Cambodia is famous for its long history and awe-inspiring architecture. Your Indochina tour will not be complete without paying a visit to Cambodia and admire its beautiful sceneries as well as the delicious food this Southeast Asian country has to offer. Here are the top 10 dishes that you can find on the streets of Cambodia that will leave you drooling or at least curious to try once!
5 Most Popular Street Foods in Cambodia
Bai Sach Chrouk | Grilled Pork Rice
Every morning in the capital city of Phnom Penh, you can see locals flocking to nearby restaurants and roadside diners to order a hefty serving of Bai Sach Chrouk to start a day with a full stomach. This dish is relatively simple, but the taste is heavenly. The key ingredient of this dish is definitely the grilled pork. Pork is cut into tender slices before being marinated with coconut milk or garlic to create a rich flavor that makes your stomach growl from afar. The thin and well-seasoned slices of pork are then grilled over charcoal fire to create an authentic taste to go with plain rice. You can add some cucumber slices and chili sauce for a fiery kick.
Fish Amok is a classic Cambodian dish and almost everyone has a family recipe for it. Normally, fish is cooked with jaggery, coconut juice, prohok sauce, eggs, and some local herbs. Fish used for this dish are usually catfish or snakehead fish. After being seasoned, the fish is wrapped with banana leaves and steamed for a long time. Once cooked, the fish is sprinkled with a layer of sauce which is a mixture of fish sauce, sugar and eggs. You can try many kinds of Amok like Fish Amok or Chicken Amok.
Ingredients for Chicken Amok include chicken breast, a whole coconut, and special spices only found in a typical Cambodian kitchen. For Cambodian people, Chicken Amok is great for a get-together with a lot of drinking, but to eat with rice is also a great option. This dish is usually served in a coconut. When enjoying this dish, you have to eat slowly to feel the perfect combination of juicy chicken and sweet coconut melts in the mouth.
Nom Banh Chok | Fermented Rice Noodles
Nom Banh Chok is the quintessential dish of Cambodian cuisine that is very famous among locals and tourists alike. They are made from delicious rice and chanterelle with curry fish sauce, lemongrass, lemon leaves, and turmeric. Nom Banh Chok is usually served with raw vegetables, bean sprouts, cucumber, and spicy chutney. For an authentic taste of this famous dish, you can stop by the Russian Market while you are in Phnom Penh.
Cambodian Grilled Food
For Cambodians, the grill is a very common way to prepare food. When coming to Cambodia, you will notice that almost every roadside diner has a flaming charcoal stove near the entrance. Grilled dishes are also rich in variety, ranging from delicious seafood to all kinds of nutritious meat. Cambodian also grilled some kinds of water bugs which you should try in order to get a taste of strange local specialties. If you have an Indochina tour in the wet season, don’t miss out on this Cambodian grilled goodness!
Cambodian sausages have a sweet taste that sets it apart from other countries’ sausages. The secret is that Cambodian people use palm sugar to add a fatty taste to the dish. You can find this flavorful treat in street vendors or any random food markets in Cambodia. Cambodian sausages and beer will make a wonderful combination for a hot day strolling around the streets of Cambodia. Buy a skewer or try a small cut to taste the difference!
5 Recommended Street Food in Cambodia
Cambodia oyster is called Ngeav chamhoy. This wonderful Cambodia street food is one of the most favorite dishes of people in the capital city. If you are a tourist in Phnom Penh, you have to try this dish to make your trip worthwhile. Ngeav is the Khmer language for blood cockle which has meat as red as human blood. Cambodian people use lemon leaves, ginger, pepper and citronella to season the oysters and create an aromatic smell for this dish. The food is richer when served with chili sauce and some beer.
This is definitely not a dish for the squeamish. Insects are probably the food that many international visitors fear most when coming to Cambodia. However, this delicious and nutritious food is loved by the people of this country. Insects like ants, spiders, scorpions, stalks, bugs are processed into dishes full of nutrients. If you can get over your fear, this will be a very fun experience for you. One of the most loved insect dishes is the Skuon spider. At the Phsar Leu Market, you can catch the vendors strolling around with a tray full of crispy spiders. The spicy and crispy spiders are roasted on the outside but have a rich flavor and feel foamy soft inside, creating a very strange texture to the dish.
Snails with Coke
You have to try Cambodian stirred snails if you have the chance to visit this Southeast Asian country. Cambodians are not the only people that eat snails; however, what makes this street food so special is one of its ingredients – coke. In Cambodia, this dish is such a staple and simple to the point that even children can help their parents during the cooking process. All you have to do is boil the snails, stir the mixture of onions, gingers, citronella, and chili before adding the snails and coke to the mix to create a one-of-a-kind dish.
Mi char | Stirred Noodles
Mir char is a kind of stirred noodles that are very popular throughout Cambodia. The plain noodles are combined with other ingredients to create a dish that is both delicious and convenient. This dish comes in a variety of forms such as rice noodles, egg noodles, and even instant noodles. First of all, fish sauce is added to the noodles and stirred for a while before adding other ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and eggs. You can also add some chili sauce for a punch of flavor as you wish. This dish is available in all hours and can be seen in most street vendors and traditional markets.
Num Sang Khya L‘peou | Pumpkin Custard
The name may be hard to remember, but once you tried this dish, the memory of its taste will stay with you forever. The recipe for this dish is fairly simple. After removing all of the seeds inside a pumpkin, people will fill the hollow part with egg whites, whiskey, and coconut milk. After that, the whole thing will be steamed for about 30 minutes. When done, the pumpkin will be cut into manageable slices for people to enjoy. You will be amazed at the extremely eye-catching colors of this dish, the sweet and spicy taste of the eggs, and the richness of the pumpkins as well as the sweet flavor of coconut milk.