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Around the World in Eaty Days - Countries 116-120

Cambodia - Samlor Korko

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Whilst many may understandably think of Cambodia's national dish as Amok as it is the dish most regularly eaten by tourists, a strong argument can be made for a more suitable national dish to be Samlor Korko. This literally translates to "soup mixing" due to the mixture of ingredients present in it. The characteristic flavour of the soup comes from prahok, a fermented fish paste, sometimes known as "cambodian cheese". I had to source this online, as I didn't really want to half-make the dish without all the flavour it deserves. Prahok has a very pungent smell, but in Samlor Korko it's definitely not an overwhelming flavour, more just acting as a fish-sauce-esque umami addition to the broth, adding to the fragrant base of palm sugar, MSG, ground toasted rice and Kreung paste, made of lemongrass, galangal, garlic, lime leaf and chilli. The soup is filled with veggies and as far as I can tell, it's the sort of dish where you add what you have. For me, this consisted of pork, unripe papaya, aubergine, butternut squash and beans. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any moringa leaves, but these are common additions. I was wary of the papaya initially, but the lack of natural sugars due to not yet being fully ripe stopped it from becoming sickly sweet.

Belize - Rice and Beans

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Possibly my favourite variation on rice and beans yet, Belize's offering is unique in that the rice and beans are cooked in coconut milk. The protein is up to you. I chose to use prawns, though chicken is very coimmon - I just eat a lot of chicken on my culinary "travels". In addition tn the eponymous rice and beans, the dish also contains a plethora of flavourings, including garlic, onion, celery, parsley and bay, as well as green pepper, presumably just for a touch of veg on the plate. I served with fried plantain chips, which is enough carbs for my taste, but regularly it is also served along with a potato salad.

Micronesia - Chicken Kelaguen

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Micronesia's kelaguen refers to a dish where the protein (in this case chicken, though deer and seafood are also common) is marinated (in lemon juice for this particular recipe). The chicken is grilled and mixed through with grated coconut meat and green onions, then served alongside finadene sauce, a mix of soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, tomatoes and spring onions. As is evident from the photo, I served with tortillas and added red chilli for a little kick. I found that the sauce finadene was a fairly potent flavour, very sour and salty, but this worked well with the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and coconut.

Sri Lanka - Kottu Roti

Kottu Roti was a joy to eat, in that it was just a very new combination of tastes for me. This Sri Lankan dish is both vibrant in colour and flavour. For those unfamiliar, roti is a type of bread, not too dissimilar to naan or parathi (and is pictured here, both in and out of the bowl). It is cut up and mixed together with an egg stir fry and chicken curry, into one deeply textured meal. The combination of stir fry and curry adds plenty of spice and plenty of veggies, with flavours of chilli, tomato, and coconut among the dominant palette.

Australia - Roast Lamb

It's roast lamb. For much of the English-speaking world, though apparently not in the US, it's a typical Sunday lunch. This recipe called for the lamb to be cooked in thyme and garlic, and served with roasted potatoes, carrots and onions, as well as with fresh greens; peas and sugar snaps. I cooked lamb breast, which is quite a fatty cut, but far more affordable on a fairly restrictive budget. Given more money, I would absolutely cook lamb leg. That said I fully enjoyed my meal, and the time spent cooking the meat (just under two hours) made it nice and succulent.

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