A beautiful soup with endless topping possibilities
As part of my “5 Pineapple Dishes from 5 Countries” series, I learned about salmor machu youn, a Cambodian sweet and sour pineapple soup. This recipe came from Raymond, who lives in New York City.
Raymond says that “salmor machu youn” translates to “sour soup” from Cambodian to English. Salmor machu youn is a sweet and sour soup with pineapple, tomato, and your choice of meat. Usually, chicken or fish are the meats of choice because they best soak up the flavors of the broth. Raymond says that this dish is taken to the next level by a generous serving of mint.
In Cambodia, sour soups like salmor machu youn are very popular. Usually, tamarind is the ingredient that gives the soups their signature sour flavor. Other similar soups in Cambodia feature ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, and water spinach.
Raymond mentions that this soup helps him connect with his ancestors and culture because there are very few Cambodian restaurants in the United States. Even in New York City, which many consider the foreign food capital of the world, it can be difficult to find authentic Cambodian food. When Raymond was a child, his parents often made him salmor machu youn.
In fact, when Raymond learned to cook, salmor machu youn was the first dish he ever learned how to make! Nowadays, Raymond often makes salmor machu youn for his friends. Everyone who tries the soup always loves the unique flavors present in the dish.
When I made my own salmor machu youn, I was shocked at how simple the dish is to make! This dish allows you to experience complex and unique flavors with minimal ingredients that are easily found in the supermarket. You really don’t need complex ingredients to make complex and delicious flavors. The unique flavors of this soup are lovely. There is a lovely balance of sweet and spicy, and the pineapple flavor pairs perfectly with the mint and chicken. This is no American chicken soup! In the end, this recipe goes to show how cooking outside of your culture doesn’t need to be a stressful or complicated experience.
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