RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small batch spice blends and recipes that utilize them.
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The Cost: $6 per month
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The Products: 3 freshly ground spice blends from one country or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people.
Ships to: US (with free shipping) and Canada (for an additional fee).
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Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This shipment spotlights Cambodian spices.
This month’s featured spices are: Kroeung Spices, Sambal Oelek, and Kaffir Lime Powder.
Kroeung Spices - 0.4 oz.
This spice blend is a mix of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime powder, black peppercorns, shallots, garlic, fennel, and turmeric.
From RawSpiceBar: “Kroeung, in Khmer, refers to a family of Cambodian aromatic pastes. This particular spice blend is subtly flavored and perfect for creating a paste for a yellow curry.”
Sambal Oelek - 0.4 oz.
RawSpiceBar’s Parsi Garam Masala is a combination of freshly ground chile peppers, cayenne pepper, palm sugar, and paprika.
Sambal Oelek spices were also featured in the Malaysian spice box from last October.
Kaffir Lime Powder - 0.2 oz.
October’s Malaysian box also contained a Kaffir lime-based spice blend, so this shipment feels a tad repetitive. Even though I’m sure Malaysian and Cambodian cuisines use a lot of the same spices, I would have appreciated a bit more variety.
This month, RawSpiceBar included the following recipes: Sambal Oelek Paste, Cambodian Fish Amok, and Mini Kaffir Lime Tarts.
I began by making the Sambal Oelek Paste, since I would need to incorporate it into the curry.
This recipe was quick and familiar- it’s the same one that was included back in October.
After the Sambal Oelek paste was ready, I started on the Cambodian Fish Amok.
I used the provided Kroeung spices, garlic, ginger, shallot, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor and processed them to form a paste. The mixture was very thick, so I added a little olive oil.
I transferred the paste into a pan and added a bit more oil. I cooked the paste, stirring regularly, for about 3 minutes. I then stirred in coconut milk, some of the Sambal Oelek, sugar, and salt and brought the mixture to a simmer.
The recipe recommended serving the curry over rice, so I put some on to cook while I finished the curry.
I added strips of white fish (I used mahi mahi) and some spinach, and then I covered the pot for a few minutes to let the fish cook. As soon as the fish was cooked through and the spinach was wilted, I stirred in an egg.
I served the curry over rice that I seasoned with curry leaf and black pepper, and I thought it was really tasty. I did end up adding quite a lot of the Sambal Oelek paste to my dish, though, as I thought it needed the punch of extra flavor.
To complete the meal, I made the Kaffir lime tart for dessert. The recipe was very similar to the one I use for key lime pie (minus the cream cheese), and it came together very quickly. Instead of making mini tarts, though, I decided to make a large one.
I’m pleased with how the tart came out. To me, it tasted like a cross between key lime pie and lime cheesecake. Not a bad combination at all! I will say, though, that I’m not sure how authentic this recipe is. It feels more southern US than Cambodian to me, but I could be wrong.
Verdict: I really enjoyed this month’s RawSpiceBar spices and recipes. The curry was a hit, and I liked the lime tart. I’m a little disappointed that two of this month’s spices were a little repetitive, but it didn’t put a damper on the meal by any means. I think RawSpiceBar is a really fun way to explore new spices and exotic cuisines, and they consistently send fresh and high quality spice blends. That said, it’s important to note that they have a history of sending flawed recipes, so I would recommend it only for experienced cooks who are confident enough to spot mistakes and go “off recipe” when required.
What do you think about RawSpiceBar's Cambodian Spice Box?