Stung Treng eyes sticky rice cake status

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A woman prepares nom ansorm chrouk for sale in September. Heng Chivoan

The Stung Treng provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts is looking into the possibility of registering Nom ansorm chrouk – sticky rice cakes filled with pork and wrapped in banana leaves – and several other dishes as food originating from the province.

Provincial Department of Information director Ouk Theavy told The Post that the department recently visited different areas in the province to compile information about Nom ansorm chrouk and other specialties such as Larb and Phlea – types of raw and cooked meat salads – which are all part of Stung Treng province’s heritage.

“We have not yet recorded or compiled information about Nom ansom chrouk originating in Stung Treng. We simply asked for information and have not yet issued a specific document to state it is heritage food from the province,” he said.

He noted that the study also covered other dishes, but the department’s expert officials focused more on the cake.

“Nom Ansom Chrouk mixed with salted duck eggs has become famous and widely sold online, even to people living in Phnom Penh,” he said.

He said the cake is available in other provinces, but the recipe for this cake as well as some other specialties is a hallmark of Stung Treng province.

“We just want to state that this kind of Nom ansom chrouk belongs to Stung Treng province because people here can make it unique and so delicious,” he said.

He added that the cake has gained a good reputation online and is also a business that helps to improve residents’ income during the Covid-19 crisis.

“We are also researchingLarb because Stung Treng residents like to eat it. Some of the residents here are Laotians, so they like to eat the food. Larb here is different from that in Phnom Penh. We make it from fish – we take fish meat and grind it well then mix in fish paste, fried rice and other ingredients,” he said.

Phlea, which is called Kouy in Stung Treng, is also being studied. The meat is half cooked unlike some provinces or Phnom Penh, where the meat is well cooked,” he said.

Theary said it is not easy to register the cake and other dishes as products originating from Stung Treng as they need to be officially documented and evaluated by relevant expert authorities.

“Before the document is officially released, we need to go over the information with the culture department and relevant authorities. Then we meet with a sub-committee to evaluate whether the food is a heritage from our northeast province,” he said.

Nhoch Saroeun, the provincial culture department acting director, said briefly that her department was looking into the matter.