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water spinach in khmer cuisine

Water spinach, known as “trôkoun” in Khmer, plays an important role in traditional Cambodian cuisine. This aquatic plant with a delicate and slightly sweet flavor is widely used in many Khmer dishes to add a touch of freshness and crunch.
In Khmer cuisine, water bindweed is often used in salads, soups and stir-fries. The tender leaves and crunchy stems of water bindweed add interesting texture to dishes and pair well with other ingredients.
One of the most popular preparations highlighting water bindweed is “ngoum trôkoun”. This fresh and colorful salad is made by tossing slices of water spinach with crunchy vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes. Everything is seasoned with a light vinaigrette made from lemon juice, fish sauce and sugar, and garnished with crushed peanuts and fresh coriander. The combination of flavors and textures makes for a delicious and refreshing starter.
Water bindweed is also used in Cambodian soups, such as “samla chapek”. In this soup, water bindweed is added at the end of cooking to preserve its freshness and crunch. Combined with other ingredients such as aromatic herbs, galangal, lemongrass and fish sauce, the water spinach brings a light and refreshing note to the soup.
In addition to salads and soups, water bindweed can also be sautéed quickly with garlic and chilli to accompany meat or fish dishes. Its crunchy texture and subtle flavor complement the other ingredients wonderfully and bring a touch of freshness to every bite.
Whether in a salad, soup, or stir-fry, water spinach is valued in Khmer cuisine for its freshness, crunchy texture, and slightly sweet flavor. By integrating it into your Khmer recipes, you will discover a new dimension of flavors and sensations in your dishes. Feel free to experiment and add this delicious aquatic plant to your Khmer cuisine.


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