Cambodia: A Taste of Home

Bunmean from Cambodia is always looking for ways to share her culture with her peers in the US. Last month, she had the opportunity to do just that with the help of some chefs!

In early February, the International Student adviser at Western Washington University asked international students if they wanted to volunteer to work with the campus chef to participate in Global Gourmet Dinner. I was really excited and responded immediately.

I have been at Western for eight weeks now. At the dining hall, they sometimes have Thai curry, Vietnamese noodles, Vietnamese bread, Pad Thai, etc. It is good to have all these foods, but I always wish there would be a day when Cambodian food is served. I miss the food my mom made, especially chicken and vegetable curry.

In Cambodia, chicken curry is a big thing. They make it for major events and festivals. I remember when I was child, my mom would cook curry to celebrate my birthday. In the rural village, they cook curry to serve guests in wedding ceremonies. People eat curry during family reunions, weekend getaways, and so on. That’s why I decided to work with the chef at Western to make it.

It was pretty hard to get the right ingredients. However, the chef was really kind. He really wanted to make it to my taste. I got into the kitchen at

around 3pm that day to start the cooking process with the chef.

During the dinner, I presented my country and our famous chicken curry to around 60 guests. Many people said Cambodian curry is different from what they are used to and they really liked it. We served it with rice noodles and we provided peanuts that added a special taste to the curry.

The Global Gourmet Dinner was a great experience for me to share some aspects of Cambodia with other students at Western. I also learned a lot from other international students who represent their countries.

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