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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 07, 2020
Headline for 06 Must-try Dishes when in Cambodia
Joanna James Joanna James
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06 Must-try Dishes when in Cambodia

Cambodia has many rich and cultural attractions for you to see, and similarly, it has many great food items for you to try.


About Cambodian Food

The problem is that people usually assume that Cambodian food is what Vietnamese and Thailand food tastes like. That is not a case. Cambodia has its own unique flavours and twists to the South Asian dishes that you are so used to by now. The Cambodian meals also use a variety of fresh herbs and condiments along with spices that are unique to the land. Therefore, when you are in Cambodia, resist the urge to order international food and try the local food as it will also reduce the cost of your food expense. If you are choosing to dine at the top restaurants in Siem Reap the likes of Chi Restaurant & Bar, you will still be able to find local snacks and food there.


Fish Amok

This is one of the first things people will ask you to try if you tell them you are going to sample Cambodian dishes. Made of fresh cream that is similar to white sauce, this dish has a perfect balance of lemongrass, ginger, milk from coconut and turmeric. When cooked perfectly, this fish in the dish is silky smooth and almost melts in your mouth with each bite. The fish is usually served wrapped in a banana leaf and you can try this without hesitating too much as it is not a spicy as the other South Asian dishes.


Banana Blossom Salad

You will be able to find this dish in any restaurant all over Cambodia and this is a refreshing snack that you can have any time of the day. This stir-fried dish is topped with aromatics like lemongrass along with garlic and fried shallots. This mixture is then stirred with lime thereby giving it a twisted citrus taste.


Lap Khmer

This is basically a lime marinated beef salad with the Cambodian twist. This dish has thin slices of beef which are marinated in lime juice and then mixed with plenty of garlic, basil, mint, bell peppers and fish sauce. This whole mixture is then topped with chillies. If you are somebody who does not like too much spicy food this is not the dish for you but if you are feeling adventurous you can always ask the restaurant to make it medium spice for you.


Kampot Pepper Crabs

If you are exploring the coastal area of Cambodia you will definitely find this dish on the menu at almost every restaurant in the place. Made with freshly caught crabs from the sea this can even be found in the little roadside stalls in Cambodia. Known for being extremely savoury, this is a delicious meal you must try.


Red Ants With Beef

Though this dish might sound like it is a dare at a thrilling game show, it is actually not too bad. This dish is a large stir fry that uses beef, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, basil and a whole lot of red ants. Various sizes of red ants are mixed with beef and topped with chilli. You need to be in an extremely adventurous mood to try this dish out. Good luck!