Lok Lak in Cambodia with Hemsley + Hemsley

Stir fry fun in Cambodia

Our London editors Hemsley + Hemsley just sent us the most delicious postcard from their trip to Cambodia! Of course, even while on vacation, they found themselves a kitchen to amongst. Some Cambodian cooking tricks of the trade below and stay tuned for the recipe this afternoon!

We love a quick beef stir-fry—whether it’s the Filipino Bistek or the Vietnamese Shaking Beef, so we really enjoyed tucking into the Khmerversion Lok Lak  during our holiday in Cambodia last month.

We stayed at the luxury eco resort Song Saa, with it’s twin private islands, KohOun and Kon Bong, and enjoyed several cooking lessons with Head Khmer Chef Sophat. Hidden away in a hut within the Chef’s garden, Sophat and his assistant Ajun showed us several traditional dishes, including a wing bean and pomelo salad, a mild and creamy yellow fish curry called Fish Amok, and of course the famous Lok Lak–served on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes and onions, with or without a fried egg on top and optional lime pepper dipping sauce.

Pork fat is the traditional cooking fat for Khmer cooking but in recent years everyone has transferred to vegetable cooking oils. We prefer using ghee or coconut oil or any quality organic cooking fat, which is a less processed and is a more nourishing way to cook at higher temperatures.

Every chef has their own spin on a classic dish and Saphot always adds fresh ginger to his Lok Lak. Play around with herbs and spices for your stir-fry and enjoy with lots of greens–we love it with an avocado. It turns out Chef Sophat’s mom was Chinese so he’s also partial to a dash of oyster sauce with his. Catch the recipe and finished product this afternoon!

Photography by Nicholas Hopper