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Chicken Samlá (Cambodian Chicken Curry)

Randy Mayor
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
This is one of the most popular dishes in Cambodia. It's a soupy curry that's more aromatic and less spicy than curries found in other parts of Southeast Asia. It uses a substantial amount of fresh ginger and lemongrass for flavor and fragrance. Serve over rice to soak up the sauce.


  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh lemongrass
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shrimp sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee) or shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 5 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and quartered
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 (4-ounce) chicken drumsticks, skinned
  • 6 (4-ounce) chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 299
  • caloriesfromfat 29 %
  • fat 9.6 g
  • satfat 4 g
  • monofat 2.2 g
  • polyfat 1.8 g
  • protein 41.2 g
  • carbohydrate 11 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • cholesterol 159 mg
  • iron 3.3 mg
  • sodium 871 mg
  • calcium 65 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place first 10 ingredients in a food processor; process until minced, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ginger mixture; sauté 2 minutes. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes on each side. Add broth, coconut milk, and sugar, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is done.

  3. Remove pan from heat. Remove chicken from pan, reserving liquid in pan; cool chicken slightly. Remove the meat from bones, and discard bones. Place pan over medium heat. Stir in chicken and lime juice; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.