Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

All About the Dinner: How Everything Turned Out

Last night's 'Swimming to Cambodia' Dinner & a Movie was a tasty success and lots of fun. Two of my son Will's friends, Patricia and Jordan were able to join us, which brought a certain youthful levity to the event.

We began the meal with Fresh Rice Paper Spring Rolls filled with shrimp, cucumber, carrot, cabbage, and mint with lemongrass-ginger dipping sauce, Cambodian Fish Cakes, and a medley of crunchy, homemade pickles. The fish cakes could have used a little salt, but the appetizer course was light and lovely and got our dinner off to an auspicious start.

The Lemongrass Soup with Chicken and Rice was an unexpected treat: Light and lemony, perfectly seasoned, not too filling. We followed with the Mango Salad, which consisted of lightly spicy mango salsa with red and green bell peppers and a hint of jalapeno peppers, marinated in lime juice and served over a bed of ginger cole slaw: a wonderful palate cleanser for the main course.

I got a little carried away with the main dishes. I made Carmelized Shrimp, Tilapia Fish in Coconut Sauce, Grilled Pork Short Ribs, Ginger Chicken Drumsticks, and Coconut Chicken Skewers. They were all really tasty, some more than others, especially the chicken, fish and the shrimp dishes.

But best of all was the dessert: Coconut Pudding with Fresh Fruit. The mangoes were perfectly ripe, as were the strawberries and oranges, and the coconut pudding was absolutely luscious, with more than one request for seconds. Definitely one of the best dinners so far. Check back in a day or so for the recipes and photos.