Khmer Sticky Rice ‘Num Ansom’ with Potato and Tofu

Khmer sticky rice Num Ansom is a traditional Cambodian dish made with glutinous rice and various fillings, often wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. In this recipe, we will prepare these delightful rice cakes filled with the flavors of Ukrainian kitchen; fried potato, oyster mushrooms with onion, and tofu. This dish is not only delicious but also budget-friendly, making it suitable for everyone.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

For the Rice:

  • 2 cups glutinous rice (sticky rice)
  • 4-6 pieces of banana leaves (for wrapping)
  • Cooking twine or banana leaf strips (for tying)

For the Filling:

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 150g oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 30g onion, thinly sliced
  • 200g firm tofu, diced into small cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Soy sauce or chili sauce for dipping (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide:

Preparing the Banana Leaves:

  1. Clean and soften the banana leaves: Gently wash the banana leaves and briefly pass them over an open flame to soften them. This will make them more pliable for wrapping.
  2. Cut the leaves: Cut the banana leaves into square pieces, about 10×10 inches. You may need to use multiple pieces to wrap each Num Ansom.

Preparing the Sticky Rice:

  1. Rinse and soak the rice: Rinse the glutinous rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain and steam the rice: Drain the soaked rice and place it in a steamer lined with a clean cloth or banana leaves. Steam the rice over high heat for about 30-40 minutes until it’s fully cooked and sticky. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Preparing the Filling:

  1. Fry Potato: In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the diced potatoes and fry until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove the potatoes from the pan and set them aside.
  2. Fry Tofu: In the same pan, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the diced tofu and cook until it’s lightly browned on all sides. Remove the tofu from the pan and set it aside.
  3. Saute Mushrooms and Onion: Using the same pan, add the minced garlic, sliced onion and sliced oyster mushrooms. Sauté them until the mushrooms are tender and slightly caramelized. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set them aside.

Assembling the Num Ansom:

  1. Wrapping the Num Ansom: Take a square piece of banana leaf and place a small portion of the cooked sticky rice in the center. Add a spoonful of the fried potato, tofu, and sautéed mushrooms on top of the rice.
  2. Fold and tie: Fold the banana leaf over the filling to create a rectangular package. Use cooking twine or strips of banana leaf to tie the package securely.
  3. Steam the Num Ansom: Place the wrapped Num Ansom in a steamer and steam them for about 30-40 minutes until they are heated through and the flavors meld together.

Serving:

  1. Garnish and enjoy: Once the Khmer sticky rice Num Ansom are steamed, remove them from the steamer and let them cool slightly. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves if desired.
  2. Serve: Serve the Num Ansom while they’re still warm, either as a snack or a side dish. You can enjoy them plain or with a side of soy sauce or chili sauce for dipping.

This Khmer Num Ansom with flavors of Ukraine is a delightful combination of texture and flavor. They make a satisfying snack or side dish, and you can customize the fillings to your liking.

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