Drop by Mission Pie next Monday October 19 between 5 and 9 pm for Cambodian food by Nite Yun and Nyum Bai
Nyum bai means “to eat rice”, but it is also an expression meaning “let’s eat!” or “did you eat?”, a common greeting heard upon entering a Khmer home. Owner Nite Yun, invites everyone to try the food she grew up eating. Born in a refugee camp after her parents escaped war-torn Cambodia they immigrated to California as refugees.
Growing up, her dad would play 60’s khmer rock n’ roll in the background while Nite cooked side by side with her mom in the kitchen where she learned how to cook traditional dishes. Nite made the ubiquitous kroeung paste with mortar and pestle, gutted fishes, extracted coconut milk from a coconut, and always enjoyed the smell of prahok! She has early memories of her mom tending the kabocha patch and waking up early to get seasonal produce at the farmers market to prepare dinner for the family. On weekend, her parents would have their friends over and play “dhong” a type of card game; vendors came by and sold fried chicken, egg rolls, fried banana that were in paper bags. Later on, Nite discovered Angel Cruz Park where it was an underground market where Cambodian community would come together and set up picnics. There they sold lemongrass beef, various khmer desserts, homemade sausages, and papaya salad. Nite was always surrounded by delicious Cambodian food, even though it was in California. Much later, when Nite moved to San Francisco for college- she longed for her mom’s cooking and to be part of a Cambodian community. She then traveled to Cambodia to learn about her ancestors, to figure out what she wanted to do in college, and of course- to eat. She was at a noodle stall in phnom penh when she discovered her passion of sharing the culture and cuisine (to people back home) in San Francisco where it lacks Cambodian food.
With the influence of her childhood, her parents, khmer rock n’ roll, having fun, community, and seasonal produce; she aims to introduce Cambodian food to the Bay Area.