Sgnor Chai-Tau – Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

EDIT 9/29/2015. Lovelies, when you see this speaker icon feel free to click on it, it’ll take you to a Clyp audio file with the Khmer pronunciation! I’ve been looking for a site to do this on, sometimes it’s hard to phonically spell Khmer words using English letters, I hope this will help!

I cook, truly I do! I just never get around to processing pictures and talking about the dishes! I still haven’t processed pictures from my trip a few weeks ago to Vancouver for everyone to see! No more excuses! I know, I keep telling myself that. In the middle of balancing work, the blog, personal life, family life and being the ultimate aunty, I still have to find time to take care of myself. As I age, I know my metabolism isn’t as quick, my body feels the wear and tear of life more so than it used to.

Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

When I turned 34, I made my yearly goal a health one, to get into better shape. I figured, 1 hour of exercise a day really is just 4% of my day. Am I really so busy that I don’t have 4% to spare a day 3-4 times a week? I’m not. Of course exercising alone won’t give me full success, I have to watch my eating as well. Basically I’m saying you’ll see a lot more “healthy” recipes on this site than before. Maybe I should do a healthy recipe challenge, much like my month-long Khmer only recipes challenge. YEA! What a great idea! Now I’m super excited!

Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

I made this over the weekend, a variation of a classic Khmer soup. Sngor Chai-Tau is traditionally composed of pork meatballs and daikon radish in a clear chicken based soup. My version has tofu, daikon, mushrooms and meatballs made mostly of turkey and not pork. It’s much healthier but still has loads of Khmer home cooked flavor. Have you tried daikon before and did you like it? I grew up on the stuff and adore it!

Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

Daikons are a part of the Radish family and is also called Chai-Tau, it’s incredibly popular in all Asian cuisines. In soups, as a garnish for sashimi, sweet cakes, stir fried and my personal favorite, pickled! Nothing says refreshing more than crisp pickled chai-tau and carrots called Jrouk paired with hot bbq beef sticks. Best Meal EVER!!
Daikons have the signature radish bite, a bit spicy but a smooth finish. It’s crisp like its little red cousins, but has a lot more water. Daikons are long (think over a foot), white fleshed that is easy to peel and cut.

Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

I really wished I would’ve gotten a better picture of my daikon before I started cooking. So instead, I hunted one down on the internet! Yayy internet!

The source of the picture is here and it’s a pretty great pickled daikon recipe also! I hope he doesn’t mind I use this picture!

As I said above, the meatballs in this soup is traditionally made of pork with seasonings and herbs. I decided to lighten my meatballs considerably by using mainly ground turkey although I did add a bit of pork just for the fat, which is completely optional. I also added ground flaxseeds, because I adore them! It’s an easy way to add a lot of fiber as well as omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. You barely notice the taste and if you do, it’s just a pleasant nuttiness. Even my father, a hardcore carnivore didn’t noticed I slipped a few “good for him” ingredients into this soup.

Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

Ready for the recipe?

1 Large Daikon Radish, peeled and diced in 3/4 inch cubes, about 5 cups.
1 qt Chicken Stock, low sodium is best
2 cups Water
2 tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder
2 cups Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
12 oz Extra Firm Tofu, diced same size as Daikon
1/2 cup Onions, finely diced
4 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
3 Scallions, thinly sliced

Meatballs: Makes 12-15 meatballs
3/4 lbs Ground Turkey
1/4 lbs Ground Pork
1/8 cup Grated Onions, juice and all
1 Egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp Ground Flaxseed
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 cup Cilantro (which I forgot, but use it, it’s fantastic!)


1. Mix meatball ingredients lightly with finger tips until well combined. Set aside.
Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

2. Bring chicken stock and water to a boil. Add onions, garlic and buillon powder. Bring water down to a high simmer.

3. Make meatballs the size of a ping pong or golf balls, drop them gently into stock, let them cook slowly until they begin to float.
Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

4. Add daikons, mushrooms and tofu. Stir gently as to not break up meatballs or tofu. Bring to a soft boil and cook for 15 minutes or until daikons are slightly translucent.
Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

5. Top soup with scallions and serve with a side of Jasmine Rice or sip its comfort solo!
Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

Easy right? Trust me when I say nothing is more intoxicating than the fresh herbs hitting the hot soup, it’s so fantastic my mouth is watering thinking about it.

Sgnor Chai-Tau - Cambodian Daikon and Meatball Soup

WEEK 24 of 52…CHECK!

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