Chef Nak's Quest to Save Traditional Cambodian Cuisine

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Chef Nak's Quest to Save Traditional Cambodian Cuisine

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:11 am

‘I really think that Cambodian food deserves a place in the world’
Posted on: June 27, 2018 | Cambodia
Scouring the countryside for traditional recipes on the verge of fading from living memory, chef Rotanak Ros is striving to put Cambodian cuisine on the world map through cooking classes, quick and easy recipes, and luxury-dining nights at her riverside terrace

Even on the deck of Rotanak Ros’s terrace house on the banks of the Mekong River, Cambodia’s midday heat is stifling. Despite the blazing stovetop, the fans hang motionless in their cages so as not to disturb the filming of the day’s cooking class. The camera rolls its gaze from the pumpkin lying in even clumps on her chopping board to the rich red clay pot on the stove. Chef Nak takes a breath, wipes the sweat beaded on her brow and smiles. Take two.

It looks like hard work, and it is. But Rotanak – who goes by Chef Nak – is adamant in her quest to draw traditional Cambodian cuisine back from what she fears is the brink of extinction. Her website, rotanak.co, is replete with recipes drawn from her childhood: kanh, a refreshing salad traditionally served with fresh duck blood; crispy shrimp cakes that were once all she ate on her long walks to school; and, perhaps most tantalising, a caramel stew garnished with black mushroom and bamboo shoots.

Nak is no stranger to the work of cultural preservation. For eight years, the self-taught chef worked with Cambodia Living Arts, an organisation founded by survivors of the bloody Khmer Rouge regime that has spent the past 20 years working to rekindle the Kingdom’s fading cultural arts. It was here that Nak began to realise just how fragile the thread had become that binds together generations of Cambodian families.

Full article: http://sea-globe.com/the-cambodian-chef ... l-recipes/

And check out her video. How to cook Crispy Shrimp Cakes - Kompis Chean. Amazing.
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Re: Chef Nak's Quest to Save Traditional Cambodian Cuisine

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:55 am

A Champion of Cambodian Cuisine
Rotanak Ros, home cook turned ardent cultural ambassador, is on a mission to revive her country's ancient food traditions—before they're lost to history
By Crystal Shi
Updated: October 24, 2019
Image
Rotanak Ros, or Chef Nak, at the market. (Nataly Lee)
NEW YORK—As Rotanak Ros stands over the stove, peering intently at the thin, dark amber sauce she’s rapidly stirring together in a skillet, an incredible aroma wafts into the air.

Garlic and shallots, sautéed until browned and fragrant, form the backbone. To that, Ros has added brown sugar, caramelized to deepen its molasses-y sweetness; fish sauce, pungent and savory; and tamarind, a touch sweet but mostly mouth-puckeringly sour.

Together, Ros says as she offers me a spoonful to taste, they perfectly demonstrate the balance of contrasting flavors—sweet, savory, sour—that defines much of Khmer, or Cambodian cuisine—what I’ve come to her to learn about, and what she’s traveled to New York City, all the way from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to teach.

Ros—or Chef Nak, as she prefers to be called—is a self-taught home cook turned chef, entrepreneur, and ardent cultural ambassador. With her eponymous food business, Rotanak, she’s on a mission to revive traditional Khmer cuisine and bring it to the rest of the world.

“Cambodia has a very long, rich history,” Ros says. Its cuisine is one shaped over millennia of cultural influences—Indian, Chinese, Thai, French, Vietnamese—meeting the region’s abundance of fresh seafood, rice, and tropical produce. But it’s often overlooked, overshadowed by its Thai and Vietnamese neighbors (indeed, a common introduction to Cambodian food is “kind of like Thai, but not as sweet or spicy”—chilies are optional). Ros wants to change that.
https://www.theepochtimes.com/a-champio ... 19847.html
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