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cowpea bean in Khmer cuisine

The cowpea bean occupies an important place in traditional Khmer cuisine, bringing a unique flavor and texture to dishes. It is widely used in many recipes, adding a touch of freshness and essential nutrients to Cambodian dishes.
The tender young pods of the cowpea bean are often used in stir-fries and casseroles, adding a crunchy texture and a slight sweetness to preparations. They go perfectly with other vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, carrots and mushrooms. The pods can be cut into similar sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
The seeds of the cowpea bean, also called “black-eyed cowpea”, are very popular in Khmer cuisine. They are often used to prepare traditional dishes such as “samlor kako” (vegetable soup), “bobor” (rice porridge), or even “num banh chok” (Khmer rice noodles). Cowpea seeds are high in protein and fiber, making them a nutritious ingredient in these dishes.
In Khmer cuisine, cowpea beans can also be made into a delicious paste called “prahok”, which is used as a condiment or as a base for many traditional dishes. Prahok is prepared by fermenting cowpea seeds in salt for a period of time and then grinding them into a thick, aromatic paste. This paste imparts a distinctive umami flavor and is often used to enhance the flavor of meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
Whether as a main ingredient or as an accompaniment, the cowpea bean adds a touch of freshness, flavor and nutrition to Khmer cuisine. Its versatility makes it an essential part of many traditional Cambodian dishes, earning it a prominent place in the country’s culinary art.
Feel free to experiment with cowpea in your own Khmer kitchen to experience new flavors and enjoy the benefits of this versatile and delicious vegetable. Enjoy your food !


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