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Cambodian Food: Top 20 Must-Try Dishes 2024

January 03, 2024 - 6489 views

Cambodia is not only famous for its temples, architecture, beaches, and mountains but is also well known for its delicious cuisine. Don't skip our list below if you're craving some authentic Khmer food. BestPrice will provide you with a collection of mouth-watering dishes and where to get them. Let's follow along!

cambodian food

  • Meat and seafood are the main ingredients served in different sauces, such as coconut milk, soy sauce, and fish sauce.
  • A spicery and herbal party can be found in many dishes, which bring out the aromatic flavor.
  • Some food is similar to or affected by the neighboring countries.
  • Insects and bugs can be good sources of ingredients.

About Cambodia Cuisine

Each nation has its specific cuisine, and so do the Cambodians. Some dishes are authentic, and some are influenced by other surrounding countries as the flow of history. However, all the combinations are unique.

The Khmer dishes look quite light and simple though some take a long time to complete, such as the handmade noodles and the broth. The common ingredients are rice, chicken, pork, seafood, frogs, snails, or even some edible insects. 

Locals tend to put lots of herbs combined with other spices, add fish sauce or soy sauce and use coconut milk as a base. Sweet, slightly spicy, and sour are what your taste buds will feel when trying Cambodian food.  

20 Best Cambodian Dishes

1. Bai Sach Chrouk (Pork and Rice)

Bai Sach Chrouk

Bai Sach Chrouk (Source: CNN)

The first Khmer food on the list is Bai Sach Chrouk, Cambodia's national breakfast. It's usually served in restaurants or food stalls in the market until 10:00 in the morning. 

The dish is a delectable combination of thinly sliced pork and steamed rice. The pork is marinated in the sauce with garlic, Kampot pepper, palm sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and coconut milk. The slowly barbecued meat brings out the taste of the whole dish.

Plus, Bai Sach Chrouk is also served with pickled vegetables such as cucumbers and carrots, giving it an appetizing appearance. 

Where to eat:

  • Samnang kitchen
    • Address: 155 Toul Tom Poung market, Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: the dish is available until 10:00
    • Price range: US$ 1-2 
  • Pork and Rice Man
    • Address: on the corner of Street 19 and Norodom Boulevard
    • Opening hours: from 17:30 
    • Price range: US$ 1-2 
  • Orussey market
    • Address: Oknha Tep Phan St. (182), Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: the dish is available until 10:00
    • Price range: US$ 1-2 

 

2. Amok Trey (Fish Amok)

Amok Trey

Amok Trey

The second hallmark of Cambodian cuisine is Amok Trey or Fish Amok. The dish has different versions of chicken, beef, and tofu, but fish is the most popular.

Catfish, goby fish, or snakehead are common ingredients. The fish flesh is cut into cubes and smothered in fish sauce, coconut milk, eggs, and palm sugar. Besides, Fish Amok is cooked with Kroeung — a paste made from pounded spices, turmeric, lemongrass, kaffir lime, and shallots. 

The special thing about this traditional Khmer food is that it's steamed and served in a banana leaf shaped into a bowl.

Where to eat:

  • Orussey market
    • Address: Oknha Tep Phan St. (182), Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 8:00 - 17:00
  • Grand Steak restaurant (Formerly Anachak Steak Restaurant)
    • Address: 170a Sivutha Boulevard, Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 9:00- 23:00
    • Price range: US$ 3-12
  • Samaky Restaurant and Lounge
    • Address: 9E0, Street 51, corner 278 in the west of Wat Langka, Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 8:00 - 23:30 
    • Price range: US$ 5 - 15

 

3. Lap Khmer (Khmer beef salad)

Lap Khmer

Lap Khmer

Lap Khmer, also known as lime-marinated Khmer beef salad, is another excellent worth-trying Cambodian food. The beef is the high-quality selected tenderloin. 

It's served nearly raw or grilled in restaurants. Following the ceviche style, lime juice is used to barely cook the meat and create an incredible tenderness.   

The dressing, including lemongrass, garlic, shallots, basil, mint, green pepper, green beans, and fish sauce, enhances the sour and spicy flavor and makes the dish stand out among popular Cambodian dishes. 

Where to eat:

  • ST 63 BASSAK Restaurant
    • Address: #2 Street 308, Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 11:00- 23:00
    • Price range: US$ 3-16
  • The Sugar Palm Restaurant and Bar
    • Address: Opposite Pannasastra University Street 27, Wat Bo Village, Sangkat Svay Rok, Siem Reap City, Krong Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 5:30 - 21:30 
    • Price range: US$ 6-10
  • The King's Cuisine Restaurant
    • Address: BBU Street, Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 08:30 - 23:00 
    • Price range: US$ 6-10

 

4. Nom Banh Chok (Khmer noodles)

Nom Banh Chok

Nom Banh Chok

The next popular Cambodian food is Nom Banh Chok or Khmer noodles. You can find it almost everywhere across the country. Sellers are usually women walking on the street with a balanced stick on their shoulders and the ingredients on both sides of the hanging buckets.

The thin rice noodles come with green fish Cambodian curry and are topped with chopped banana leaves, bean sprouts, cucumber, mint, basil, and other herbs. Don't miss out on this super affordable dish when you come to Cambodia.

Where to eat:

  • Russian market
    • Address: St. 163 Corner of St. 440, Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 6:00 - 16:30
  • Sam Khmer Noodles
    • Address: Wat Damnak Area, Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 7:00 - 21:00
    • Price range: US$ 3-15
  • Malis restaurant
    • Address: Pokambor Ave, Krong Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 6:30 - 21:00
    • Price range: US$ 2.5-5

 

5. Khor Ko (Khmer Beef Stew)

Khor Ko

Khor Ko (Source: Tripadvisor)

Our Khmer food list will continue with Khor Ko (Khmer Beef Stew). The softness of this slow-cooked beef stew is in harmony with the aroma of herbs, ranking it among food lovers.

The herbs and spices include onions, garlic, dried peppers, anise, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, shallot, etc. This eye-catching mixture will satisfy all taste buds. Having it with bread is highly recommended.

Where to eat:

  • One More Restaurant (Toul Kork)
    • Address: #37, Street 315 Sangkat Beoung Kak 1, Khan Toul Kork, Phnom Penh 
    • Opening hours: 6:00 - 22:00
    • Price: around US$ 12   

 

6. Lok Lak (Stir-fry beef with brown sauce)

Lok Lak

Lok Lak

Lok Lak is a dish with Vietnamese roots, as the French brought it here when it was still a French colony.

The stir-fried strips of tender beef are seasoned with soy sauce and spices, giving it an identical brown color look and yummy taste. It's usually placed on top of raw onion rings, tomato, and cucumber slices.

Sometimes, you may see a fried egg on top as well. Besides, the dipping sauce is also a great recipe for lime juice and Kompot peppers, pulling out the truly unique taste. 

Where to eat:

  • Nelsons Restaurant & Bar
    • Address: 273c Preah Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 7:30 - 23:30
    • Price: US$ 8-25
  • Jack's Place
    • Address: J54M+RF7, Krong Kampot
    • Opening hours: 7:00 - 22:00

 

7. Mee Kola (Kola Noodles)

Mee Kola

Mee Kola

Mee Kola, or Kola noodles, is named after the Kola people who originated from Burma. The Kola people of Burma came to the Pailin area of Cambodia and brought this simple noodle dish to the country.

Now, it's the typical Cambodian food. Mee Kola includes sources of protein such as shrimp or sliced-boiled eggs. Some pickled vegetables are added together with light sweet fish sauce. 

Where to eat:

  • Celadon Restaurant
    • Address: Angkor High School Road Mane Boutique Hotel & Spa, Siem Reap 
    • Opening hours: 6:30 - 22:00
    • Price: US$ 10-50    

 

8. Chaa Kdam Meric Kchai (Fried Crab With Green Pepper)

Chaa Kdam Meric Kchai

Chaa Kdam Meric Kchai (Source: CNN)

The art of Khmer food cooking also lies in fresh seafood dishes. Fried crab with green pepper is an example. The seafood is caught and sent to Phnom Penh from the Kep Crab market, which is not so far from the capital.

Besides, the immature peppercorns make this dish special, as you can't find them anywhere else with this much freshness. Fast drying out peppercorns will change the original taste itself. 

Your taste buds will travel to the sea with just one bite of the sweet fresh crab, enhanced by warm chili and pepper. 

Where to eat:

  • Kimly Restaurant & Lodge
    • Address: Kep Crab Market, Krong Kaeb
    • Opening hours: 9:00 - 23:00
  • So Kheang Restaurant
    • Address: Crab Market, Kep 07503
    • Opening hours: 7:00 - 20:00
    • Price range: around US$ 30
  • Holy Crab
    • Address: Kep 07503 Cambodia
    • Opening hours: 9:30 - 22:30 (break time 15:00- 17:50)
    • Price range: around US$ 25

 

9. Num Ansom Chek (Rolled Banana Cake)

Num Ansom Chek

Num Ansom Chek

Num Ansom Chek is a dish seen across the country and a delicacy for important celebrations such as Cambodian New Year.

Its name is rolled banana cake, as it's enclosed with banana leaves. This Khmer cooking method, including wrapping and steaming, offers the dish a long life span.

Inside the cake is sticky rice, banana, and grated coconut. Other than bananas, they also put jackfruit or mango instead.

Another version is Num Ansom Chrouk which includes pork. 

Where to eat:

  • Phum Num Banh Chok
    • Address: 315 Angkor Conservation St Phum Sla Kram, Sangkat Sla Kram, Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 6:00 - 20:00
    • Price range: around US$ 5
  • Or you can find the dish in almost every market
    • Price range: US$ 1-10 depending on size and ingredients

 

10. Kaw Sach Chrouk (Caramelised Braised Pork Belly)

Kaw Sach Chrouk

Kaw Sach Chrouk (Source: Angkor Chef)

Kaw Sach Chrouk will give you an unforgettable feeling from the first bite. The braised pork belly is intensified with the sweetness of Thnot sugar and the aroma of Kampot pepper, garlic, and anise. 

You can also find tender bamboo shoots, hard-boiled eggs, and roasted tofu. The sauce gives it the real caramel color and flavor, and all create an authentic savory dish. 

Kaw Sach Chrouk comes perfectly with hot, fragrant rice.

Where to eat:

  • Orussey Market
    • Address: Oknha Tep Phan St. (182), Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 8:00 - 15:00

 

11. Nhoam Krauch Thlong (Pomelo Salad With Prawns)

Nhoam Krauch Thlong

Nhoam Krauch Thlong (Source: SBS)

Another highlight in Khmer cuisine is the pomelo salad. It's usually made with savory pork, but when you try it with fresh prawns, you'll feel the perfect match of flavor and structure.

Juicy prawns, pomelo, and mint leaves, alongside dried shrimp, roasted peanuts, and toasted coconut, give it a lively combination.

Where to eat:

  • Element
    • Address: #51A street 306, BKK1 Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 11:30-13:30, 18:00-21:30, except Sunday
    • Price range: From US$ 6

 

12. Nime Chow (Cambodian Spring Rolls)

Nime Chow

Nime Chow (Source: Yummly)

Nime Chow is Cambodian Spring Rolls, in which the ingredients are warped and rolled inside the rice paper. You can find bright veggies, cellophane noodles, meat, and peeled shrimp. 

The slightly chewing exterior and crunchy vegetables create the perfect texture. Especially when you dip it in the peanut sauce, you can feel the exquisiteness of the cuisine.

Where to eat:

  • Khmer Kitchen Restaurant
    • Address: Mondul I, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 9:00–23:00
  • Chanrey Tree8
    • Address: Pokombo Ave., Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 11:00–14:30, 18:00–22:30

 

13. Nhoam Svay Kcha (Green Mango Salad)

Nhoam Svay Kcha

Nhoam Svay Kcha (Source: CNN)

Talking about Khmer Cambodian cuisine, we can not skip Nhoam Svay Kcha, also known as Green mango salad, which is similar to Somtum in Thailand and Laos.

The main ingredient here, of course, is mango. However, the mango shouldn't be so ripe to bring a crunchy texture to the dish. 

Besides, Green mango salad contains smoked fish, dried shrimp, basil, mint, and fish wort. The salty seafood is in great harmony with the fresh veggies.

Where to eat:

  • Nary Kitchen
    • Address: 32 N. 650, Group | Prek Mohatep, Svay Por, Battamban
    • Opening hours: 8:00 - 22:00
    • Price range: US$ 2.5-3.5

 

14. Lort Cha (Stir-fried Rice Pin Noodles)

Lort Cha

Lort Cha (Source: Foodbuzz)

As you may notice, Southeast Asian food usually contains lots of vegetables. As a part of Cambodian food culture, Lort Cha is no exception. It's stir-fried rice pin noodles with minced veggies such as bean sprouts, Chinese broccoli, chives, and green onion.

The added protein sources are various such as chicken, beef, or shrimp. Other condiments, chili sauce, and soy sauce are added to enhance the taste. A fried egg is placed on top, making it more delicious.

Where to eat:

  • Family Rice Noodle & Chives cake
    • Address: 618, 155 Wat Bo Road, Krong Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 7:00 - 22:00

 

15. Pleah Sach Ko (Beef Ceviche)

Pleah Sach Ko

Pleah Sach Ko (Source: Khmerlette)

Pleah Sach Ko (Beef Ceviche) is a traditional Cambodian food popular at weddings or other special occasions. 

The lime and prahok-cured beef salad is mixed with different types of veggies, such as shallots, basil, and mint. Added on top of the dish are crushed roasted peanuts. 

Everything is dipped in fish sauce, creating an authentic and unique taste. The structure of the food is also amazing, and the ingredients are balanced and healthy as many other dishes.   

Where to eat:

  • Meatophum
    • Address: 70 St, Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 9:00 - 20:30 on Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday. 9:00 - 17:00 on Wednesday. 9:00 - 15:00 on Sunday.

 

16. Samlor Korko (Cambodian Stirring Soup)

Samlor Korko

Samlor Korko (Source: Tripadvisor)

Cambodian stirring soup is one of the best Cambodian dishes due to its healthy ingredients. You'll find a lot of seasonal greens and fruits that contain multivitamins. 

Its spice base includes lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, galangal, fish sauce, and fish paste. The vegetables used for this dish are beans, green grated papaya, and eggplants. 

People also add beef, chicken, or pork. The browned base will give the soup a thick structure and the umami flavor of other ingredients.

Where to eat:

  • Malis Restaurant 
    • Address: Pokambor Ave, Krong Siem Reap
    • Opening hours: 6:30 - 23:00

 

17. Trayong Chek (Banana Blossom Salad)

Trayong Chek

Trayong Chek

Trayong Chek is a light dish that is usually offered at lunchtime. The main ingredient is, of course, the banana blossom. It's stir-fried with lemongrass, garlic, shallots and chilies but still keeps its crunchy structure. 

Squeezed on top are some drops of lime, which is the reviving element of the dish. That citrusy sourness will for sure give you refreshment.

Where to eat:

  • Cheay Krong Restaurant
    • Address: 170 St. 464, Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 7:00 - 22:00

 

18. Prahok (Fermented Fish Paste)

Prahok

Prahok

Prahok is considered the secret of Cambodian cuisine. People add this fermented fish paste to many dishes to deepen the flavor. Together with kroeung, Prahok makes all of them distinctive.

There's a Cambodian saying, "No Prahok, no salt", meaning that the food would be poor and bland without this seasoning. Though many tourists may not get used to its smell, they must admit the effectiveness that it adds to the dishes.

Where to eat:

  • Khmer Food Restaurant Prak Sombath
    • Address: GQCJ+PQX, Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 7:00 - 18:00

 

19. Char Kroeung Sach Moun (Stir-Fried Lemongrass Chicken)

Char Kroeung Sach Moun

Char Kroeung Sach Moun (Source: Cook Eat World)

Char Kroeung Sach Moun is a dish representing Cambodian delicacies. Saltiness, sweetness, and a little bit of spice are what you may feel when tasting this food.

Apart from the must-have chicken and lemongrass, locals use garlic, shallots, galangal, lime leaves, turmeric, and chili to complete the stir-fried dish. It's best served with rice or rice vermicelli.

Where to eat: 

  • Kroeung Garden Restaurant
    • Address: 46 Corner of Street 352 & Street 57, Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 6:00 -21:00

 

20. Kuy Teav (Noodle soup)

Kuy Teav

Kuy Teav (Source: pxhere)

The last-but-not-least Khmer traditional food is Kuy Teav, one of the most popular types of Cambodian noodle soup. It's said that the dish is brought by Chinese people. Its name is a Chinese word that means cut noodles made from long-grain rice flour. 

The broth is made from beef or pork bones, green onions, fried shallots, bean sprouts, and garlic. The meatballs are added right before serving.

Kuy Teav is popular for breakfast, so don't forget to have one bowl of this noodle soup to wake you up on your day exploring the Land of Wonder.  

Where to eat: 

  • Uy Kuyteav Restaurant Kampuchea Krom
    • Address: Tek La Ork 1 Commune Office, #890, St. 128 Sangkat, Kampuchea Krom Blvd (128), Phnom Penh
    • Opening hours: 6:00 - 21:00

 

One of the quintessential parts of every country is its cuisine. Don't miss your chance to try the best Cambodian food with BestPrice Travel right now!

Thu Trang

(Image Source: Internet)

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