Snuggled up between Thailand and Vietnam, two powerhouses of Asian cuisine, a lot of people overlook the food of Cambodia. Cambodia shares a lot of culinary elements with it’s two main neighbours, but it has adapted them and combined them in unique ways.
Many of the dishes of Cambodia are similar to those from Thailand, however Cambodia cuisine uses less spice, chili and coconut milk. And Cambodia has retained the baguette from it’s colonial past in the same way that neighbouring Vietnam has.
The following five dishes are all worth a try during your holiday in Cambodia.
Fish Amok is probably Cambodia’s most well known and popular dish. It consists of a freshwater fish fillet, covered with herbs and spices, coconut milk and egg before being wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. Neighbouring countries all have similar dishes, but the Cambodian version is much less spicy.
Khmer Red Curry
Khmer Red Curry is a signature dish that is often made during special occasions. The curry combines a meat, usually beef, chicken or fish, with eggplant, green beans, potatoes and cooked with coconut milk, lemongrass and kroeung – a type of Cambodian curry paste. This curry is a lot milder than it’s Thai counterparts and is full of flavour.
Khmer noodles is a typical breakfast food and can be found pretty much everywhere. Restaurants. markets, street vendors – Khmer noodles are everywhere. These rice noodles are usually served with a mild fish based green curry with big flavours of keffir line and lemongrass.
This uniquely Cambodia desert is made from a local squash which is scooped out and filled with a mixture of egg, palm sugar, and coconut milk. It is then cooked and served with coconut milk and shaved ice. A delicious, and relatively healthy treat.
This is for the more adventurous travellers. You won’t find tarantula at your local Cambodian restaurant, but this unique treat is popular in some parts of Cambodia. Taking the plunge and trying tarantula has become popular with iron stomach travellers. The spiders are caught wild from the jungle and are served fried up and crispy. I was certainly not brave enough to eat spiders, but if you want to read more about this eight legged cuisine then I recommend the blogs from Time Travel Turtle and Dangerous Business.