Cambodian dishes are full of flavors, and unlike many Asian countries, they are not too spicy. On the contrary, numerous herbs are used that give unique flavors to dishes.
Cambodia has been a meeting point of the great Indian and Chinese civilizations and has a wide variety of national dishes, some similar to those of Thai and Laotian cuisines and others similar to Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines. They range from spring rolls to curries. Add to that a whole world of hot and cold sauces and a gastronomic trip to Cambodia is as exciting as a route to any other part of Asia.
A combination of flavour
If you travel to Cambodia, you will easily notice the various influences that makeup Khmer cuisine.
Indeed, curry is, for example, a dish that is found in all local restaurants: the recipe comes from India, but the Khmer curry is much sweeter and does not use cumin, but it is replaced with lemon or other spices.
There are many other dishes originating in Vietnam, especially Lok Lak meat, which also appears on all menus in Khmer restaurants. It is a recipe for beef in sauce, seasoned with the delicious Kampot pepper, originally from Cambodia.
Soups and fermented fish paste on the menu
For the most curious, there are certain dishes that are very different from those we are used to in the West: “Prahok” is a fish paste fermented for several weeks, eaten alone or accompanied by raw vegetable, one of the favorite dishes of local people.
Insects are also part of Cambodian gastronomy. During the time of the Khmer Rouge, there was a great famine in the country so Cambodians had to eat what they could find. This is where the custom of eating crickets and tarantulas comes from, which you can find on the streets or in local markets. For those who love unusual travel, try roasted tarantulas.
If you fancy something more classic, Cambodian cuisine also contains a good number of soups, especially the Cambodian sour soup or the Samlor Korko.
During hot weather, salads become very popular and among the best is the banana flower salad and the mango salad: 100% local.