Pon Pa Leum

1 piece of pa leum (a large catfish), free of bones, the size of a hand-wash it, slice it thinly, put it in a pot with water barely covering it, sprinkle it with salt and fish sauce (it should be quite salty), boil it until cooked, then take the pot from the fire

6 sweet young round eggplants

2 (small) heads of garlic

4 (small) shallots

3 fresh chilli peppers

These four ingredients above are to be cooked in the embers of a charcoal fire, then peeled and pounded together to constitute the kheuang hom

1 straight-bulbed spring onion-chop both the bulb and the leaves finely

1 sprig of coriander, chopped

2 Kaffir lime leaves, chopped

salt and fish sauce


Combine the boiled fish with the kheuang hom in a mortar and pound together finely. Then add the water in which the fish was cooked and stir until the mixture is thick (i.e. like a thick soup). Add the spring onion and chopped Kaffir lime leaves. Do not let the mixture become either too thick or too runny. Taste, and check the saltiness.

Arrange the mixture on a platter, garnish it with the chopped coriander and serve it with Keng Som (a sour soup), young cucumbers and other vegetables which are suitable accompaniments.





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