Why did I start this blog?
Well, I love to cook. I've been cooking since I was eight years old. Being the oldest girl in a large Cambodian family, it always felt natural and inevitable for me to be in the kitchen making something for my sisters and I to snack on with whatever meager ingredients we could gather.
My family grew up pretty modestly so that included a lot of government cheese (literally,) dollar hotdogs, frozen pizzas, and pancake mix. But also, rice, tamarind paste, dried fish, fish sauce and other traditional Southeast Asian ingredients. What can I say? It was an eclectic but interesting way of learning how to cook...and it worked! I've made a lot of mistakes but I've also made some pretty tasty dishes as well.
My favorites things to make are updated classics like the perfect roast chicken or re-invented Cambodian dishes like baked whole fish with mango slaw, made simpler and more healthy, but maintaining the same level of deliciousness and authentic flavor.
I can show you how to substitute ingredients and make it tast just as good. For example, while nothing can substitute the unmistakable brininess of fish sauce (which is now widely available,) if you don't have access to the traditional Cambodian-style fermented fish for a recipe, you can use anchovy paste instead. Want to switch out the ingredients in carrot cake to make it healthier but still yummy? Substitute the butter in the batter with unsweetened apple sauce and a little bit of vegetable oil and use whole wheat flour instead.
I am also passionate about cooking to pursue a healthy lifestyle. I believe health doesn't come from counting calories or being obsessive about food, but in eating and enjoying foods in the way that it was meant to be enjoyed. In it's natural, local, whole form--that means eating whole fruits, whole vegetables, and the whole animal.
I love foods that are super healthy but also super delicious (hello, kale!) And while I could never be a raw foodist or complete vegan (because let's face it, I love cheeseburgers way too much, and to me, the perfect plate of food is steak and rice,) I really respect those food cultures. I care about the the earth and our environment and I want to be conscious about my environmental impact and where my food comes from.
While still trying to be practical and budget-friendly. While still being able to eat things like braised pork belly. While slurping down a green smoothie. Or coconut milk ice cream. Or a mind-blowingly-delicious mushroom burger. With a side of pork belly. Did I say pork belly?
So this blog is just a collection of my thoughts, recipes, and ideas. A documentation of the cook that I am and the cook that I strive to be. And while I don't believe in any just one way of eating or being, my focus will be on trying to be as healthy as possible while still being me, a complete and utter foodie!
Thanks for tuning in!