While it makes us feel a little better to know that Cambodia isn’t really known for its cuisine, we also feel a little guilty. We didn’t really experience a huge variety of outstanding food in Cambodia. Half of the blame falls on us, because we didn’t get out of tourist areas much. The other half was that we actually had some difficulty finding good local food. Other than in areas directly adjacent to markets or inside the markets themselves, it seemed like most of the places we went had almost no street food (compared to Vietnam and Thailand where you are almost tripping over it). We know we missed a ton, and we’re not even sure whether everything below is uniquely Cambodian.
But what we did find was delicious.
So here’s a very small taste of Cambodia. You’ll need some utensils. They’re all ready for you, waiting in their hot water bath.
Donuts with a toffee-like crunchy glaze.
Mi Char – Short, worm shaped noodles rolled by hand, fried with sprouts and meat and greens, topped with a fried egg.
Sach Ko Chomkak – Marinated beef skewers grilled over hot coals, dipped in sweet chili sauce, served with a tangy green papaya and carrot salad. You’re charged by the number of skewers you order but the vegetables are all-you-can-eat and on the house. One of our favorites.
Bobor – Rice porridge, a typical breakfast food. This one has chicken, crispy fried garlic and a blood cube.
Grilled red snapper with tamarind sauce.
Nyoum Trayong Chaek – Banana blossom salad, really similar to the ones we ate in Thailand.
Kuy Teav Phnom Penh – a Phnom Penh specialty featuring meat, blood, liver, intestines and tongue. This particular one is of porcine origin.
Num Pa Chok Kari Sach Ko - Curry beef and noodles.
Khmer red curry with chicken, potato, pumpkin and vegetables.
Green curry with prawns, potato, onion and green beans. Those things that look like oversized peas are water lotus seeds.
Amok – A thick, turmeric-heavy yellow curry with vegetables, typically with fish but there’s always a meat or prawn option, topped with coconut cream…
…sometimes served in a banana leaf if you’re someplace fancy.
Our first pizza in five months. So what if it had corn and mayo on it.