Cambodian food can be often overlooked and appear to be similar to it's neighbouring countries of Vietnam and Thailand, but Cambodia has a lot to offer with their food selections. With their variety of fresh herbs and mix of spices as well as their more weird options. Check out this list of some of the most popular classic Cambodian dishes as well as some more unusual eats.
One of Cambodia most popular dish is the fish Amok, which is a creamy curry like sauce coating the cooked fish. The favours are a balance of ginger, lemongrass, turmeric and coconut milk. The traditional way to cook the dish is by steaming it in a banana leaf shaped into a bowl which it is also served in.
Red Tree Ants with Beef
Thought this meal may sounds weird to try, out of some of the options available this may be the least scary to sink your teeth into. It is a large stir fry using beef, basil, shallots, ginger, lemongrass, and lots of ants. The Red Tree Ants of different sizes are mixed with the beef and are topped with chili and served on top of a bowl of white rice.
Nom Banh Chok
This popular Khmer dish is a popular street food and is often sold early in the morning. This dish is made up of thin rice noodles topped with a green fish gravy with lots of fresh bean sprouts, banana flowers, cucumbers and a wide array of green vegetables.
A milder and much less spicy than the curries found in Thailand and India. With their use of herbs more spices it creates a more milder and sweeter taste. Commonly made with either, chicken, beef or fish mixed with herbs and diced sweet potatoes; garlic, shallots; turmeric and ginger.
Lok Lak (Stir-fried beef in brown sauce)
A typical stir fry, this dish is made using thin slices of beef or pork in a brown sauce and served atop a bed of lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and rings of raw onions. Often a fried egg is placed on top. But the best part of this dish is the dipping sauce of lime juice and pepper that makes the flavours really pop.
One of the most unusual flavoured snacks you will find in Cambodia is the Balut. It is a fertilised embryo of a duck and is eaten whole, usually from the shell. The popular snack is believed to be nutritious and rich in protein.
Green Mango Salad
Cambodia salads are known for their refreshing favours packed with a bit of spice to get your taste buds tingling. Green Mango salad is crunchy and zesty, and features fresh chili, fish sauce, sliced green mango, sliced tomatoes and shallots, pickled cucumber, onion, peppers and fresh basil or mint.
Snacking on this spider is another Cambodian local delicacy. Commonly deep-fried with chili, the body often containing a warm liquid centre of intestinal juice. Maybe leave this snack for the more daring.
A sweet snack, these can be found sold on the streets, especially in the afternoon. Bananas are flattened and dipped into batter with black sesame seeds, before being deep-fried.
Another delicious dessert is pumpkin custard, or sankhya lapov. Served after lunch and dinner, the dish is a sweet custard that is stuffed inside a pumpkin before being steamed.
Scorpion on a Stick
And last this is definitely a dish that you can only try out of your comfort zone. These can be brought from street stalls and can be commonly found at night markets as a tourist draw. Dare your friends to try these skewered and deep fried Scorpion before they leave to really experience Cambodia.