Thursday, 24 November 2011

CAWesome Cambodian dish

This week in journalism class, we are learning how to write reviews. I have decided to write a restaurant review for my assignment, because I love food! I know, I know, how does this relate to my blog in any way?

I've been watching The Food Network a lot lately. Annie Sibonnay of From Spain With Love states that you can really learn a lot about a culture through its food. I definitely agree with her there.

I know this post (and some of my recent posts) have not been following the original protocol I had intended for this blog.  I figured a little variety would be refreshing and interesting once in a while.  Plus I have to let my family members recharge once in a while.  Asking for stories about a traumatic experience can be quite draining, despite what I had initially thought.  Oh well, live and learn, I say.

Anyway, a recipe is a type of story, and this Cambodian dish is one heck of a tale! My mother makes this dish at home a lot, and it is a hit with my family.

File:Caw.jpgThis dish is called Caw.  It is a type of Cambodian stew typically made with pork, eggs, and tofu.  It is savoury yet sweet all at once!  It's delicious with rice.

Here's a recipe I got from Khmer Krom Recipes.


  • 4 cups water
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 green onion, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh coconut juice
  • 1 1/2 lb pork meat
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Put eggs and 4 cups water in a pot and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove boiled eggs from hot water and soak it in cold water.  Peel egg shells and set it aside.
Make caramelized sauce by putting 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a pot or skillet that is big enough to hold all of the ingredients.  Stir frequently until sugar turns into a dark brown colour.  Immediately pour 2-cups water over caramelized sauce and stir well.
Add garlic, onion, fish sauce, sugar, salt, and coconut juice.  Stir well.
Add pork meat.  Stir and cook on low heat for 40 minutes.  Occasionally stir and remove any bubbles that form on top.
Add boiled eggs and simmer until the pork meat is tender.
Sprinkle with black pepper.
Serve hot with rice.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Q&A with Thet Sambath

Video description from YouTube:
"On November 8, 2011, CSS [Cambodian Student Society] and The Department of Asian American Studies had the opportunity to sponsor an exclusive screening of Enemies of The People, directed by Thet Sambath and produced by Rob Lemkin. For the first time in the Long Beach community, Mr. Thet and Mr. Lemkin were able to take time and have a Q&A at CSULB." 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


An excerpt from my interview with my dad for my Remembrance Day journalism assignment:
"One day, we were doing labour in the field.  And we were so quiet.  All you could hear were the sounds of the hoe.  And suddenly, I see two men with guns.  Those were Khmer Rouge soldiers.  We hardly see soldiers during the time.  That’s the only time that I saw soldiers carry guns.  They walked to a young man not far away and they took that guy, walked to a bush in the woods close to where we worked.  Everybody pretended to see nothing but we watched from the corner of our eye.  About half an hour later, we saw the two soldiers walk out from the woods and we never saw that young man again."

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

(Lack of a) question period

Interviewing my mom is a little more frustrating than interviewing my dad.  Unlike my dad, my mom cannot speak English at great length nor can she burst into a million topics at a time.  I have to stop her every time I don't understand something and it slows the interview even longer, which is a bit irritating.

I asked her to pick up where she left off when we last spoke.  It was unfair of me to ask such an open-ended question because it has been a while since our last interview.  She tried to muster as much as information as her memory would let her.

H: My family and I arrived at a barn.  There was nothing there.  The Communists there told us to build our own house from wood.  We would go into the forest, chop down the trees, and bring the wood back to where we would live.  We dug holes in the ground and stuck the wood in them to resemble houses.  There weren't any roofs on these houses.  For roofs, we used leaves.  We dried them and used them as roofs.  We did this for a month until we could finally live in it.  We had no experience doing this so we took our time.  Finally we had our house.  At first there was only two families.  As time went on, more and more families moved in.  To support ourselves, we had to do chores.  The women planted.  The men chopped trees in the forest.  There was so much forest, we had to chop them down so there'd be more room to build houses to live in.

Afterwards, I had no idea what to ask her.  She told me she wasn't as good at story-telling as my dad was.  I know my mom has stories to share, but I am at fault for not asking the right questions.

I have learned that to have effective interviews with my mother, I have to prepare questions so she knows what I'm asking.  I can't just expect her to start talking out of nowhere.  My dad is good at that, but my mom needs a little help.

I will remember that next time.