This is an updated recipe. The recipe previously listed here was a bit of a hodgepodge of various kroeung ingredients, with the inclusion of some you would be unlikely to find in a kroeung recipe of any colour.
Aromatic kroeung provides the base to many Cambodian (Khmer) recipes. Kroeung is a sort of curry paste in Cambodian cuisine, and there are a few different types. Like with Thai curry pastes, kroeung are broken down into a set of three colours. This is a yellow kroeung, so called because of the inclusion of turmeric, and is from my understanding an everyday sort of blend commonly used with many dishes.
Also akin to Thai curry pastes, there are some generalised kroeung pastes with multiple applications and other made especially for one dish (e.g. saraman kroeung, to make the Khmer equivalent of massaman curry).
This yellow kroeung can be used in stir fries, soups, grilled foods, some curry-like dishes, and as a base for relishes. I use it non-traditionally in my recipe for tempeh in banana leaf.
Khmer yellow kroeung (kroeung samlor mauchoo)
- Pestle and mortar
- Generous pinch salt
- 55 grams thinly sliced lemongrass 2-3 stems, depending on size
- 10 grams chopped galangal
- ½ teaspoon makrut lime zest
- 15 grams chopped garlic
- 25 grams sliced or chopped shallot
- ½ teaspoon ground dried turmeric
- Remove any tough outer layers from the lemongrass stalks and chop into thin rounds. The concentration of aromatic oils is in the lower end of the grass. Hence it is better to use more stems of lemongrass, utilising the lower half of the stem only, and reserving the upper lengths for things like tom yum soup.
- Add all of the ingredients to a pestle and mortar, in order of how they are listed. Pound each ingredient to a paste before adding the next. Try to pound each ingredients to as smooth a paste as possible before proceeding.
- Refrigerate and use in curries, stir fries, soups, and whatever else you'd like.