The traditional Cambodian cuisine circles around rice, noodles, meat, and fish preparations. The indigenous Khmer people have successfully infused edible flowers, vegetables, fruits to their cuisine for an excellent and outstanding taste. Take a look at the following list of some authentic Cambodian foods to know more about them.
1. Amok Trey – A traditional Cambodian food
What is it: Steamed fish fillets enfolded with banana leaves. Traditionally served up with rice, this is a common delicacy to be observed during the local Water Festival (New Year’s celebration).
What does it taste like: The savory taste of this steamed preparation is enhanced by coconut milk, peanuts, eggs, and a traditional spicy mix known as Kroeung.
2. Yao Hon – A hot pot variation
What is it: Vegetables, rice noodles, and sauces are cooked in a rich broth of coconut. This is also known as “Khmer Hot Pot”.
What does it taste like: This flavorsome preparation is a must if you are a lover of stew. Take a sip of this warm gravy and crumble away the well-cooked vegetables, meat, rice noodles, and mushrooms.
3. Cha Kh’nhei – The crispy chicken and ginger stir-fry
What is it: Fried chicken seasoned with paprika and sauce. This item, just like most of their side dishes, is too served with rice.
What does it taste like: The combined flavor of ginger and chicken is enthralling. Sometimes, for variations, local people replace the chicken with frog legs and eels.
4. Beef Lok Lak – A popular local dish
What is it: A beef preparation using spices and sauces. You may also try the local variation known as Lok lak Americain where the platter is garnished with eggs and chips instead of rice.
What does it taste like: Traditionally the cooked beef cubes are immersed in a tangy sauce with tinges of lime juice and go well with a bowl of rice. You will relish the taste of oyster sauce, garlic, soy sauce along with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers.
5. Kuy Teav – A delicious street food
What is it: Besides being a famous street item, this warm noodle soup is often enjoyed at breakfast as well. There are two variations regarding the serving, in one way ingredients and soups are served separately, and in another way they are served together in the same bowl. Usage of ingredients also varies from place to place, if you go in Phnom Penh then you will find this soup enriched with pig blood, pork belly, roasted ducks and so on.
What does it taste like: The deliciousness of this noodle soup depends on shrimps, pork loafs, scallions and lettuce leaves.
6. Bok L’hong – A typical salad preparation
What is it: A salad using unripe papaya, beans, shrimps, carrots, tomatoes, and sauces.
What does it taste like: Also known as spicy papaya salad, this preparation offers rich flavors of fish sauce and lime juice along with roasted peanuts. Try this with grilled chicken, fresh noodles or sticky rice for an exotic taste.
7. Babaw – A rice porridge
What is it: A rice porridge preparation using either chicken or pork and sometimes shrimp. Native people often prepare this item for their lunch.
What does it taste like: You will simply love the zesty flavors of the porridge. However, if your taste buds are in search for some variations of babaw, then check out the local restaurants where you can customize the dish with pork blood and fish instead of meat.
8. Sach Krok – Their famous sausage delicacy
What is it: Pork sausages in a fine integrity with spices and sauces.
What does it taste like: Breathtaking and jaw-dropping, you are going to get hooked on the flavor of these sausages. Dip them in a spicy sauce and enjoy the taste!
9. Kdam Chaa – An authentic seafood platter
What is it: A crab preparation with lots of spices. If you wish to know the real culinary culture of coastal areas like Kampot and Kep, give this preparation a go.
What does it taste like: The rich and spicy taste of this preparation is boosted with the traditional usage of green peppercorns, scallions, and sauces.
10. Num Ansom Chek – A Khmer festival delicacy
What is it: A rice cake with a banana filling.
What does it taste like: It is soft, sweet and comes in banana wraps. Once you have a bite, you will get the distinct flavors of red mung bean, sugar, and coconut milk.
11. Nom Pao – The Cambodian snack
What is it: A steamed meaty bun filled with eggs, Chinese sausages, and onions. Stands out from its Chinese version in terms of ingredients, you are likely to find these dumpling alike snacks around the streets of Cambodia.
What does it taste like: The pork buns are soft, tasty and appetizing with a prominent taste of pork and eggs.
12. Somlar Kari Saek Mouan – A chicken preparation
What is it: Alternatively known as Khmer red chicken curry, this is a chicken preparation.
What does it taste like: This dish comes up with an amazing flavor of chicken that is well complemented by coconuts, eggplants, and Kroeung paste. Enjoy the gravy with pieces of bread or noodles.
13. Num Plae Ai – A delectable dessert
What is it: Beautiful rice balls originally believed to have been made by a woman who fed her husband who cheated on her. While swallowing the outer part, he choked and died. Hence, it is locally known as “Kill Husband Cake.”
What does it taste like: Sweet is the only adjective that is perfect for this particular item since it is made of rice flour, palm jaggery, and coconuts. The exterior coating is rubbery while the interior is as soft as possible.
14. Gỏi Sầu Đâu – A salad mix
What is it: A blend of pork belly, sadao flowers, fishes, and cucumbers. While looking for the authentic Cambodian meal, an inclusion of this salad besides your main course is a must.
What does it taste like: A flavorful salad preparation tastes so good when you add tamarind sauce to it. The bitter taste of the flowers is well balanced by the taste of grilled fishes.
Apart from their own authentic dishes, Cambodian people have constantly been picking up influences from Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines. You will be flabbergasted to experience the wide range of delicious dishes. So, what are you waiting for? Go on and discover many more dishes off the list.