It has been a while since my last update. Therefore I decided to write an additional update. This time i like to focus on the food!
Everyone likes food. Mostly. Rice is the staple here, accompanied by side dishes of vegetable or meat.
Disclaimer: Some of the images I about to show might make people squeamish, especially if you are not used to exotic dishes. My advice is to keep an open mind. I enjoyed many very unique and tasty dishes here which I will happily illustrate:
Technically, this was made Philippine style by brother Mick who expertly collected the pig from the farm, kill, then prepare it. It was done for special occasions, or when visitors are here.
Trust me. It is mouth wateringly GOOD.
The skin is crispy and the meat is incredibly tender and moist. The inwards were replaced by lemon grass and herbs. The process required multiple men, starting at 4am and completing by lunch time. Incredible! Not to mention a great treat to the kids and staff.
So this is a local dish using the stalk of the lotus. The lotus is actually the national flower of Cambodia. And I tasted it when it was made with fish as a delectable soup. It gives off a very characteristic aromatic flavor. You can only eat the stalk so don't bother eating the flower.
Pork blood stew
Ok. Again, this is technically a Philippine dish made with the fresh blood of the pig, liver, vinegar and other innards. If you have a delicate palate, this dish might frighten you. At first impression, it looks like a dark, thick stew. Taste-wise, it has an incredible game flavor. All the smell of the blood was expertly covered by the vinegar. I personally enjoyed it with rice. Very nice.
I am not joking. It's exactly what it says on the tin. Not that it comes in a tin. It seems that there is only one area in the whole of Cambodia that sells this delicacy and the place is called Skun located in Kampong Cham province.
Ok... so I have not actually tried it because I was in a hurry to get to the capital. But I heard it is crispy, not too juicy, and taste like shrimp or crabs. Will definitely try it when I have the chance. The question is, would you? Hehe
This fruit is not uncommon but it is the first time I am eating the seeds. Apparently it is quite common to get it as juice but quite labor intensive to eat the seeds. It tastes sweet and each seed has a corn-liked texture with a pulp inside. Not bad.
Bread with chicken floss
So.... you can get this in many places and other countries. But it has become a facourire of the kids. The bread roll is filled with chicken floss and some condense milk. Quite satisfying for an afternoon snack.
Ok. This is what we call it here among the staff. It's basically a small barbecue set similar to the Korean barbecue. Raw meat and vegetables are placed on the hot plate and it is cooked to perfection. Quite tasty. Sometimes we can eat it with soup where the raw food are placed into a soup stock and boiled. The resultant soup is infused with all the ingredients flavor. Malaysians call it steamboat.
This is basically porridge for Cambodians. It is rice boiled with meat or fish and added with other herbs and spices. Quite simple to prepare for a large group of kids and quite tasty.
Wood + apple = wood apple
So... I did not enjoy this fruit. It was given for me to try and it tastes incredibly bitter and sour from the first bite. The locals eat it with salt.
Different from the beef stews in the U.K, this dish is more similar to oxtail soup in Malaysia. In fact, it might actually be the local version of it. It is probably my favorite Cambodian dish I tried here. The soup is light yet with beautiful beef flavor. The beef is truthfully quite fatty but still enjoyable. I highly recommend it.
Ok. I have yet to mention the common ones like luck luck that most tourist would know about. But as you can imagine, I am very well fed here. In fact, I should lose a bit of weight.
But let us remember the Bible truth from Mark 7:18-23.
As a missionary doctor in Cambodia, it is important to be strong in my identity and bible truth. To reach all peoples that they might be won over for Christ. I give thanks to him who provides all things by his grace through Jesus.
- Please pray that the children and people here will have adequate food and nutrition especially in the rural areas.
- Please pray that for manna international, an organization that sponsors the Bileg team to feed the rural children in the villages, that their work will bear fruit.
- We will be attempting a study with Milo drinks to improve the calorie intake of the kids. Please pray that they will grow strong and healthy.
Until next time. Bon Appetit.