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,, 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: ... l-recipes/

And check out her video. How to cook Crispy Shrimp Cakes - Kompis Chean. Amazing.
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