Pork is a common meat in Cambodia
Cambodia: 9 dishes to try
Until our last trip to Cambodia, the typical cuisine was never quite on our agenda. We knew very few dishes and were therefore extremely pleasantly surprised at what the food in Cambodia has to offer.
Delicious dishes not to be missed in Cambodia
From curries to meat dishes to grilled meats, there is a wide variety of choices when it comes to dining in Cambodia. Our highlights the Cambodian cuisine that we discovered on our trip, we will introduce you in this article.
Amok is a traditional Cambodian dish and is often called a National dish designated. It is a fish curry that also contains coconut cream or coconut milk. The fish is steamed and an egg is added to the coconut cream, which is whisked in it.
Another main ingredient is the so-called Kroeung. A special paste for seasoning, the various spices such as turmeric, galangal, tamarind, lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves and the local Slok Ngor which sometimes gives the dish a very slight bitter note.
Most of the time, amok, at least when it is thicker, goes into one Banana leaf served. Sometimes, however, also in normal plates, as can be seen here. Rice is of course served with it.
After Amok, Lok Lak is the next popular national dish in Cambodia. This is a very simple dish, which is mostly prepared with beef. Beef Lok Lak is served all over the country and you should definitely try it on a Cambodia trip.
Lok Lak basically consists of strips of meat (mostly beef, but there are also pork) that are seared in a spicy sauce and refined with typical Asian sauces (fish sauce, soy sauce, etc.). After that, the meat is put on lettuce leaves and onions. Lok Lak is served with a portion of rice and usually a fried egg.
By the way, if you want to cook Lok Lak once, you will find a great recipe here.
The dish Lort Cha is one of the most popular foods at Street kitchens and we also tried it on the street in front of the royal palace in Phnom Penh. It is fried in the pan with simple ingredients.
The main ingredient is the thick, short rice noodles. There are also bean sprouts, Chinese cabbage and a little leek. Then it is mixed in a thick, red, sweet and spicy sauce before it is served.
In addition, there is usually a fried egg on top. Beef is often offered as meat, but you can also find other types such as pork or chicken. A very simple, quick but of course also delicious dish.
Larb is not only found in Thailand, but also in Laos and Cambodia. The recipe is very similar, but also has its peculiarities.
The Cambodian variant of Larb is usually a little drier than the Thai one. Nuts are also used in the preparation. Otherwise it's pretty much the same. Minced meat, red onions, chillies, and roasted rice. What we noticed is that the Larb Khmer variant is a bit more acidic and is therefore apparently made with more lime juice.
But if you've already enjoyed Larb in Thailand or Laos, then you should definitely try the dish in Cambodia!
Bai Sach Chrouk
Bai Sach Chrouk is a popular one Breakfast dish on the streets of Cambodia. It is very easy to prepare, so it can be served quickly. So you don't have to wait long for the food.
The dish is basically pork on rice. However, the meat is marinated with garlic and coconut and then grilled, which gives it its unique and absolutely delicious taste.
Bai Sach Chrouk is served on broken rice and served with a sauce made from fish sauce, cucumber, carrots and onions. Most of the time, you can only find Bai Sach Chrouk in the early morning. It's best to try it together with one Cambodian iced coffee. A great refreshment for the day, albeit a bit hearty.
Num Pang is that Cambodian sandwich, similar to the Banh Mi from Vietnam, and was also introduced by the French during colonial times. You can find it very cheap in many places in Cambodia.
We are already huge fans of Banh Mi in Vietnam and Num Pang in Cambodia was also able to convince us. The sandwich is prepared in a baguette bread and filled with a pate and various types of pork. At the end, add chives, carrots, cucumber or even something that is reminiscent of coleslaw. Sometimes you can also add a spicy, hot sauce.
Absolutely delicious and on our program almost every day in Cambodia. Whether in between meals or as a whole meal - Num Pang always works!
Ang Dtray-Meuk's grilled squid skewers are also very popular, especially in the evening. You will find a particularly large number of the stands in the towns Kep or Sihanoukvillewhere the locals get the fresh squid straight from the sea.
Ang Dtray-Meuk skewers are usually rubbed with fish sauce and / or lime juice before grilling. By the way, they are served with a special Cambodian sauce that glows a little red. This is made from garlic, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and fresh chillies. A delicious snack for in between.
The Khmer Red Curry looks very spicy at first glance, but that is deceptive. It's definitely milder than the curries in Thailand.
The red curry is made with a special paste and coconut milk. This will contain your meat of choice (beef, chicken, fish) as well as green, long beans, Asian eggplants and potatoes.
The Red Khmer Curry is served with either rice or baguette bread. Both complement the curry wonderfully. By the way, Cambodians like to eat the dish on special occasions like weddings or family celebrations, but you can also order it in many restaurants in the country.
this is the Cambodian noodle soup, one of the most popular breakfast dishes in the country alongside Bai Sach Chrouk. It is of course similar to other Asian noodle soups, but the closest we think it is Vietnamese Pho. The Kuy Teav is very easy to prepare in Cambodia.
The soup usually contains the following ingredients: pasta, meat of your choice (usually beef), a lettuce leaf, bean sprouts and vegetables such as celery. For seasoning you get pickled chillies in vinegar and chilli paste.
Incidentally, Cambodians do not like to prepare the Kuy Teav themselves at home, but go to the street kitchens in the morning to eat this popular dish. The cost is around 4000-6000 riels per soup, depending on the location.
Have you ever eaten Cambodian? Which dish looks the most interesting for you or does it definitely belong on this list for you? We look forward to your comment!
Photos: Photo 7 (Ang Dtray-Meuk): Ankur P / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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Hi, I'm Tobi, a freelancer in the field of translations and copywriting, but above all a passionate travel blogger. I prefer to be in Southeast Asia and work online from all kinds of places. If you want to know what I'm doing or where I am, then it's best to follow me on Twitter, Instagram or check out Facebook.
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