National dishes like the Samlor Khmer or Kari Saraman are accompanied by a careful selection of vegetables and herbs. This mix is an art as its combination must reveal the savor of the soup but not overpower it. Some vegetables are added to lighten the soup, others to make it crispy. Herbs are added to bring freshness and a whirlpool of flavors. Here is a selection of basics veggies and herbs for the samlor soup. All must be rinse thoroughly.
- Banana Blossom, troyon chek is thinly sliced and soaked in lukewarm water to which is added lime juice or tamarind puree to avoid the blossom to darken;
- BeanSprouts sandek bandos bring lightness and crispiness to the vermicelli soup. We use the short and fat ones. Trim off the root ends if you have time.
- Yellow hummingbird angkeadei (Sesbania Javanica) is from the pea family. It is very common in Cambodia but is on the red list (endangered species) of the IUCN (weird?).
- White hummingbird Angkea dey (Sesbania Grandiflora)
- Cucumber trosok: The outer flesh is thinly sliced and its heart discarded as it is watery and can dilute the tastiness of the soup.
- Lotus stems prolet kraav chhok (Nymphea Lotus) are minced round-wise with a thickness of about 2-3 mm.
- Long beans sandek kour (Vigna Sesquipedalis) are also a popular ingredient and sliced likewise.
- Green cabbage is cut in quarter then thinly slice from the heart to the sides.
- Morning glory trokuan (Ipomoea Aquatic): we use those that are firmer. They are blanched quickly.The leaves are set aside and the stalks are minced. Blanch them quickly.
- Winged beans preapey chhrung (Psophocarpus Tetragono Lobus): are sliced (2-3 mm)
- Water Hyacinth kamplaok (Eichhornia crassipes)
- Saw mint, culantro chi ana or chi banal baraing (Eryngyum Foetidum) are thinly minced (3-4 mm wide)
- Chameleon plant Chi thpoil trei (Houttuynia cordata) has the flavor of the fish, thus his Cambodian name "cheek of the fish"
- Sweet Basil leaves chi nieng vong (Ocimum Basilicum)
- Polygonum chi pong tia kone or chi krassaign tum hum (Polygonum Odoratum)
- Holy basil leaves mereap prey (Ocimum Sanctum)
- Mint leaves (Mentha Lamiaceae)
- Limnophile mo-am (limnophila aromatic)
For all the herbs with stems, the young leaves are removed from the stems. The larger leaves will be minced while the younger leaves will be left as a whole. A few young leaves (the nicer ones) will be used to garnish the soup before serving.