickpeas’ starch lends body to the soup. A potato masher or fork works best. After adding the meatballs to the pot, don’t stir vigorously or they will break apart.