These char-grilled beef skewers served in French baguettes are a traditional Khmer street food. At the heart of the marinade is the kreung which is a fragrant paste made from lemongrass, turmeric, garlic and galangal and which is used as the basis for many Cambodian dishes.
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp liquid palm sugar or shaved palm sugar (jaggery)
- 2 tbsp annatto oil
- 4 tbsp kreoung paste
- 500 g beef brisket, finely sliced
- 4 Vietnamese baguettes
- 70 ml fish sauce
- 70 ml white vinegar
- 125 g sugar
- 500 g green papaya, peeled, shredded
- ½ carrot, peeled, shredded
- 2 long red chillies, finely sliced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time: overnight
You'll need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
Make the pickled vegetables a day ahead. Combine the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and 250 ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and add the papaya, carrot and chillies. Mix well, seal and leave to pickle overnight, or for 24 hours.
The beef can also be marinated well ahead. Combine the fish sauce, palm sugar, annatto oil and kreoung paste in a mixing bowl with a pinch of sea salt. Stir until the salt has dissolved.
Add the beef and mix until well coated. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but at least 2 hours.
When you’re nearly ready to cook, soak eight bamboo skewers in cold water for 30 minutes.
Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan to medium. Thread the beef onto the skewers and chargrill for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking.
Slice the baguettes halfway through, creating a pocket. Fill each one with some pickled vegetables and two beef skewers. Pull the skewers out of the rolls and serve.