A Champion of Cambodian Cuisine – Rotanak Ros

by KhmerLife on Oct 25, 2019

A Champion of Cambodian Cuisine – Rotanak Ros

Rotanak Ros, home cook turned ardent cultural ambassador, is on a mission to revive her country’s ancient food traditions-before they’re lost to history

NEW YORK-As Rotanak Ros stands over the stove, peering intently at the thin, dark amber sauce she's rapidly stirring together in a skillet, an incredible aroma wafts into the air. 

Garlic and shallots, saut�ed until browned and fragrant, form the backbone. To that, Ros has added brown sugar, caramelized to deepen its molasses-y sweetness; fish sauce, pungent and savory; and tamarind, a touch sweet but mostly mouth-puckeringly sour.

Together, Ros says as she offers me a spoonful to taste, they perfectly demonstrate the balance of contrasting flavors-sweet, savory, sour-that defines much of Khmer, or Cambodian cuisine-what I've come to her to learn about, and what she's traveled to New York City, all the way from Phnom Penh,�Cambodia, to teach.

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