More and more tourists are flocking to Cambodia to experience its richness in culture, people and food. But for those of you who are still contemplating a trip to the Kingdom of Wonder, we have put together a list of Cambodia’s most famous four foods to get your mouth watering.
Fish Amok is undoubtedly one of the most famous dishes in Cambodian cuisine. You will see it sold in most Cambodian restaurants in and outside the country. You might be forgiven for thinking Fish Amok is a similar looking meal as you might get in neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam, however, the Cambodian version has one unique ingredient. It is called slok ngor, and it is a locally grown herb that has a unique, slightly bitter flavour that adds a certain piquancy to your palette.
Fish Amok is made from kroeung which is a Cambodian curry paste made from garlic, shallots, lemongrass, fresh turmeric root and ginger. The paste is added to coconut milk and then steamed in a banana leaf with the fish fillet.
Fish amok is one of the most well-known Cambodian dishes, but you’ll find similar meals in neighbouring countries.
Khmer Red Curry
As deceptive as it is delicious, the Khmer red curry looks like it packs the punch of a Thai red curry. However, the Khmer red curry gets its deep red colour from the mkak seed rather than fiery, sometimes overpowering chillies you will find in other nations curries.
This Cambodian signature dish is cooked with beef, fish or chicken and an accompaniment of vegetables, most usually potatoes, long beans and aubergine. This is all cooked together with kroeung paste, ground mkak seed and fresh coconut milk. Once cooked for several hours it is served with rice or baguette, a yummy reminder of the French influence from Cambodia’s colonial days. Once tasted it is never forgotten and will have you coming back for more and more!
Cambodian people like to cook the dish for special occasions and national holidays where they can share the curry with the local monks and use it as offerings at their local temple.
Pork and Rice
As humble as it sounds, any trip to Cambodia would not be complete without trying this delicious traditional Khmer breakfast.
Served everywhere in Cambodia in the mornings is what the Cambodians call, bai sach chrouk. A simple but perfect way to start the day and also an easy dish to recreate when you are back at home!
Garlic and oyster sauce marinated pork is sliced thinly and barbecued over hot coals. The pork is then served with steamed jasmine rice and a variety of accomplishments that will mean you will never eat two rice and pork that are the same! The side options include pickled baby cucumbers, pickled ginger and radish or fried duck eggs.
Pork and rice will often be served with a bowl of soup, a stock of chicken or pork with chopped herbs and fried onions.
Lime Marinated Beef Salad
Cambodian people love salad and the jewel in the crown has got to be the lime marinated beef salad or lap Khmer in Cambodian! The beef is seared quickly or marinated in lime juice and served in a cerviche style.
The sumptuous beef rests on a bed of shallots, lemongrass, sliced garlic, Asian basil, mint, green beans and bell pepper dressed in fish sauce and chopped chilli for an extra kick!
The salad is refreshing, aromatic and spicy and is often served with more beef than salad!