A Quick Entertaining Tip - Cambodian-Style

By Ratha Tep Posted December 03, 2007

New York City was hit yesterday with its first snowfall of the season—creating the perfect setting for a cozy get-together at a friend's apartment in Harlem. Earlier in the week, I had loftily promised to pull together something "time-consuming to make and delicious to eat" (my exact words, embarrassingly) for the party. As it turned out, I didn't have any time to spend hours in the kitchen, so I instead brought over ingredients to make scallion toast, a super quick and easy Cambodian dish  that's traditionally sold by street vendors. I often had it for breakfast growing up, and it always reminds me of home. To make six servings, I liberally coated a frying pan with vegetable oil, and tossed in 12 scallions sliced 1/4 inch thick,  and 1 1/2 tablespoons each of fish sauce and sugar. I stir-fried the mixture for a few minutes, until the scallion slices were wilted. Then I slathered it on top of toasted baguette slices. The result: crispy toasts oozing with a super-fragrant sauce that's more sweet than salty (an unexpected surprise to those who saw the fish sauce bottle), and an instant hit with my friends. For more Cambodian recipes, The Elephant Walk Cookbook by Longteine de Monteiro and Katherine Neustadt is a seminal source; fortunately, a special soft-cover printing will be available around the third week in December. Stay tuned, too, to our March issue, in which we'll be running recipes by chef-owner Ratha Chau at Kampuchea Restaurant, the only Cambodian restaurant in Manhattan, at least for now.

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