Food Culture

Fish Amok

Amok is one of the most popular Khmer dish among tourists visiting Cambodia. Amok refers to the process of steam cooking a curry in banana leaves and topped with thick coconut cream on top. This dish is available in fish, chicken and pork variants. In the fish Amok that I will be writing about, a kind of catfish is used. Here is the Fish Amok that I ordered for dinner in a Cambodian restaurant in Pub Street, Siem Reap with a group of backpackers who were staying in the same hostel room with me. Like Khmer curry, the fish Amok is not spicy. Instead, the dish tastes rich and complex, and a little sweet. Served with a plate of white rice, the fish Amok becomes a well-balanced meal. A very suitable dining choice for tourists who want to try something different, but not go too far out of their comfort zone. Because I ordered my.
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Charcoal-grilled Bananas

I’m at a pit stop station on the way to Battambang when I saw this stall selling baby bananas on a stick grilled over charcoal. I’ve seen similar street peddlers selling them in Phnom Penh but never had the chance to try one. I thought they would make a nice snack during the bus ride so I bought a stick. Each stick of charcoal-grilled bananas costs 1000 Riels. They tasted hard and were rather dry. Sort of like dried bananas but with more texture. I can also taste a bit of salt on the surface of the banana. Imagine eating a hard banana loaf, just that it’s all banana. You probably get what I mean. I don’t think I would buy it again as it’s not to my liking..
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Nom Pang (Khmer Baguette Sandwich)

If you wander around the streets of Cambodia, there’s a high chance that you will find street vendors with food carts transported by their motorcycles around every street corner, most of them selling Nom Pang (Khmer baguette sandwich). Nom Pang is a classic French influenced Khmer cuisine infused into Cambodia when the country was a protectorate under the French Empire until 1954. Today, the baguette is still a common street fare in Cambodia. Because Nom Pang is a simple dish, let me show you how to make your own Nom Pang in few easy steps. Step 1: Split the baguette into half (not all the way through), place a few slices of cucumbers and then layer a bed of Kampot ham or your favorite grilled meat on top. Step 2: Add your favorite sauce. Every street vendor has their own secret recipe. Step 3: Top with lots of salad vegetables And we.
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Khmer Borbor Sach Mouan (Chicken Rice Porridge)

If you are into flavorful broth like me, this could your favorite dish in Cambodia. So I was walking around the streets in Battambang in search for breakfast when I came across this stall right across the road from a primary school selling rice porridge. Not sure what the dish was called at that time, so I pointed to the bowls that 2 school girls were having at a table beside the stall and requested for a bowl of porridge. I was promptly served with a bowl of rice porridge with lots of ingredients in them. When I researched about Cambodian rice porridge, it seems that there’s no specific rule about what goes into the porridge. Each stall owner would have their own recipe. In the dish that I was served, the rice porridge was cooked till soft but you can still see each grain of rice, similiar to Teochew.
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Num Ban Chok (Khmer Noodles)

Num banh chok is a well-known and beloved Cambodian dish found at almost everywhere. In English it’s often simply called simply Khmer noodles, owing to its ubiquity across the country. Num ban chok is a typical breakfast food, consisting of noodles laboriously pounded out of rice, topped with a fish-based green curry gravy made from lemongrass, turmeric root and kaffir lime. Fresh mint leaves, bean sprouts, green beans, banana flower, cucumbers and other greens are heaped on top by the diner. I came across this dish by chance and I am glad I ordered it. One morning, I was walking along the streets looking to get some food for breakfast. I know I wanted some local food but it wasn’t easy because the sellers don’t put pictures of what they are selling and they usually don’t speak English. Then I saw this guy in a stall, being served with what.
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