One of the activities offered at Song Saa is a Khmer cooking class. Having enjoyed several delicious Cambodian dishes at the resort, I decided to sign up. The setting, a small shed in the chef’s garden, was markedly less elegant than some cooking schools, but once we started with chef Sophat Hing, our modest surroundings were soon forgotten. Moving at a brisk pace — but giving all the chance to participate — the chef showed us in great detail how to make three of the dishes we had liked most in his dining room. Prep times were minimal; the results were exceptional. We began with a simple salad of julienned green mango, carrots, red and yellow peppers, tomato, basil, mint and roasted peanuts, with a superb spicy dressing. Two classic main courses followed: beef lok lak, sliced beef in a flavorful marinade and a garnish of sliced tomatoes and red onion with a black peppercorn dressing; and a Khmer classic, pepper prawns. Both were standouts, but the beef lok lak was one of the best Southeast Asian dishes I’ve ever tasted. To read about my experience making it at home for a dinner party, watch the Andrew Harper blog.