Samlor Korko, aslo known as “samlor kako,” “somlaw koko,” or Cambodian “Stirring-Pot” soup, is a hearty mix of in season-vegetables, unripe fruit, meat of your choice, all of which is packaged with the distinct citrusy lemongrass flavor. Samlor Korko is one of the most authentic Cambodian food recipes, and a traditional dish served by millions of families across the country. This delicious soup is made with ingredients that are readily available in Southeast Asia and supermarkets across the US. Best of all, you can easily customize this Samlor Korko by using unripe fruit and vegetables that are currently in season and easy to find in your location — this is exactly what Cambodian families do when they prepare this soup.
In our Samlor Kor Ko recipe below, we’ve used the most commonly available traditional ingredients. However, we will also list some great alternatives that you can add to the soup instead.
Samlor Korko: Cambodian "Mixing Soup"
- Mortar and pestle You can use a blender instead
Kreung Paste Ingredients
- 3 stalks Lemongrass
- 2 inches Galangal knob
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 5 leaves Lime tree leaf
- 1 Chilli pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Prahok paste
- 1 lb Pork bone
- ¼ cup
Ground roasted rice
- 1 Papaya Unripe (green), small
- 1 cup Bitter eggplant
- 1 Eggplant
- ⅓ Butternut squash
- 1 lb Long beans
- 1 cup Moringa leaves
- ½ tablespoon Sugar Palm sugar is an alternative
- ½ teaspoon MSG
- 1 tablespoon Fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon Cooking oil
- 5 cups Water
- ½ lb Green bananas
- ½ lb Young jackfruit
Kreung (Khmer Curry Paste) Preparation Instructions
- Cut lemongrass into thin slices and place in a mortar
- Clean the garlic cloves and put inside the mortar
- Wash the chilli pepper and place inside the mortar
- Peel the galangal skin off, cut the galangal into thin slices and place into the mortar
- Shred the lime tree leaves thinly and place inside the mortar
- Peel the turmeric skin, slice thinly and place into the mortar
- Add salt to the mortar
- Using the pestle, crush the ingredients inside the mortar until they achieve a uniform paste-like consistency
Soup Preparation Instructions
- Peel the skin from the butternut squash, then cut the squash into 1-inch cubes and set aside
- Slice the long beans 2-inch pieces and set aside
- Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes
- Julienne the papaya and set aside
- Remove stems from the bitter eggplant and set it aside
- Clean the maringa leaves and set aside
- Clean the pork bone, cut into 1-2-inch chunks and set aside
- In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over high heat, then add the kreung paste and lower the heat to medium
- Fry the kreung on medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring the paste continuously
- Add the pork bone to the pot and stir until it's covered with the kreung paste
- Add the papaya, butternut squash, bitter eggplant, eggplant, and long beans to the pot and mix together
- Pour 5 cups of water into the pot and stir
- Add MSG, sugar, fish sauce, prahok, and
ground roasted rice to the pot, then mix well
- Add the maringa leaves to the pot and stir together
- Allow the mixture to boil, then bring the heat down to medium/low
- At this point, taste the soup and add salt or fish sauce if you'd like the soup to be more savoury
- Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes, then turn the heat off
- Serve this Samlor Korkor over a bed of white steamed rice
What is in Samlor Korkor?
In Samlor Korkor, there is a mix of in-season unripe fruit, vegetables, meat, and seasonings. For example, our Samlor Korko recipe is made with butternut squash, long beans, green papaya, eggplant, bitter eggplant, pork bone, maringa leaves, kreung paste, prahok, and fish sauce. However, depending on the season and availability, you can also add green bananas, young jackfruit, bitter melon, and winter melon to Samlor Korko. Likewise, you can substitute the pork bone for a fish of your choice; both options are popular in Cambodian food. And if you’re unable to find prahok — which is typically sold in large grocery stores in the US and Canada — you can add more fish sauce instead to mimic the flavor.
Other recipes with prahok: Prahok Ktiss
Why is Samlor Korkor called Samlor Korkor?
Samlor Korkor is called “Samlor Korkor” because it means “mixing soup” in Khmer. The word “Samlor” means “soup,” while “korkor” means “mixing” or “stirring”. Adjectives follow the subject in Khmer, so the literal translation of Samlor Korkor is “Soup Mixing”.
Samlor Korko, or “mixing soup,” gets its name from the cooking process, where the soup gets stirred throughout preparation. The name also signifies a “mix,” or “stirring together” of various ingredients, as Samlor Korko is generally made with various fruits and vegetables that are currently in season and locally available.
Also read: Beef shank and papaya soup
What is the national dish of Cambodia?
The national dish of Cambodia is Samlor Korko. Whereas Fish Amok is often presented as Cambodia’s national delicacy to foreigners, most families across the nation will cook Samlor Korko far more often. Samlor Korko’s ultimate customizability and quick and simple preparation process make it the country’s favorite dish for everyday meals and special occasions alike. On the other hand, Fish Amok takes more time and skill to prepare, and you’re far more likely to see Fish Amok in a restaurant than you would at a family’s dinner table.
What food is Cambodia famous for?
Cambodia is famous for its citrusy, kreung-based curries, sour soups, and barbecued street food, like these beef skewers. Some of the most popular dishes include amok, a fish curry that is steamed in a banana leaf, as well as various types of curries, and soups, such as Samlor Korko. Khmer cuisine also features a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are often served as side dish or paired with a dipping sauce as a snack.
How does prahok taste?
Prahok tastes salty, with a distinct, pungent fishy flavor. Prahok’s taste is quite intense when consumed on its own or as a dip, which has earned this popular condiment the monicker “Cambodian cheese”. However, when used in soups, such as Samlor Korko, prahok adds a deep, balanced savory flavor to the broth, while its fishy overtones are largely dissolved in the mix. In fact, if you’ve tried other popular Cambodian food, such as Khmer Noodles (Nom Banh Chok) or Papaya salad (Bok Lahong), the piquant yet hearty salty taste actually comes from small amounts of prahok added to these dishes.
Can you freeze kreung?
Yes, you can freeze kreung. Once you’ve made kreung, either with a mortar and pestle (preferred) or in a blender, you can transfer the kreung paste into tupperware and freeze for 3-6 months. Freezing kreung has obvious benefits, as the paste takes a while to prepare and is a crucial ingredient in many Cambodian food items.
Samlor Korkor: Parting Words
We’re happy to share this simple, hearty soup recipe with your family. Have you made this Samlor Korkor recipe already? Or, do you have another recipe for this soup that you’d like to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below!