Bayon Curry Chicken

Many years ago, Dave Mackmiller spent an afternoon at the Bayon learning how to make Cambodian Curry Chicken. Kim let him watch and take notes while her husband Boon told him where to find ingredients. This is the result. Since the Bayon (later known as Kim Fug) has been closed since 1996, we decided we should make the recipe available to others who might be suffering from Curry Chicken Withdrawal.

Note that (as with most recipes) there’s plenty of leeway on the amounts of the ingredients.

Curry Chicken Sauce

Makes enough for 12-15 servings

Place in blender, add water to top of ingredients. Puree. (A food processor might be easier here.) From this point on, Kim was measuring the dry ingredients with a large table spoon, taking heaping spoonfuls.

Place curry powder in small saucepan and roast over medium heat for about two minutes.

In a large heavy pot, cook pepper in oil for two minutes, add spices from blender and roasted curry powder. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add:

Simmer a few minutes. At this point the sauce can be refrigerated for up to three days. This is the magical ooze. Freezing doesn’t seem to have any ill effect on it.

Making the Curry Chicken

Quantities are per-person.

The Bayon deep fries the above ingredients (except the bamboo) for about a minute. Instead, I’d recommend quickly stir frying each of them separately over very high heat.

Place cooked ingredients in saucepan. Add sauce almost to top. At this point a little more water and coconut milk can be added. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about ½ hour, or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Serve over rice.


You can decrease the salt if you increase the sugar. Also the amount of fish sauce can be increased, to taste.

Kachai is a root that looks like a hand with 15-20 fingers, and is also known as Fingerroot or Boesenbergia pandurata. You may also hear it called lesser galangal, but I’m pretty sure that’s another root, Kaempferia galanga. You can get them frozen at Shuang Hur Foods, 2710 Nicollet S. in Minneapolis.

If you can’t find frozen kachai, you can substitute ¾ cup fresh chopped galangal and a tablespoon of powdered kachai.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:08:04.