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US Cambodia Cuisine is Connecting Khmer-Americans with their Culture

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:59 pm
by CEOCambodiaNews

Two articles here on Nite Yun who arrived in the US as a refugee, and is now running Nyum Bai, a Cambodian restaurant in California.

How Nite Yun Is Helping Cambodians Connect to Their Culture
31 August 2018
“There’s not a lot of Cambodian restaurants or Cambodian chefs [in the US],” notes chef Nite Yun — a 2018 Eater Young Gun and the owner of Nyum Bai in Oakland, California. The realization came to Yun while she was living in San Francisco and missing her mom’s cooking, immediately inspiring her to learn to prepare those dishes for herself.

She began by calling her mom who would share all her recipes, and then by traveling around Cambodia, visiting her grandmother and learning more about Cambodian culture — that’s when she decided to open Nyum Bai.

And though Yun accepts the responsibility of representing Cambodian cuisine in the States, she’s hopeful for the first generation and second generation Cambodians who are reconnecting with their roots again through food. For now, she’s thankful for a place where she can cook up the food that she grew up eating, and share it with all of Oakland.
https://www.eater.com/2018/8/31/1779952 ... rnia-video

Previous article on her restaurant...
Nite Yun’s Cambodian Restaurant Is the Talk of California
The chef created a restaurant where Cambodians can reconnect with their culture
by Rachel Khong Jul 19, 2018, 11:12am EDT
That I’m eating kuy teav phnom penh, Cambodian rice noodle soup with minced pork, minutes from the BART station in Fruitvale, Oakland, feels akin to magic. It’s perfect — savory and slightly sweet and comforting, the perfect food. And Nyum Bai — open since this past February — feels something like magic, too.

Its patio shares space with a store selling miscellany — poignant-feeling Hillary Clinton piñatas. On a Saturday afternoon, the restaurant is all millennials — the exception is two tiny babies — while sixties Cambodian rock plays in the background, all warbling singing and frenetic drums. Behind a window, the Cambodian-American chef/owner, Nite Yun, cooks some of the Bay Area’s best Cambodian food. “I hope that this is a space where first- and second-generation Cambodians can come and reconnect with their heritage and country,” Yun says, though that wasn’t always her mission. From the incubator program La Cocina, to pop-ups, to a brick-and-mortar in Emeryville, and now her restaurant in Fruitvale, cooking was not always what she’d planned.
https://www.eater.com/2018/7/19/1756609 ... s-nyum-bai

Re: US Cambodia Cuisine is Connecting Khmer-Americans with their Culture

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:25 pm
by CEOCambodiaNews
Bowl o Flames: Bridging the gap between Cambodian culture and ATL for one local chef
Published: 12:12 PM EST February 8, 2019
PORTERDALE, Ga. — Country: Cambodia
Dish: Lok Lahk
Location: Porterdale
Thy Duong escaped from Cambodia when he was nine years old, fleeing war for a camp in Thailand.

Ultimately, Duong traveling to the U.S.

Today, he can be found in the kitchen of Bowl o Flames where he’s focused on bringing Cambodian food to life for those in the metro.

“I want people to know where we come from,” Duong said. “Our culture, our tradition.”

The restaurant in Porterdale, Ga entices eaters ready to experience a variety of Cambodian dishes, including the traditional lok lahk, Cambodian spare ribs, chicken bowl or wings flavored to customers’ taste.

But for Duong, it’s the lok lahk, or stir-fry beef, that especially represents his home country.

“How does this dish represent Cambodia?”

“People like to share that dish,” Duong said. “In Cambodia we share everything. We share a little bit of this, a little of that … we’re gonna share it all.”

The lok lahk is presented alongside fresh vegetables and rice, amidst a “kick of lemon-pepper sauce.” Such dishes are like a link to the Cambodian culture for Duong, also introducing a group of people he described as “full of love and gentle.”

“All Cambodians are really friendly people,” he said. “We’re not against anybody! Whoever wants to be our friend, we’ll be your friend, you know?”

“How does this dish represent Atlanta?”

“A lot of people want to try it,’ Duong said. “Some people try it and go, ‘Oh I’ve never had Cambodian food before!’ Then they try it..and they keep coming.”
https://www.11alive.com/article/life/fo ... cb3e7d1bd2

Re: US Cambodia Cuisine is Connecting Khmer-Americans with their Culture

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:00 pm
by CEOCambodiaNews
Cambodian chef helps home cooks master Southeast Asian cuisine
Channy Laux is a chef and founder of Angkor Cambodian Food, which specializes in sauces and condiments used in Cambodian cuisine.
By Jessica Yadegaran | [email protected] | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: February 21, 2019 at 8:30 am | UPDATED: February 21, 2019 at 8:37 am
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No need to consult the Moscone Center map to find Channy Laux’s booth at the recent Winter Fancy Food Show, a massive San Francisco trade showcase for 80,000 new and distinctive food products. You could smell your way there.

Exotic aromas of lemongrass and red chile peppers led you to Angkor Cambodian Food’s cooking sauces and condiments. Laux, a retired aerospace and biotech engineer, started the company in 2010 with her husband Kent using ingredients from California farms.

Inspired by her late mother’s recipes, Laux has always cooked fragrant, authentic Cambodian curries and other dishes for family, friends and co-workers. But when they started asking to buy her chrouk metae, a fiery hot sauce used on everything from barbecue to noodles, a business was born.

Today, her company sells 10 products, including a new raw version of the hot sauce and a lemongrass paste that won a 2018 sofi Award at the Fancy Food Show in January.

Q: What’s the back story on Angkor Cambodian Food?

A: My mom and I were really close and when she passed away in 2010, I was reflecting on her life and wanted to find a way to honor her. She was an orphan. She never had a day of school in her life but she was a strong woman, a single mom who raised four kids to become engineers and business owners. After arriving in the U.S., her first job was in a kitchen. She went on to cook Cambodian food in many weddings.

Q: How many employees do you have?

A: Both Kent and I are putting in long hours, basically seven days a week, and love it. Sometimes we hire Cambodian acquaintances part-time to help us out. We also get help from friends and family. My brother and his wife are in the food business, as well. They own House of Bagels in Santa Clara.

Q: How did you grow your business those first few years?

A: I started out offering samples outside Village Market in the Ferry Building in San Francisco just to familiarize people with Cambodian food. It’s about introducing people to new flavors and ingredients, like prahok, a fermented fish that we use like salt. Americans love it. Since then I’ve done a lot of demos and private dinners promoting the products. I did a pop-up in New York City and I do cooking classes in my home through Airbnb Experiences.

Q: What role does food play in your culture back home?

A: Growing up in Cambodia, most homes did not have refrigerators nor other kitchen tools that we are spoiled with today. Shops were not open 24 hours a day. Every ingredient was fresh from our yard, or shopped for very early each day. There was a lot of sharing and borrowing, neighbors got to know each other and count on each other a lot. If you decided to cook something that was time consuming, you might as well make a lot of it, so you can share with your neighbors.

Q: How do you describe Cambodian food to people who’ve never had it before?

A: I say it is similar to Thai, but not as sweet and spicy. We use many of the same ingredients, like galangal and lemongrass, but our food is more subtle. And some dishes are unique to Cambodian cuisine, like amok, a steamed curried fish. We feature a lot of recipes on our website, www.angkorfoods.com.
More: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/02/21/ ... n-cuisine/

Re: US Cambodia Cuisine is Connecting Khmer-Americans with their Culture

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:58 am
by CEOCambodiaNews
Inside the Homey Cambodian Comfort Food That’s Made Nyum Bai a Star
These are the dishes that keep the awards coming, and eager diners coming back for more
by Janelle [email protected] Mar 4, 2019, 1:19pm PST

Nite Yun recently gathered with her team, her friends, and family to celebrate the first anniversary of her hit Cambodian restaurant Nyum Bai. In Yun’s words, it was “a surreal get-together.”

“Everyone was saying, ‘We won all the awards that ever existed!’ That’s pretty crazy,” she says. “When I thought of opening Nyum Bai in the beginning, in a million years I didn’t think this would happen. I’m still feeling shocked and overwhelmed.”

Her petite Oakland restaurant is jam-packed for every service, with folks often lining up before the place even opens. On Friday nights, diners can expect to wait an hour and a half for a coveted seat.

That’s because Yun’s singular restaurant features deeply personal, traditional, and delicious Cambodian dishes that are difficult to find elsewhere in the Bay Area — or the country, for that matter. It’s earned loads of national accolades, landing on Eater’s best new restaurants list and Bon Appétit’s Hot 10. Yun was named an Eater Young Gun and 2018’s Eater Breakout Star of the Year. And despite an exciting year for local restaurant openings, Nyum Bai emerged as the clear choice for Eater SF’s Restaurant of the Year, earning her a feature. Just last week Nyum Bai was nominated as a 2019 James Beard Award semifinalist along with Angler, the spendy fine dining hit from chef Joshua Skenes.

With such high demand combined with Nyum Bai’s snug digs, it’s easy to wonder if Yun will try to move her restaurant to a larger space or expand with another location soon. Yun says the thought has come up, but she’s not ready quite yet.
"“I still feel like there’s so much more to do here,” she says".
What she's serving : https://sf.eater.com/2019/3/4/18233545/ ... the-dishes

Re: US Cambodia Cuisine is Connecting Khmer-Americans with their Culture

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:31 pm
by CEOCambodiaNews
This family-run Cambodian restaurant makes the best cha kreung in Phoenix. Here's how...
Dominic Armato, Arizona Republic Published 5:00 a.m. MT March 27, 2019 | Updated 6:22 p.m. MT March 27, 2019
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Cambodian cuisine is a little hard to come by around Phoenix, but the Cambodian restaurant we're blessed with has an awful lot of heart.

Reathrey Sekong, run by Lakhana In and her family, offers a lengthy menu of homestyle Cambodian dishes, including a particularly delicious staple of Khmer cuisine, cha kreung.

Here's everything you need to know about this month's Killer Dish.
Does Reathrey Sekong serve Cambodian or Khmer cuisine?

Six of one, half a dozen of the other? It's an oversimplification, but from a contemporary culinary standpoint, the terms are largely interchangeable. Modern-day Cambodia is rooted, principally, in Southeast Asia's Khmer Empire, and today the Khmer people comprise more than 90 percent of Cambodia's population.

So when you're talking about traditional Cambodian foods, you're effectively talking about Khmer cuisine.
And Lakhana In is from Cambodia?

Yup! Along with so many others displaced by Cambodia's devastating civil war of the 1970s, she fled first to Vietnam, then France, and spent two years in Utah before moving to Phoenix, where she has lived with her family for 37 years.
But didn’t Reathrey Sekong first open in 2011?

Well, she wasn't always a cook. Not a professional one, anyway. She actually spent most of her career working for Intel. After retiring, In decided to open Reathrey Sekong, both to earn a little extra money and to share the foods of her culture with a city that didn't have a single Cambodian restaurant.
So this cha kreung is a family recipe?

In a broader sense, no. Cha kreung is a staple of Cambodian cuisine. But as with any popular dish, every family adds its own unique flavor. In is originally from a town not far from Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, and the dishes she and her family cook at the restaurant are the homestyle recipes she brought with her.
https://www.azcentral.com/story/enterta ... 486356002/

Re: US Cambodia Cuisine is Connecting Khmer-Americans with their Culture

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:47 pm
by CEOCambodiaNews
A happy Khmer New Year with Po's Cambodian Street Food
By Ian Anderson, April 26, 2019
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I can’t explain exactly what led me to attend the Maha Sangkran Festival the third weekend of April. Better known around these parts as the Cambodian New Year, or Khmer New Year, the two day party went down on the grassy green fields at Colina Del Sol Park in City Heights, under brilliant blue skies. I suppose I was looking for something to do outside, in the beautiful weather. And perhaps a bit hungry.

The event’s organized annually by the Khmer American Mutual Association of San Diego to promote its mission to connect older and younger generations of Cambodian-Americans, with the hope to share and preserve Khmer culture. I should point out I know little about this culture and had to learn, for example, that Maha Sangkran celebrates the lunar new year, a time in Cambodia that falls around the time farmers harvest, just before the wet monsoon season begins.

Amid a dozen or so options, the largest crowd by far gathered around Po’s Cambodian Street Food, a pop-up vendor with a couple of farmers market gigs under its belt. As the street food moniker suggests, it serves mostly serves finger foods such as wings and skewers, though all the kids gravitated to the mango sticky rice with ice cream. Po himself seemed overwhelmed by the response, but he and his team kept up the hustle, grilling large quantities of chicken and beef, even as they ran out of minor luxuries, like napkins. I’m not sure they ever had utensils; my order came with a side of sticky rice, served in a Ziploc bag.

That would be the three sticks combo, for seven bucks. I tried it with two chicken skewers, one beef. Both were heavily influenced by lemongrass. The chicken had some yellow curry action to it, while the tenderized beef skewer went in a spicier direction I couldn’t quite pin down. It reminded me a bit of the flavor of seasoned beef jerky, except instead of leathery chew, there was warm and delicate grilled meat. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.
https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/201 ... reet-food/#

Re: US Cambodia Cuisine is Connecting Khmer-Americans with their Culture

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:10 am
by CEOCambodiaNews
Award winning taste: Cambodian refugee wowing US with sauces
14 June 2019
A Cambodian refugee who fled the Pol Pot regime to the US has formulated a recipe for kroeung (lemongrass paste) that has won two awards in her adopted home.

Channy Laux’s Angkor Lemongrass Paste won the Foodservice Innovation Award at the 65th IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards on May 18 in Chicago, and last year it also won the silver award for Outstanding Cooking Sauce in the specialty food section of the 2018 Sofi Awards in New York City.

The Gold & Silver Plate Awards is the longest-running awards programme in the food service industry, with many regarding it as equivalent to the Oscars for the film industry.

Laux’s company, Angkor Cambodian Food, sells Cambodian spices, pastes and sauces, including hot sauces and a newly created tamarind dipping sauce.

“We are proud to represent Cambodian food culture through Angkor Food in this international spotlight. It is our hope that we can leverage on this award to build a stronger Cambodian brand internationally, and in the process we hope to build a strong relationship with Cambodian farmers and food industries,” she says.

Laux – a survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia in which she endured starvation, horrendous working conditions, sickness and repeated separations from her family – was 13 years old when she arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska as a refugee in June 1979 with her mother and three siblings.
https://www.phnompenhpost.com/lifestyle ... -us-sauces