What to Cook this Week is a new weekly series that we’ll publish every Monday with suggestions for weeknight meals from the Grantourismo archives for the week ahead. Ideas might include dishes to make for upcoming holidays, meals we’re cooking at in our kitchen, and the odd recipe we’re testing that we’d love you to try.

Welcome to the second week in our new series What to Cook this Week, which we’ll post every Monday, with meal ideas from the archives for easy midweek dinners and recipe suggestions that might involve a bit more prep for Friday night, whether you’re staying in or sharing a meal with family or friends. We’re also publishing What to Cook this Weekend on Fridays.

In What to Cook this Week, we’ll also make suggestions for what to cook for holidays that are coming up and share what we’re making in our kitchen here in Siem Reap. And if you’re up for it, we’d also love to post the occasional dish that we’re developing for our cookbooks and invite you to try them and share feedback. Let us know if that interests.

Before I share suggestions as to what to cook this week, we have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo by using our links to book accommodation, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, buy travel insurance, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide. You can also shop our Grantourismo store for gifts for foodies, including fun reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s photography. You could also buy us a coffee, although we won’t buy coffee, we’ll put that donation toward cooking ingredients for recipe testing.

Another option is to contribute to our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon or purchase something on Amazon, such as these James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography. Now let’s give you some ideas as to what to cook this week.

What to Cook this Week from Cambodian Spring Rolls and Papaya Salad to Chicken Soup for the Soul

Cambodian Fried Spring Rolls, Papaya Salad and Prahok K’tiss

As today is international #CookSomethingBoldandPungentDay – I’m not kidding you! – I’m cooking Cambodian tonight because there are few cuisines that love bold and pungent flavours more. Will you join me? Not so pungent, but I’ve had cravings for some crunchy fried spring rolls so I’m going to make this classic Cambodian fried spring rolls recipe for a crunchy deep-fried egg roll filled with minced pork, dried shrimp, carrot, garlic, and daikon radish or taro, seasoned with fish sauce, pepper, sea salt, and palm sugar. For the veg, I use a crinkle-blade hand grater, which gives a texture achieved somewhere in between grating and julienning. They’re hugely popular here in Southeast Asia and cost about a dollar at local markets. You could also use a mandolin with a crinkle-ripple blade. We also have a Cambodian spring roll dipping sauce recipe to go with them.


I’m going to make this green papaya salad for nhoam lahong or bok lahong – a nhoam is a tossed salad and a bok is a pounded salad. This fresh, aromatic, crunchy papaya salad is definitely a little pungent, little funky, a little spicy, a little sour, a little salty, and a little sweet. In other words, it’s a well-balanced salad. If you can’t find green papaya, green mango, green apple, or even cabbage will work. You will need a wooden mortar and pestles but if you don’t have one, a stone or granite mortar and pestle will work. If you’ve never used a mortar and pestle before, we have some tips.


If that papaya salad is not pungent enough for you, try this prahok k’tiss, a very funky fermented fish and minced pork dip, which is served with either fresh or blanched veggies. I’d go for blanched if you’re in a cool climate or fresh if things are warming up where you are. Or browse our 65 Cambodian recipes for more ideas as to what to cook.


Burmese Chicken Curry, Coconut Rice and Salad

Tuesday 2 November is actually Cambodian Independence Day so I was actually going to make Cambodian food this day until I learnt Monday was BP (bold and pungent) day, so I’ll toast to Cambodia tonight and Myanmar on Tuesday. The Khmer of Cambodia and the Mon of Myanmar started two of the oldest, most sophisticated and most splendid civilisations in Southeast Asia, so that’s a good excuse. Plus, I’m trying to raise awareness of the tragic events in Myanmar through these recipes. I know, I’m sorry, I’m luring you over here with delicious recipes then sending you off to make a little donation to a deserving organisation. I’m at least being honest about it and you can always scroll on. Or you can cook this classic Burmese chicken curry. There are few curries that have so much flavour yet come together so easily.


I’m happy to eat that with some turmeric-tinted Burmese coconut rice, however, the peoples of Myanmar eat their rich oily curries with contrasting fresh zingy salads. Take your pick from this Burmese raw cabbage salad, a Shan vermicelli noodle salad, a Shan tomato salad or this Burmese potato salad.


Ragu alla Bolognese Tagliatelle and Tomato Salad

It’s been forever since we’ve had Terence’s ragu alla Bolognese, so I’m going to book this in for Wednesday night as while it’s by no means a difficult dish, but it needs time on the stove. This is a traditional recipe for the classic meat sauce from Bologna in Emilia Romagna, Northern Italy, which is used for both pasta and lasagne, and if you follow Terence’s exacting ingredient list and cooking directions you will get a perfect ragù alla Bolognese. We eat it with tagliatelle, not spaghetti as they do in Bologna, cause that’s what we do, but you do as you please. You can also use this ragu alla Bolognese recipe to make lasagne alla Bolognese, which is what we normally do with it the next day, but it also freezes well.

This is a good tomato salad and it’s a great match with pasta and lasagne. It tastes of Mediterranean goodness.


Russian Beef Stroganoff and a Garden Salad

Thursday nights are my comfort food nights. Do you have one of those nights? Last Thursday I made a Russian beef stew, so this Thursday I’m making my Russian beef Stroganoff, which is rich and spicy. If you don’t eat beef, for whatever reason, I also have a spicy chicken Stroganoff recipe and a vegetarian creamy mushroom Stroganoff recipe. If you’re south of the equator, turn up the aircon or lighten up the meal with this classic garden salad. And if you feel like dessert, stick with the Russian theme and peruse our best pancake recipes from my baboushka’s kitchen.


Chicken Soup for the Soul – Take Your Pick 

I know I like the idea of Friday being #currynight but this Friday 12 November is actually #ChickenSoupfortheSoulDay – who comes up with these days? – so I’m making chicken soup this Friday. There are few things more comforting so that’s a good excuse. But I haven’t decided which one… perhaps this classic Cambodian chicken noodle soup for one of Cambodia’s most popular breakfast noodle soups, kuy teav, which I’ll serve with loads of extras, which are always fun: dishes of lime quarters, fresh fragrant herbs such as basil, coriander, and mint, blanched bean sprouts, and finely sliced birds-eye chillies, and Terence’s homemade chilli oil.


Although we already had Cambodian this week, so maybe I’ll make this ohn no khao swe recipe for Myanmar’s beloved Burmese chicken coconut noodle soup. It’s hard to beat egg noodles in an aromatic chicken curry broth with a coconut milk base. It’s also another fun soup to garnish, this time with crunchy fried noodles, boiled eggs, shallots, fried garlic, dried chilli, lime, and coriander (cilantro).


This Chiang Mai khao soi gai recipe makes another heavenly curry noodle chicken soup that foreign visitors to Northern Thailand‘s old Lanna kingdom capital tend to become a bit obsessed by, and I can’t blame them. We’re big fans of Northern Thai-style Lanna food and khao soi gai must be its best-known dish. This is another soup with egg noodles in a rich and oily coconut cream-based broth, with a leg or thigh of bone-in chicken, topped with crunchy noodles and a slick of bright red oil on top.


You’ll eat well on Friday night, no matter which chicken soup you choose, and if they don’t appeal, and you need more ideas as to what to cook we have noodle soup recipes here, along with warming winter broths if you’re in the northern hemisphere, and chilled summer soups if you’re in the southern hemisphere. There’s a little bit of overlap between those collections, so just use that scroll. And that’s it for What to Cook This Week for this week. We’ll publish What to Cook this Weekend on Friday. 

Please do let us know in the comments below if you’ve cooked any of our What to Cook this Week recipes, as we’d love to get your feedback on the series and some feedback on how the recipes turned out for you.

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