Hello my darlings, I know, it’s been awhile but I promise I am coming back with more recipes, stories and posts! Don’t give up on me yet my loves!
My mother would make Lok Lak for one simple reason, to get us to eat vegetables. Not that we hated veggies, we just liked our veggies better with a side of seared beef! Lok Lak is a glorious hot salad with a bed of crisp whole lettuce leaves, juicy tomatoes, cool cucumbers and sharp raw onions; all of it topped with quickly stir-fried beef and its juices. We would spear fork full and dip it all in a sauce of lime juice and black pepper before shoving greedily into our mouths. In those days, beef was expensive and we ate lots of chicken and fish, though truth be told, I think my parents just told us it was expensive. Opting out instead for a diet of mostly fish and chicken because it’s what they’re used to eating back in Cambodia.
Lok Lak was possibly brought to Cambodia via the French from Vietnam and Cambodians have since brought the dish into its culinary hearts that it’s hard to imagine it didn’t originate in our country. Hitting all the senses that make Cambodian food so unique; a balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy. My mother would present a huge platter of Lok Lak to the table with steaming plates of rice. Our eyes would grow round as the delicious aroma would waft in our direction, mouths salivate in carnivorous desire.
Now, when I make Lok Lak, I change it up a bit, keeping the root flavors, the fresh vegetables along with the beautifully thick sauce. I use chicken breast instead of beef, organic salad mix with baby kale, mini heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, asparagus spears (cooked until tender crisp), almost hard boil eggs and normally I’d add sautéed cremini mushrooms but someone ate all my mushrooms today! The sauce is still Tuk Meric, a concoction of lime juice, honey, splash of water and fish sauce, finished with lots of black pepper. In the video I shot for PsoStrong.com, I completely forgot to add black pepper, I was pretty nervous during the video shoot!
I marinade my chicken breast in a mixture of oyster sauce and mushroom soy sauce, both these sauces contain a bit of sodium, but you only need a tablespoon of each and because it’s stretched out over lots of vegetables, it works out into not very much sodium in the entire dish. You can enjoy Lok Lak with a side of hot steamed rice, but I’ve taken to eating it like a chopped salad, with the slightest drizzle of Tuk Meric on top, its low carb, low-fat and high in fiber, a delicious lunch or dinner option.
http://psostrong.com gave me the opportunity to film this amazing recipe and I am completely grateful! I was so nervous as this was my first real shoot that I completely forgot to add the black pepper to my Tuk Meric! I know, I’m a terrible Cambodian! You can check out more of my healthy recipes at http://psostrong.com under my name!
¾ lbs. Chicken Breasts, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 tbsp. Mushroom Soy Sauce
1 tbsp. Oyster Sauce
2 tsp Honey or Sugar
2 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. warm Water
1 tbsp. Oil, I used vegetable
6-7 cups Lettuce or Salad mix of choice
2 cups Mini Heirloom Tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters
1 cup English Cucumber, cut into ½ inch half moons
½ Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 cup Asparagus, lightly cooked until tender crisp
2 Hard-boiled eggs, sliced
2 Scallions, sliced
Tuk Meric – Lime Pepper Sauce:
½ cup Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
1/8 cup warm Water
1 Garlic clove, finely minced
2 tsp Honey or Sugar
1 tbsp. Fish Sauce
1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper, or to taste
1 Thai Bird Chili, thinly sliced, optional
- Mix chicken and marinade ingredients together, marinade for 30 mins or up to 12 hours.
- Mix Lime Pepper sauce, set aside
- Arrange salad starting with lettuce at the bottom then arrange topped around the edges leaving the middle for the hot chicken.
- Over medium high heat, add oil and chicken. Stir fry for 5-6 mins. If sauce is too thick, add a few splashes of warm water.
- Turn off heat and top with sliced scallions
- Place on top of salad
- Toss lightly and drizzle on Lime Pepper sauce when read to eat.
Don’t forget to check out my other Lok Lak recipes!