Global Goods: Cambodian Cooking

This week, we at Global Goods took to the kitchen and got to work whipping up some Cambodian treats, taken from the Friends International Cookbook: From Spiders to Water Lilies! This Cambodian cookbook, filled with dozens of delicious (and adventurous) recipes, was created by Friends-International, a non-profit organization that aims to rehabilitate street children in Phnom Penh. Friends-International has established a restaurant and culinary school that provides impoverished or homeless teenagers with valuable job training and opportunities in the service industry.


We’re sharing with you the simple yet scrumptious Caramelised Rice Pudding recipe, topped with fresh fruit. This recipe, known in Khmer as bai damnaub nom treab chia mui sko tnaut (say that three times fast!), requires 7 ingredients, plus as much fruit as you’d like to add. You will need:

  • 500g white sticky rice (soaked in cold water for 30 minutes)
  • 500ml coconut cream
  • 100g white sugar
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp grated lime peel
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 to 6 tbsp palm sugar syrup*
  • Fresh tropical fruit, such as dragon fruit, mango, pineapple, and papaya (or substitute these with seasonal, local fruits)


Begin by soaking the rice and then grating the lime. Doing these steps first will save you a lot of time and will keep things organized.

After you’ve soaked the rice, steam it for about 30 minutes, or until cooked. Set aside to cool. In a wok or pan, bring coconut cream to a boil, add white sugar, desiccated coconut, vanilla, lime peel, and salt, and simmer for about 2 minutes. Add cooled rice and stir frequently on medium heat until all the liquid is mixed into the rice.


Spread mixture onto a greased baking tray, let cool for a few minutes, and then refrigerate. You can refrigerate the pudding for as long as you want–we let it cool for about over an hour. After the pudding has cooled, cut it into slices and drizzle it with palm sugar syrup. Top it off with some fresh fruit, and you’re ready to eat!


The cookbook features dozens more recipes, from fish soups to fried tarantulas (seriously.) You can purchase this book, and other Friends-International products, on our site.

Try out this recipe over the weekend, and tell us what you think!

*We couldn’t find palm sugar syrup, but we found palm sugar. To make it into syrup, add a few tablespoons a pan, add water, and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture until it becomes thick. Voilà! Syrup!






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