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  • Wandering Soup

Thanksgiving in Cambodia | Wandering Soup

We just "celebrated" our first Thanksgiving in Cambodia, and to be honest it wasn't much of a difference than Thanksgiving in the states, minus Family and Turkey. I've yet to find Turkey here. Well Turkey that I would eat. And if you didn't know, Thanksgiving is an American tradition, has nothing to do with anywhere else in the world. Ask Native Americans.

Anyway, we spent most of the day quietly chilling. I cooked, the boy recovered from a stomach bug he had been fighting for a few days and Amber, well she ran between us both. I know you are wondering what we ate and here's the rundown:

  • Cornbread dressing/gravy

  • Black eye peas

  • Cornbread

  • Baked yard bird (chicken)

  • Greens (pic above)

  • Sweet potato casserole

A masterpiece of a menu, considering that you can't find cornmeal here and ovens are non existent in 98% of the homes. I had to order the cornmeal, and I horde it like I do the grits I also ordered. No, you can't "get" any of my grits, so don't ask. Also the greens, well, they weren't collard greens and instead are Chinese Kailan. I cooked them like collard greens and honestly they were the star of the show with the black eye peas following closely behind. Amber ate all the vegetable leftovers, all of them. Didn't share or say nothing. I feel some kind of way but we gonna let it go. One day.

Here's the recipe for the Chinese Kailan aka Cambodian Collard Greens

*Amber is vegan, so this recipe is vegan friendly


3 to 4 bunches of Kailan

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon -garlic and onion powder

1/2 tablespoon -chili flakes, more if you like your collars spicy. I do and generally use a full tablespoon or more

1/2 tablespoon -Salt/pepper - more if needed, less if needed for medical reasons.

1/4 to 1/2 - water/stock - depends on the amount of greens. I prefer to do more of a steam than a boil with Collards and in this instance Kailan.

1 - garlic clove - really 2 but...

Cut and clean the Kailan similar to how you cut and clean collards, I disposed of most of the stem and stuck with the leaves. Again cut. In a medium-sized pot, place about two to three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. As it's heating, I season the oil with red chili flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper. Once heated and slightly stirred to mix in good, I add the Kailan. Coat well with the seasoned oil blend. Add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of water/vegetable stock or chicken stock, cover and switch to low heat. Cooking time was about 30 minutes to an hour. Halfway thru I added some sliced garlic.

--You can also add onions or shallots. I would lean toward the shallots as they will add a nice sweetness to counteract the bitterness of the greens. Feel free to add more seasonings/water/stock as they cook, I generally do to get them where my family prefers them. They will cook down similar to collards so keep that in mind when purchasing/cooking.

No pictures because Amber ate them all....


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