Of course the day we sleep late, thunder and lightening during the night and early morning tuk tuk roaring past our hotel kept waking me up. However, being able to eat breakfast without chugging my coffee, made for a treat. In our last full day in Cambodia, we decided to take a cooking class for traditional Cambodian food, and treat ourselves to a day at the spa (with Cambodian prices!).
Our cooking class started with our chef taking us to the market to shop for ingredients for our meal. She was a wealth of knowledge, pointing out foods and explaining how Cambodians eat, various delights and delicacies.
Back at the classroom, our chef first taught us how to make a traditional dessert – sago with coconut cream and sweet potatoes. The dish is very easy, soak the sago, which is like tapioca, and can be substituted for sago, then boil with water, adding in coconut milk and sweet potatoes, cooking until tender, and then sweetening with sugar. Our chef told us that Cambodians like their desserts much sweeter than Westerners, saying she would make it twice as sweet as we were.
Next, we prepared Banana Flower Salad. The salad is much like a cole slaw, in that the vegetables are all shredded. There are some unique ingredients, like dried shrimp and chicken, but most noticeably the leaves of banana tree flower, before the bananas have ripened. To be honest, I was not a fan of this dish 1) because it was mostly vegetables and 2) the sauce/dressing was very tart with garlic and onions, and spicy with dried chili.
Finally, the main dish was a Fish Amok. The Amok sauce consists of many ingredients like ginger, kafe leaves, tumeric, garlic, lemongrass, and others I’m forgetting, all pounded into a paste in a mortar and pestle. The paste is then fried with oil, then coconut milk is added to a proper consistency. Finally, you add the fish and cook until done, then serve with sticky rice.
The amok is much like a curry. It is SO good, that I even ate the fish version – and I don’t typically like fish. The chef laughed at me.
After a couple hours back at the hotel, Jess and I were picked up by our spa. I didn’t get any picture inside the spa – though it was a massive spa with a cute little shop on the bottom floor. We were able to get an hour massage, body wrap, and facial for a VERY reasonable price. I fell asleep as my masseuse was giving me my facial – she even braided my hair to keep it out of the mango skin treatment.
After some very long, sweaty days, the spa was a great way to wrap up our days in Cambodia. Tomorrow – one last trip to the market, and back to Hong Kong!