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Angkor Wat in Cambodia
the world's largest religious monument built in the 12th century
now a world heritage site
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Babor Paut
Coconut Sweet Corn Dessert

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Plae Paut
Sweet Corn / Maize

This is traditionally eaten as a snack but can also be served after a meal as a dessert. It is one of the popular street snacks which can be bought from hawkers who carry it around on their shoulders using a yoke and two basket frames (see photo below).  

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Neak Raek Luok
Street Hawker

Did you know … 

Sweet corn is also known as maize and corn-on-the-cob. Maize existed in Asia in the 15th century. It originated in America, and was brought to Europe during the 16th century by Columbus.  Maize played a crucial part of the life of American Indians. Not only was it their staple diet, it also had some spiritual connection to their everyday lives. They developed corn as a major staple just like the Asians developed rice, and the Europeans developed wheat. 

There is also some kind of superstition in other parts of the world. For example, in Ireland, tales were told of cornstalks which ‘turn into horses the moment you bestride them’ (Thiselton-Dyer). Others believe that if you plant maize using a thick dibble and when your stomach is full, it will yield larger ears of maize.

 

Serves 4 

Ingredients

Fresh sweet corn-on-the-cob1 3
Water 6 cups
Sago or tapioca pearls ⅓ cup (80g) – (use the 3 mm (⅛ inch) diameter pearls – very fine ones will just melt away)
Sugar ¾ cup (180g) 

Topping
Coconut cream 1 cup
Salt 1 pinch 

Method

1 - To prepare the sweet corn – peel off the corn husks and remove the silky threads. Holding the corn almost vertically on its head, use a sharp knife to shave 2-3 very thin layers off the kernels around the cob - make sure you don’t cut into the cob. This should yield approx. 2 cups of shaved corn kernels. 

2 - In a large saucepan, bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Meanwhile, wash the tapioca by putting it in a sieve under gentle running cold water. Then, add the tapioca to the boiling water and stir to separate. Cook for about 7-8 minutes until soft whilst stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.

3 - Remove from heat, drain off about 1 cup of the boiling liquid. At this stage, do not worry when you see small white spots inside the pearls. Return to the heat, bring back to the boil, and then add the shaved kernels and continue to boil for a further 5 minutes or until cooked. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.

4 - In a small saucepan, heat the coconut cream and salt. Remove from heat as soon as it starts to boil. Spoon the sweet corn mixture into individual serving bowls, top with coconut cream and serve hot or at room temperature. 

Tips

1 If short of time, you can use 2 cups of drained sweet corn from tins (cans) or loose frozen ones (thaw fully before use). Transfer to a food processor and pulse twice (do not overdo this as it will become mushy).