Corn on the Cob with Grey Onion Sauce

Cambodian Corn Vendor

There isn’t a nation in the world that doesn’t sell corn-on-the-cob as street food and Cambodia is no exception. I have seen people barbecuing corn streetside in all the Cambodian provinces to which I have toured. This particular corn-griller was fired up in Hun Sen Park, but frankly, Phnom Penh is rife with them.

Cambodian Corn with Grey Sauce

What attracted me to this particular vendor was a curious pale grey sauce that she ladelled over the corn. As I am wont to pimp Cambodian culinary innovations, I bought one of the less dessicated looking cobs for a few hundred riel and asked for a dose of the grey stuff. I was hoping for prahok-flavour. The sauce had the consistency and flavour of warm dishwater after you had recently cleaned the plates from a meal that consisted solely of week old spring onions, chicken necks, and MSG. I now have a much deeper understanding of why this particular corn condiment hasn’t had the same global appeal as butter and ground pepper.

Addendum (18 April 2006): After a discussion with a workmate, the grey sauce is alleged to be coconut milk, salt, monosodium glutamate, spring onions, oil and fish sauce.

6 thoughts on “Corn on the Cob with Grey Onion Sauce”

  1. Great photos! It is always fascinating to learn about cooking/eating traditions in every country. I’ve been in Cambodia a few times, and although I would not try the nasty looking bugs that are sold along the roads, I still think it is fascinating. It is all about our likes and dislikes and about how adventurous we are in the kitchen and in life. Of course there are limits, in my case…those ugly looking bugs :)

  2. Opinions and fish.-Possessing opinions is like possessing fish, assuming one has a fish pond. One has to go fishing and needs some luck- then one has one`s own fish, one`s own opinions. I am speaking of live opinions, of live fish.

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