Cambodian or Khmer cuisine is something we did not know much about before our trip to Cambodia. Cambodian food is generally over shadowed by neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover the unique dishes and amazing flavours of the Cambodian dishes. We really enjoyed eating our way through all the delights this country had to offer.
Here are our 10 must try Cambodian dishes to try when you visit Cambodia:
Fish Amok is probably one of the most popular Khmer dish and one of our favourites. This dish consists of a rich and creamy curry sauce with flavours of lemongrass, ginger, turmeric and coconut milk. The diced fish is cooked in the curry. It is so tender it melts in your mouth. This dish is traditionally cooked by steaming it in a folded banana leaf. which it is then served in.
A popular street food dish, kuy teav is a common breakfast food. Kuy teav aka noodle soup made from beef or pork bones. Vermicelli noodles are added to the delicious broth and topped with fried shallots, bean sprouts, spring onion, garlic and herbs. The dish is served with a side of lime and chilli paste to add an extra kick.
Beef Loc Lac
Loc lak is a traditional Khmer stirfry made using thin slices of tender pork or beef cooked in a soy based sauce. The meat is then served with rice and a salad. Often a fried egg is placed on top.
Khmer Red Curry
As the name suggests this Khmer curry is red in colour, but not as spicy as their neighbours Thai red curry. This curry has a coconut milk base and served with meat and vegetables. In Cambodia is common for curry to be served with bread.
Nom Banh Chok
AKA Khmer noodles, this popular Cambodian dish is commonly eaten for breakfast. Nom banh chok consists of thin rice noodles cooked in a green fish sauce, bean sprouts, banana flowers and cucumbers. It is really delicious and we recommend trying it when in Cambodia.
This is a traditional fish based Cambodian soup. This one pot dish consists of fish mixed with a fermented fish sauce called prohok. Lots of vegetables are then added to the pot along with boiling water.
Bai Sach Chrouk
Grilled pork marinated in coconut milk and garlic, what is not to love! This is a common street food dish and you can find it on nearly every street corner. Commonly served with broken rice and fresh vegetables.
Banana Blossom Salad
This salad is commonly found in most restaurants all around Cambodia. It is a delicious light meal. Banana blossom is stir-fried and garlic, lemongrass and shallots are added. The meal is served with a wedge of lime to add a citrusy taste.
Lap Khmer is a delicious beef salad. Thin slices of beef are marinated in lime juice and cooked with shallots, fish sauce, peppers, garlic, basil, mint and chilli. Lap Khmer is usually served with fresh vegetables.
Another favourite dish of ours was Kaw. This dish consists braised chicken or pork topped with an egg. It is served with a sauce made from fish sauce, caramelised palm sugar and pepper.
If you are only visiting Cambodia for a few days you may not have time to try all of our suggestions. Local food tours are a great opportunity to sample lots of local dishes in a short period of time.
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Let us know in the comments below your favourite Cambodian dishes.