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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Joanna James Joanna James
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List of Local food to Try in Siem Reap - Savour the mouth-watering tastes of northwestern Cambodia

Holiday-seekers headed to stunning Siem Reap are in for a treat — a mouth-watering treat. Savour the finger-licking tastes of the northwestern city of Cambodia that are sure to unleash your true foodie. Treat yourself to an assortment of local dishes and taste the authentic flavours of Siem Reap.


Amok Trey - steamed curried fish

The national dish of Cambodia and a key dish that comes around Cambodia’s Water Festival, amok trey is a coconut fish curry that is rich in spiciness and fragrance. Tenderly steamed and presented in appealing little banana leaf cups, the dish is a treat for both the taste buds and the eyes. The use of banana leaves isn’t just for the striking presentation, but also to impart the unique flavour of the leaves to the dish. Although not widely popular, chicken, tofu, and snails could be used as supplement ingredients in the making of amok trey.


Lok Lak - Stir-fried beef

A mass of beef sitting on a bed of tomatoes and lettuce with a sprinkling of onions and coriander leaves, accompanied by a lump of white rice — the description of lok lak alone is sure to make your mouth water. This stir-fried local Cambodian dish uses beef, chicken, or shrimp as the primary ingredient, although beef is almost always the preferred option. Lok lak is also known by another appealing moniker that is not quite popular among Cambodians — shaking beef, which comes from the vigorous shaking and stirring required in the making of the dish.


Nom Banh Chok - Khmer noodles

Enjoyed both as a breakfast dish and an afternoon snack, Nom Banh Chok is a staple noodle dish in Siem Reap and throughout Cambodia. In its basic form, Nom Banh Chok involves immersing the fermented rice noodles in a yellow-hued fish gravy, which is then topped with banana blossom, cucumbers, water lily stems, basil, mint and other raw vegetables and herbs. Thanks to the dish’s country-wide popularity, there are quite a few variations to the dish, one such prominent variation being the one that comes to life on special occasions such as weddings and religious festivals, where the yellow-hued gravy is replaced with red curry sauce.


Samlar Machu Kroeung - Cambodian sour soup

This traditional Cambodian dish is a range of sour soups with quite a few different variations. Samlar Machu Kroeung uses meat, fish, or seafood with a variety of vegetables, which is cooked in a sour broth. The primary ingredient that gives the dish its distinctive sour flavour is tamarind, although some variations of the Samlar Machu Kroeung also use tangy fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, pineapples, Ipomoea aquatica, celery, as well as Tiliacora triandra leaves as alternative ingredients.


Chruok Svay - Green mango salad

Chruok Svay is a traditional green mango salad that can be whipped up quite easily, where cut strips of raw green mango coated with kaffir lime juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce are mixed with shrimps, green onions, carrots, cabbage, and few other simple locally sourced ingredients in a bowl. This sweet and sour mango salad could be found being served at top restaurants in Siem Reap, including the likes offered by FCC Angkor.

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