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Khmer Recipes to Tantalize Tastebuds

May 24, 2023 - Keeping traditions alive in the food we grow, and the recipes we cook and share, champions the most important things in life at Six Senses Krabey Island: convivial meals, community, respect for nature, and celebrating culture and history.

At Six Senses Krabey Island we’re proud to grow and cook food inspired by grandmother’s recipes. Luckily for all of us, she was happy to share just a few of her secrets.

Organic garden

Our lovingly tended organic garden, all 40,000 square feet (3,700 square meters) of it, produces much of our mouth-watering garden-to-table meals that blend both traditional Khmer cooking and our interpretation of flavorful, seasonal-driven Cambodian dishes.

We take a holistic approach to better food, committed to using organic homegrown ingredients and otherwise sourcing locally from reputable producers. Nurturing relationships with farmers and fisherfolk means we can focus on quality and balance for maximum nutrition and health benefits. Executive Chef Liliana, who learnt the art of cooking in her grandmother’s kitchen in Mexico City, says: "Respect for the ingredients is my top priority in enhancing their primary taste. I love to explore the fusion of ingredients, techniques, and styles to create unique and unforgettable culinary experiences.”

When it comes to exciting puddings and desserts, Pastry Chef Vuthy’s creations are a vibrant delight. He uses completely natural, locally grown ingredients, such as turmeric, dragon fruit, and Mandan leaves, that form a plate full of color and flavor without the need for any artificial additives.

By wholeheartedly embracing our Eat With Six Senses philosophy, our chefs have the freedom to create exciting menus whilst maintaining links to local history and culture. As chef Liliana explains, “My style is deeply rooted in traditional techniques, yet presented in a modern set up.”

Khmer cookbook 

As well as dining at our signature restaurants, AHA and Tree, you’ll also have the opportunity to get involved in all things foodie while you're here, or even before you arrive. Our just-published Khmer cookbook is a celebration of the rich culinary heritage of Cambodia, featuring ten of our guests’ favorite dishes. From fragrant curries to refreshing salads, each dish is crafted to nourish your body and delight your senses. Why not try out a new recipe at home?

All things spice

Get out and about by joining our guided Spice Trail tour through green rice fields and along the banks of the Brateak Krola Lake, part of a protected wildlife reserve. The Kampot region is famed for its pepper, thanks to its mineral-rich soil and areas of high elevation. Your tour includes an authentic pepper-infused Khmer lunch at a local plantation, where you’ll learn all about the unique health benefits of this time-honored spice. Don’t worry, refreshments are provided to cool you down!

Khmer Grandma’s Kitchen

If the Spice Trail inspired you, then don your apron and discover the secrets of Cambodian and Khmer cooking at one of our classes. Using fresh organic herbs and ingredients — lemongrass, ginger and turmeric are staples — our chefs share their expert knowledge and techniques to help you rustle up a feast. In Khmer Grandma's Kitchen, located in the Organic Garden, you’ll get to prepare traditional dishes passed down through the generations before tucking into your own creations. Grandma knows best!

Hook, line, and sinker! 

Sustainability extends beyond the land and out to the clear waters surrounding us. We work with fisherfolk who land fresh catches in a way that works in harmony with the ocean, and you can get involved too. Take a cruise along the scenic bay on a sustainable fishing trip and our chefs will be delighted to cook your catch just the way you like it.  

Eat well with us

At Six Senses Krabey Island, we live by our guiding principles to cook with natural ingredients sourced from local producers or, better still, picked fresh from our own garden. When food is as nutritious and delicious as this, you’ll leave feeling better than when you arrived, and hopefully, with a couple of new recipes to impress dinner guests back home.

Try this recipe at home: Turmeric and Pineapple Curry of Local Sea Bass

Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 50 grams dried red chili
  • 50 grams lemongrass, sliced
  • 15 grams garlic, peeled
  • 5 grams kaffir lime
  • 15 grams galangal
  • 50 milliliters coconut oil
  • 50g fresh turmeric (wear gloves and an apron to avoid stains)
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 10 grams salt
  • 800 milliliters coconut cream
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 300 milliliters fish stock
  • 80 grams tamarind juice
  • 70 grams winter melon
  • 100 grams pineapple
  • 70 grams lotus root
  • 5 grams curry leaves
  • 20 grams sweet basil
  • 10 grams fresh coriander
  • 1 kilogram sea bass, cooked and cut into chunks

Method

  1. Roughly chop the lemongrass, kaffir lime, peeled galangal, turmeric, garlic, and shallot. Blend with the coconut oil and salt until you get a chunky paste. Place into a medium-sized pot with the cinnamon quills, sugar, and salt, and cook slowly until aromatic. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors develop. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Soak the dried chili in hot water until softened. Drain well and blend with the oil to a fine paste-like consistency. Add to a new pot and cook until you get a vibrant red color, then add the cooked curry paste. Add the palm sugar and coconut cream.
  3. Pour in the fish stock and season with fish sauce and salt to taste. Add steamed winter melon, pineapple chunks, and lotus root. Continue to cook for another five to seven minutes.
  4. Add the cleaned and trimmed sea bass pieces just before plating up. Garnish with sweet basil, coriander, fried curry leaves, crispy garlic, and ginger. Serve and enjoy.

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