Nite Yun's Family Favorite: Kuy Teav Phnom Penh

A comforting noodle soup filled with Cambodian soul.

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Overhead shot of kuy teav phnom penh (Cambodian soup with rice noodles), with poached shrimp, cilantro leaves, lime wedge, scallions, and bean sprouts

Nite Yun is an award-winning chef, widely recognized all over the country for her cooking chops. Most days, you can find her in the kitchen at her noodle shop and pantry, Nyum Bai, which offers vibrant dishes inspired by her childhood in Cambodia. Visit Nyum Bai any night of the week, and you'll find lok lak, shaken beef in a lime-and-pepper sauce; kuy teav phnom penh, a rice noodle soup in pork broth; and fried chicken rubbed with salt and Kampot peppercorns.

We got a chance to sit down with Nite and talk about one of her favorite recipes. "Kuy teav phnom penh is one of the first dishes I learned how to cook," she told us. "My mom always made it during the weekends for me and my brothers. It has a lot of TLC." Here's how she makes it.

Kuy Teav Phnom Penh

Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 6 1/2 hours
Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Stock:

10 cups of water
5 pounds (2.3kg) pork neck bones, rinsed
1 peeled whole yellow onion, charred over a gas flame
200g daikon radish, peeled and cut into two-inch chunks
1 small dried squid, roasted whole over the stove
15g salted radish, rinsed under cold water (this can be found at Asian grocery stores)
4 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup (80ml) fish sauce

To Serve:

Thin rice noodles, blanched in boiling water for one minute (5.5 oz per serving)
Poached ground pork (1/4 cup per serving)
Poached shrimp

Fresh Garnishes (Optional):

Whole cilantro leaves
Scallions, sliced thin on a bias
Bean sprouts
Lime wedges
Fried garlic
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

1. Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pork neck bones and reduce heat to medium, bringing the water to a gentle simmer.

2. Once water is simmering, add roasted onion, daikon, squid, and salted radish and continue simmering for 1 hour. Use a ladle to skim off any scum that rises to the top during simmering.

3. Add sugar, salt, and fish sauce and continue simmering for another 6 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the top. Strain broth.

4. When ready to serve, place 1 serving of noodles in each of 4 bowls. Top each serving with poached ground pork and poached shrimp. Ladle 2 cups of hot broth over the noodles and meat, then add fresh garnishes of your choice.

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