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this is somlaw machew kroeung sach ko. sour beef soup. i love sour and bitter foods, and this is one i eat all the time. it's sour and spicy. you can adjust the sour by using less tamerind soup base.
1 ½ lb steak, sliced or cut into bite size pieces (you can also use other cuts of beef, pork ribs or bone-in chicken – delicious too!)
1 cup of lemongrass paste (Kroeung)
½ lb water spinach (Trokoun) stems pound with the back of your knife, cut into 2 inch lengths
2 tablespoons cream-style pickled fish (Prohok)
1 lb beef tripe, slice (optional)
4 jalapenos, slice into quarters (optional)
1 cup of basil leaves (use holy basil if you can get them)
5-6 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons knorr sour soup base
3 tablespoons sugar

Heat pot and add lemongrass paste. Fry until fragrant about 1-2 minutes. Add beef and half way through cooking add the creamy pickle-fish. Stir and mix well.

Next add enough water to cover about ½ inch above the meat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the meat is tender about 30 minutes depending on the cut of meat.

Turn the heat back to high and add sugar, fish sauce, knorr soup base and adjust the saltiness and sourness according to taste, by varying the amount of pickled fish or fish sauce, and soup base.

Finally add the beef tripe, water spinach and jalapenos. Allow the soup to continue cooking for a couple of minutes until the water spinach turns to an olive green color but not too soggy.

Turn off the heat and add basil leaves. Give it a quick stir then ladle to a bowl and serve with steam rice.

Tip 1: If you find that there’s too much liquid in the soup, take off the pot cover and allow the liquid to reduce.

Tip2: Only add the amount of water spinach that can be eaten in one sitting. Basically fish out all the water spinach if you anticipate having leftovers. This will prevent the water spinach from turning soggy when you reheat the soup. If you do reheat the leftovers, add a new bach of fresh water spinach. This will make the dish taste not only nice and fresh but more delicious because by now the meat is very tender.


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