Angkor Wat

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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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Mi Bamporng

Crispy Noodles
   

This is one of the Khmer signature dishes and can be found at most Khmer social events. Mi Bamporng is also a very popular snack for city people in Cambodia. You can serve it as a starter or main course at dinner parties. 

 I often prepare this dish  for my  guests, and they always seem to enjoy it. One day, I was pleasantly surprised when an Irish friend of mine who normally wouldn't touch any exotic food asked me for the recipe.  

If having a party, you can make the pork mixture in advance (it freezes well) and can puff the noodles a day beforehand. This can save you time to get   on with other arrangements on the day.   

Do not be put off by the long list of ingredients.  This is just a simple exercice of chopping and frying them together.   

ingredient_-_firm_tofu_-_thumbnail
Long-life Tofu
 (How to press tofu)

 Ingredient_-_Rice_Vermicelli_-_thumbnail
Rice Vermicelli

Ingredient_-_Yellow_Black_Salted_Beans_-_thumbnail
Black / Yellow
Salted Beans

    

Serves 4-6                                                      

Pork Mixture:
Cooking oil 
3 Tbsp
Garlic
3 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Shallots
3, peeled & thinly sliced
Minced pork 500g (1 lb 2 oz)
Paprika powder* 1 Tbsp
Tomato puree 1 Tbsp (optional)
Salted black / yellow soybeans1 1 Tbsp, drained and roughly chopped
Palm sugar/ light brown sugar 1 Tbsp
Pickled leeks21 cup, drained and sliced
Tamarind juice
2 tsp (if concentrated) or 1 Tbsp if from a packet of ripe tamarind fruit3
Fish sauce
1 Tbsp or to taste (available in supermarkets)
Firm tofu / soybean curd4 350g (12 oz), cut into strips 1.5 cm x 4cm (0.5 inch x 1.5 inch), deep fried until golden brown,  drained on kitchen paper     

 

 

 

 

 

Crispy Rice Vermicelli:
Dried rice vermicelli 300g (11 oz)
Sunflower oil 2
cups    

 

Vegetables:
Bean sprouts 2 cups - washed and pat dry
Garlic chives5
2 cups - washed and cut to 4cm / 1.5 inch lengths
Red pepper / bell pepper1 – white pith andseeds removed, cut into match-stick juliennes   

 

Garnish:
Coriander / cilantro leaves
1 cup
Lime / lemoncut into wedges
Red chillies
2 - deseeded, and sliced into rings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Mee_Bamporng_-_thumbnail 

 Mi Bamporng
Crispy Noodles

 

 

 

 

 

Method:  

 1.In a wok, heat oil over medium high heat, fry garlic, shallots and minced pork until brown and fragrant- about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the pork mixture ingredients, stir fry for 5 minutes or until well mixed. Reduce heat to low and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.  Add some oil if the mixture become too dry. Adjust seasoning – the taste should be on the sweet side and slightly salty – this will be compensated when the mixture is added to the vegetables and crispy vermicelli later.

2.To make crispy rice vermicelli, first loosen the rice vermicelli. Then heat oil in a wok to 180oC / 350oF, or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds. Add a small quantity of the vermicelli and deep fry until puffy and crispy white but not golden brown – should take around 2-3 seconds. Remove immediately using a mesh strainer or a slotted ladle. Drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the rest of the vermicelli.

3.Just before serving, in a large bowl, toss together the crispy rice vermicelli, pork mixture6 and vegetables by hand taking care not to break  the crispy vermicelli too much. Garnish with coriander leaves, chillies and wedges of lime / lemon.  

 

Tips:
1   Black or yellow salted soybeans can be bought at any Asian food store. If not available, you can do without it – instead just increase the fish sauce to taste.

2  Pickled leeks are available in jars or tins at Asian food stores. It can be substituted with pickled garlic  or sweet pickled pearl onions.  

 

3   Concentrated tamarind juice or packets of ripe tamarind fruit can be bought at  Asian stores or substituted with 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar plus 1 tsp of sugar.

If using ripe tamarind fruit, soak 1 tablespoon in 2 tablespoons of boiling water for 10 minutes, use a fork to get the pulp off the seeds and strain out the juice.  

 

4   Fresh tofu can be bought at most Asian food stores. Alternatively you can use a packet of firm ‘Mori-NU’ silken Tofu which can be found at most supermarkets.

5   If garlic chives are not available, spring onions can be used instead.  Use both the leaves and stems.  The stems should be also be sliced diagonally to achieve thinner strips.    

6  Make sure that the pork mixture is warm and not hot before tossing it with the crispy vermicelli to prevent it from getting soggy.

Note: Traditionally, 4 dried red Mexican chillies are used instead of paprika powder which is an easy short cut alternative. If using dried red chillies, they should be soaked, drained, seeded and very finely chopped into a smooth paste.