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Best Food & Drink in Cambodia 2023

Cambodia’s food culture is one of the things that you should not miss. From the excellent ‘street food’ offerings to the wonderful selection of restaurants that are generally reasonably priced, the opportunities for trying authentic food are endless.

Cambodian cuisine is known for its unique flavors, fresh ingredients, and the influence of neighboring Southeast Asian cuisines. Here are some characteristics of Cambodian food and drink.

Cambodia Foods and Drinks

  • Rice: Rice is a staple food in Cambodia and forms the basis of most meals. It is often served alongside various dishes.
  • Organic Ingredients: Cambodian cuisine emphasizes the use of fresh and locally sourced ingredients, including vegetables, herbs, and spices. Fresh herbs like lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves are commonly used.
  • Balanced Flavors: Cambodian dishes typically aim for a harmonious balance of flavors, incorporating elements of sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and spiciness. This balance is achieved through the skillful use of ingredients like palm sugar, tamarind, fish sauce, and chili peppers.
  • Amok: This popular dish is made with fish or other proteins, cooked in a flavorful curry-like sauce made from coconut milk, spices, and herbs. It is often served in a banana leaf bowl and steamed.
  • Fish and Seafood: Given its location near the Mekong River and the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia has a strong tradition of fish and seafood dishes. Grilled fish, prawns, and crabs are commonly enjoyed, often accompanied by tangy dipping sauces.
  • Noodles and Soups: Noodle dishes and soups are also prevalent in Cambodian cuisine. Examples include "Kuy Teav," a rice noodle soup with pork, and "Nom Banh Chok," a dish of rice noodles with a fish-based curry sauce.
  • Fruit and Desserts: There is an abundance of tropical fruits, including mangoes, durian, dragon fruit, and rambutan, in this country. Cambodian desserts often feature sticky rice, coconut milk, and sweet flavors like palm sugar and condensed milk.
  • Beverages: Traditional Cambodian drinks include fresh fruit shakes, coconut water, and sugarcane juice. The country is also known for its strong and aromatic coffee, often served with sweetened condensed milk.

It's worth noting that Cambodian cuisine can vary across different regions and reflect local influences. Exploring the diverse culinary scene in Cambodia offers a delightful journey through its flavors and traditions.