During our 8 month food tour through S.E. Asia, our main focus was to learn as much as we could about the regions food. We went straight to the hawkers themselves to ask them to show us first hand, how to prepare the dishes that they had been perfecting for years. After little convincing they would agree to show us step by step how to prepare one of the countries most traditional dishes. Minutes later, we would have one chance at recreating this dish. We also only had one video camera to capture the moment. Did we fuck up sometimes? Of course we did. Remember we only had one shot at it and only a few minutes as the hawker was still open for servicing their loyal paying customers…..No pressure. Not to mention the fact that most of the time the people showing us the dish didn’t speak a lick of English.
On this particular day we were at Phnom Penh’s Russian Market in search of traditional Cambodian food. We had a few dishes that we were there to possibly learn. After about five failed attempts at finding a hawker to show us his specialty, we hit the jackpot. We found a food stall that would teach us Banh Chiao the Khmer version of the Vietnamese dish bánh xèo, a savoury fried pancake made of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, diced green onion, and bean sprouts.