Feb 20, 2010

Saik Chrouk Ch'ranouitk - Kat's Khmer Kitchen inspired Knowledge Sharing

The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon was my first big cookbook purchase - made while I still at Uni - just. The Australasian Institute of Mining awarded me with a cheque for topping the class in second last year - but it was not presented until I was writing my thesis in my final year. Too late to spend on textbooks.

So I indulged myself and lashed out on Charmaine Solomon's 500 + page culinary encyclopaedic work. A big step up from the ubiquitous little high school textbook aka the Commonsense Cookbook.

What I loved about the Complete Asian Cookbook, was the way Charmaine Solomon shared her knowledge - not just on how to cook the food - but also how to serve, what utensils to use and where to buy unusual ingredients. But more than that - I loved the stories she shared in introducing each chapter on the different countries & regions covered. It made it all seem more real.

My favourite pages, in the Indian section especially, are easily identified by their stains and splashmarks - with handwritten comments indicating likes or dislikes - successes or DNCA (do not cook again). There was the time I smoked out the whole block of units with chili fumes when experimenting on Szechwan Chicken (p393) without an exhaust range hood. We'd travelled to Angkor Wat - Siem Reap in Cambodia, so it was inevitable that my then 13 year old daughter, Kat, would choose a Khmer dish for a school Technology & Design assessment task encompassing cooking "something" with noodles. While the Indian-Pakistan & Chinese chapters in the old faithful "Encyclopaedia" were huge at nearly 100 pages each, the section on Cambodia and Laos was too slender. Dismissed too were the magazines I'd brought back from Cambodia, just in case, for a future school assignment. So past these, and to the Net to find something suitable : settling on "Saik Chrouk Ch'ranouitk" aka Khmer Coconut Pork Skewers (http://www.recipes4us.co.uk/Pork%20and%20Bacon/Khmer%20Coconut%20Pork%20Skewers%20HT%2
0MC%20Cambodian%2040mins%20plus%20marinating.htm). Kat was adventurous even then, in her approach to cooking and she's fiercely independent. Nevertheless I was called on periodically and a whole lot of knowledge sharing took place in our tiny kitchen that night eg how to timetable, adapting from grilling to stir fry-simmer etc. All served on the requisite bed of noodles & finished with coriander leaves. It looked and tasted great - although be warned - it's heavy on garlic ! Kat learnt some Asian cuisine from me & I learnt from her, that we can't dictate to Gen Y how & what resources should be used, plus it's okay to innovate beyond prescriptive guidelines, if that makes sense. That applies inside and outside the kitchen.

A metaphor for knowledge sharing, experimenting & innovation between the generations ?

Posted via email from KerrieAnne's Kitchen

1 comment:

Mohka.co.uk said...

Great cheap canvas prints article, I enjoyed this!