Cambodian cuisine

Food habits in Cambodia also have many similarities with those from Asia but still have many distinctive and unique features. The people here also use non-glutinous rice as the main food, fish is also used more than meat. Banh Tet or a little cake is also a typical dish when Tet comes to the spring of the people here, in addition to any food that every house has - Mam Bo Lo is a dish that is reserved to eat all year round.

Cambodia is located quite close to Vietnam, so the ingredients in the meals are somewhat similar. They also eat rice, pasta, or dishes like fish meat, and tropical fruit desserts. But why does Cambodian cuisine still have such features? This is thanks to the cooking of the Cambodian people. The cooking secrets of Cambodians are hardly shared in the cookbooks, mainly by mothers teaching their daughters and passing them on to the next generation. Therefore, the dishes here still retain the traditional taste but mixed with a bit of modernity, in harmony with the taste of today.

How to mix Cambodian spices

It can be said that spices are one of the very important factors that perfect the flavor of Cambodian dishes. And Cambodian spice blending can be considered artistic.

Spices used in dishes are often made with many ingredients, bringing mixed flavors of many flavors but are very attractive. They often use ingredients such as cloves, cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and turmeric. In addition, for their unique dishes, they can add some of the ingredients such as galangal, garlic, chives, lemons, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaves. The taste of this spice mix is delicious but extremely difficult to recreate without the recipe. Kroeung is what Cambodians call these mixes.

Rice is the main ingredient in every Cambodian meal

The food of Cambodian people is mainly rice, they will eat rice at the main meal every day. Also, dishes like curry, french fries, soup are popular dishes served with rice. In addition, sticky rice is also used to make durian sticky rice that is considered as a dessert - or lam rice - a dish used when traveling or when making fields without time to cook.

Rice and curry - the simplest combination

When enjoying the dishes of Cambodian cuisine, visitors will see a fatty and sweet taste - these are inherited features of famous Sichuan - Chinese cuisine. In addition to the sweet and fatty taste, visitors will also find spicy dishes - a feature of Indian cuisine. But the traditional dishes of Cambodia are not inferior which shows visitors a very specific taste of Cambodia, a taste that can only be understood through enjoyment.

Cambodian cuisine is distinguished by the types of fish sauce

Certainly, tourists also hear many suggestions when traveling to Cambodia, they definitely cannot help buying fish sauce which is another prominent feature of Cambodian cuisine. Cambodia has two of the most famous types of fish sauce: pra-hok (beef sauce) and Kapi (sauce). For those who have never tried it, they may find it difficult to eat but once you eat it, visitors will be addicted to this taste.

Ingredients of Cambodian meals

Cambodians will cook a meal consisting of rice and three main courses. Besides, there is also a soup to eat. The other three main courses will have different flavors like spicy, bitter, sweet, sour, ... All three main dishes can balance the taste for yourself. Fresh chili peppers are indispensable in meals and they usually leaf apart and people will use them according to their spicy taste.

Cambodians love to eat insects, that is why dishes such as crickets, grasshoppers, ants, spiders ... are very popular with them, especially men during drinking parties.

A lot of foreign tourists would not dare to try these at first, but once they got over their fears and tried a little, they even got their favorites. The reason is that the insects after being processed have a very rich, greasy taste.

cambodia cuisine


The most popular rural drink is jaggery - a drink that is easily found in most regions. The delicious juice is taken directly from the palm tree, which is taken by people with their tricks.

Coffee is also chosen as a favorite drink by people. The Cambodian coffee has its private feature, for example, black coffee is light and iced coffee is made with fresh milk (not condensed milk).

The popular Cambodian wine is palm wine (jaggery - sour), a light wine favored by people to become "specialty wine".

Famous dishes

Bai Sach chrouk - pork rice - Thinly sliced pork is grilled over embers. Sometimes, people marinate pork with coconut milk or garlic, giving bai sach chrouk a variety of flavors in different regions. Comes with grilled pork are broken rice, cucumber and radish, ginger, and a bowl of broth with fresh onions and non-fragrant dried onions.

Fish Amok - The fish is sauced with coconut milk, kroeung, a Khmer curry powder made from lemongrass, saffron, garlic, onion, and ginger.

Khmer red curry - Khmer Rouge curry takes the main flavor of coconut milk, without chili powder. Meats used are beef, fish, chicken with eggplant, cowpea, potato, fresh coconut water, lemongrass, and kroeung. Khmer red curry served with bread.

Lap Khmer - Khmer beef salad with lemon juice: consists of thin slices of beef that are topless or tossed with lemon juice. Mix with lemongrass, onion, garlic, fish sauce, basil, mint, cowpea, and fresh pepper, beef for sweet, salty enough and add little spicy chili pieces.

Nom Banh Chok - Khmer noodles: includes rice noodles, green curry with fish, lemongrass, turmeric, and lemon. Fresh mint leaves, cowpea, banana powder, cucumber, and some other green vegetables are also served with nom banh chok.

Kdam chaa - fried crab: the specialty of Kep town, Cambodia. The famous crab market here is known for its fried crab dish with Kampot green pepper.

Red ants with beef, basil - Red ants are stirred evenly on a frying pan with ginger, lemongrass, garlic, basil, turmeric, and sliced beef. The flavor of this dish is richer when you add more chili. Red ants can be eaten with rice.

Ang dtray meuk - grilled squid: Squid is soaked in lemon juice or fish sauce, then skewered into a bamboo stick before baking. Squid dish served with soy sauce with Kampot pepper, garlic, chili, lemon, and sugar.

Cha houy teuk - jelly tea: Cha houy teuk is rich in flavors, ranging from red beans, taro, pumpkin, and jackfruit. All indispensable coconut milk.

Fish fry - Fried fish with curry coconut milk sauce, yellow kroeung, and chili is placed on a large, fish-shaped plate. Vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage are cooked with curry. This fried fish dish is eaten with rice or noodles.

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