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Recipe: Cambodian Pickled Lime Soup With Beef (Ngam Ngov Sach Ko)

Recipe: Ngam Ngov - Cambodian Pickled Lime Soup With Beef

Ngam Ngov (pickled lime soup) is a traditional Cambodian soup made with pickled lime. The pickled lime is a common ingredient in many Cambodian dishes and adds a tangy, slightly salty, flavor to the soup, whereas the beef adds rich and savory notes, that complements the flavor of the pickled lime perfectly.

In this recipe, we are using beef, but variants with chicken, duck and pork are also common. The soup is usually served with rice and provides a hearty and satisfying meal, perfect for colder weather or any time you are craving something comforting and flavorful.

Recipe and notes by Linda Meas, Meas Family Homestay

Linda is also runs the social businesses Weavers Project and Taeko in Takeo, Cambodia.

Cambodian pickled lime: In the countryside in Cambodia, most families make their own pickled lime, but I think this style of pickled lime can be difficult to find abroad. I have heard that some Asian supermarkets have Vietnamese pickled lime, which can also be used. If you cannot find pickled lime, you can use the juice from fresh lime instead. Since you won’t get the saltiness from the pickled lime, you might want to add a little more salt and fish sauce to the soup to get the right balance of flavor. Don’t use Indian lime pickle, it is much too spicy for this soup.

Beef: You can use any beef cut you prefer for the soup, but some cuts might need to cook a bit longer, so extend the time the beef simmers in the soup accordingly. You might also need to add more water along the way, depending on how much water evaporates while the soup is simmering (or use a lid).

Fried garlic: I fry the garlic in the same oil that I use for cooking the beef. I fry the garlic in a small strainer so none of the garlic goes to waste.

Recipe: Ngam Ngov Sach Ko – Cambodian Pickled Lime Soup With Beef

Recipe by Linda Meas – Meas Family Homestay, Takeo, Cambodia Course: Dinner, SoupsCuisine: Cambodia
Servings

4

servings

Ngam Ngov (pickled lime soup) is a traditional Cambodian soup. The pickled lime is a common ingredient in many Cambodian dishes and adds a tangy, salty flavor to the soup. The beef adds rich and savory notes, that complements the flavor of the lime perfectly

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Ingredients

  • 8 8 kaffir lime leaves

  • 1 stalk 1 lemongrass

  • 2 cloves 2 garlic for the soup stock

  • 6 cloves 6 garlic for garnish (deep fried)

  • 1 1 shallot

  • oil for frying the beef and the garlic

  • 1 lb 1 beef

  • 6.5 cups 6.5 water

  • 1 tablespoon 1 fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon 1 salt

  • ½ tablespoon ½ sugar

  • 1 teaspoon 1 chicken stock powder

  • 2 2 Cambodian pickled lime

  • 6 6 spring onions

  • 7 oz 7 enoki mushrooms

  • ½ ½ big white onion

Directions

  • Tear the kaffir lime leaves into halves, and remove the hard center vein.
  • Cut the lemon grass into 2″ pieces.
  • Slice the shallots. Crush the garlic cloves (you can use the blade of a chef’s knife).
  • Cut the beef into big chunks. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the beef until brown. Set aside.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a big pot. Add kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, garlic and shallot. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the beef to the soup. Add fish sauce, salt, sugar and chicken stock powder. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes until the beef is tender.
  • While the soup simmers, prepare the garnish: Crush the garlic and chop into small pieces. Chop the spring onion.
  • Fry the garlic until golden brown and crispy.
  • Cut the pickled lime into quarters and remove the seeds.
  • When the soup has been simmering for 20-30minutes, add pickled lime, enoki mushrooms and onion to the soup.
  • After the pickled lime has cooked for a while, you can smash them gently with a spoon, so the flavor comes out.
  • Just before serving, add the fried garlic and the spring onion.

Recipe Video

Weavers Project in Takeo, Cambodia

Weavers Project in Takeo, Cambodia

Weavers Project was founded by Sonas and the Meas family with the purpose of creating sustainable, economic, growth in rural communities in Cambodia. Cambodia has a strong tradition of weaving, but it is a dying craft due to the competition from cheaper, factory-made fabric as well as the declining interest among the young generation in learning the skills of weaving.

Weavers Project is looking to change that. By providing training in weaving, they do not only offer a source of income to people in rural communities, but also a hope for a brighter future for the weavers and their families. The weavers are included in the entire process from the design of the items and dyeing of the yarn, to the final product, and this inclusion sparks professional pride, empowerment, and motivation, which shows in the beautiful patterns and color combinations that are truly unique for Weavers Project. 

Read more about Weavers Project >>

Weavers Project in Takeo, Cambodia

Weavers Project was founded by Sonas and the Meas family with the purpose of creating sustainable, economic, growth in rural communities in Cambodia. Cambodia has a strong tradition of weaving, but it is a dying craft due to the competition from cheaper, factory-made fabric as well as the declining interest among the young generation in learning the skills of weaving.

Weavers Project is looking to change that. By providing training in weaving, they do not only offer a source of income to people in rural communities, but also a hope for a brighter future for the weavers and their families. The weavers are included in the entire process from the design of the items and dyeing of the yarn, to the final product, and this inclusion sparks professional pride, empowerment, and motivation, which shows in the beautiful patterns and color combinations that are truly unique for Weavers Project. 

Read more about Weavers Project >>

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