The Easiest Traditional Cambodian Dish to Make at Home

Cambodian cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors and ingredients that reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage. Among the many traditional dishes, one stands out for its simplicity and delicious taste: Bai Sach Chrouk (Grilled Pork and Rice). This dish is not only a staple in Cambodian breakfasts but also a comfort food that’s easy to prepare at home. In this post, I’ll guide you through making Bai Sach Chrouk with a step-by-step recipe, accompanied by photos to help you along the way.

Bai Sach Chrouk: A Traditional Cambodian Delight

Bai Sach Chrouk is a humble yet flavorful dish consisting of marinated pork grilled to perfection and served over a bed of steamed rice, often accompanied by pickled vegetables and a side of fresh cucumber and herbs. Its simplicity and balance of flavors make it a beloved meal for many Cambodians.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (450g) pork shoulder or pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (optional, for a richer flavor)
  • Steamed jasmine rice
  • Pickled vegetables (carrots and daikon radish)
  • Fresh cucumber slices and herbs (cilantro and mint)

Instructions:

  1. Marinate the Pork:
    • In a large bowl, combine the minced garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, vegetable oil, and coconut milk (if using).
    • Add the thinly sliced pork to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results.
  2. Grill the Pork:
    • Preheat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
    • Grill the marinated pork slices for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the meat is cooked through and has a nice char.
    • Remove from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Prepare the Rice and Vegetables:
    • While the pork is grilling, prepare your jasmine rice according to the package instructions.
    • Slice the fresh cucumbers and prepare the pickled vegetables.
  4. Assemble the Dish:
    • On a serving plate, place a generous portion of steamed jasmine rice.
    • Arrange the grilled pork slices on top of the rice.
    • Add a side of pickled vegetables, fresh cucumber slices, and herbs.
  5. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Bai Sach Chrouk is best enjoyed fresh off the grill. Serve it with a wedge of lime and a small bowl of fish sauce with chopped chili for extra flavor.

Tips for Perfect Bai Sach Chrouk:

  • Marination Time: Allowing the pork to marinate overnight enhances the flavors, making the dish even more delicious.
  • Cutting the Pork: Thin slices ensure that the pork cooks quickly and evenly, giving you that perfect char.
  • Grill vs. Pan: If you don’t have a grill, you can use a grill pan or a regular frying pan. The key is to get a good sear on the pork.
  • Pickled Vegetables: You can make your own quick pickles by soaking thinly sliced carrots and daikon radish in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and salt for an hour.

Final Thoughts

Bai Sach Chrouk is a simple yet flavorful dish that embodies the essence of Cambodian cuisine. It’s a perfect introduction to the country’s culinary traditions and a great dish to prepare at home, even for beginners. The combination of tender, marinated pork, fluffy jasmine rice, and refreshing pickled vegetables creates a harmonious balance that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

I hope you enjoy making and savoring this traditional Cambodian dish. Happy cooking!

Emil Moe

Software- and Data Engineer

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