Cambodian Bahn Chow

Iceberg wraps filled with crepe, chicken, coconut, fresh mint and basil.

This is dear Makara Meng, the co-owner of Mittapheap World Market who invited me to her relative's house for an authentic Cambodian meal in South Portland, Maine. What an evening it was! There were fried crickets as big as jumbo shrimp; 'n some chlook, a tamale-like deal only it was rice and pork steamed in a banana leaf; and noam koam, a white gooey dessert the texture of those rubber spider toys you throw at the wall, but with a crunchy center of caramelized coconut and sesame. My eyes have been opened. My heart, three days later, is still swollen with gratitude.

The preparation I'll take home with me is bahn chow, which I just tried making for a couple friends. The word is: thumbs up. Delicious. Said one: "I love the fresh mint, basil and cucumber. -- Ooo! And I just got a little kick from the sauce!"

Check out the posts at top right for the recipe, photos and the full story.