Often stereotyped to be similar to Thai and Vietnamese cuisines, Khmer has an eclectic range of exotic and flavourful dishes that you are bound to drool over. Cambodia, other than being one of the most sought after South-East Asian countries for tourists, is also a foodies’ heaven! The Khmer cuisine and the traditions associated with it isn’t something you should miss while on your trip to Cambodia. So, prep up your taste buds as here are some of the most appetizing Cambodian street food options that you must try: –
1. Lort Cha
Lort Cha is made of rice noodles along with stir-fried veggies like spring onions, chives, and beans. But unlike chowmein, this dish is served with beef and is topped with an egg which makes it a lot more tempting. Savour each bite of this dish with spicy red chilli chutney and you will fall in love with its flavours. Lort Cha is a popular Cambodian street food that is readily available on the streets of Phnom Penh so you can easily grab a bite on your way to your next tourist spot.
2. Grilled Skewers
Cambodians take their Barbecues quite seriously and with a myriad of options available like crocodile, ostrich, chicken, frog legs, pork, prawns, quail, beef, and seafood; your taste buds will have a party! You can easily find stalls on the Cambodian streets that are ready to sell you skewers with such delicacies. But if you happen to be a vegetarian, don’t worry; there are a lot of options available for you at Cambodian BBQs. You can even relish fruit platters, grilled pineapples, or desserts like crème brûlée and a lot of fruit flavoured ice creams.
3. Kuy Teav
Kuy Teav is a spicy, pork broth-based Khmer noodle and beef soup. Since noodle soup originated in South East Asia, one must not miss out on Kuy Teav in Cambodia which is among the most authentic recipes. The dish is made with thin squarish rice noodles along with scallions, and pork or chicken bones. One can also add livers and intestines to the soup for an enhanced flavour. Owing to different kinds of meat, the soup is quite rich in protein which makes it a wholesome meal. Almost every household would have a unique recipe for this Cambodian street food.
With sticky rice being the staple dish of Cambodia, Kralan is a must-try! It is basically sticky rice with black-eyed peas cooked in coconut milk which is then filled in a bamboo stick. This stick is then put on wood/charcoal fire and is left to roast which provides it with a smoky flavour. Since it is quite light, you can enjoy this Cambodian street food as a snack while you explore Cambodian streets.
5. Coconut Ice Cream
A Cambodian street food option that almost everyone tries, the famous coconut ice cream is readily available with the street vendors on their carts. The dessert usually has three scoops of ice cream in the coconut shell along with some coconut meat shavings. One can also opt for some fresh fruits like strawberries, palm fruits drizzled with coconut milk and garnished with chocolate. Since it comes in a coconut shell, you can easily carry it along to beat the heat in Cambodia.
6. Bai Sach Chrouk
Locals usually start their day with this simple and minimalistic dish that is quite popular here. This rice and pork dish is quite flavourful when bought at the roadside stalls. Women are seen grilling pork strips in small mesh-like structures and selling Bai Sach Chrouk at their street stalls. While the pork has a smoky flavour, the rice is fresh and soft, making it one of the best street food options in Cambodia. The dish is usually served with spring onions, garlic, onions, and is topped with egg, pickled veggies, and broth.
If you are someone who loves to explore exotic cuisines, you should definitely try Balut which is a dish made of duck’s fertilized embryo. This dish is served and eaten directly from the eggshell. One can add some flavours to it with salt, pepper, and lime juice. This adds a bit of tanginess to the foetal egg. If you are a hard core non-vegetarian and have never tried something like this before, Balut will be a whole new experience.
8. Chet Chien
Since bananas are found abundantly in Cambodia, the locals here have incorporated this fruit in a scrumptious fried dessert. Chet Chien is one of the most famous Cambodian street foods in Siem Reap which consists of fried spring roll wrappers that are filled with bananas. The wrappers are covered with sesame seeds. Once they are deep-fried, they are sprinkled with powdered sugar and usually served with vanilla or Kampot pepper ice cream. Some of the other Cambodian desserts are made of coconut, mango, and mung beans.
Bobor is a Cambodian rice porridge that is usually served with ginger and fish. Locals enjoy this dish as their breakfast or for an evening snack. Since it is quite easy to make and affordable, it is quite a popular choice amongst the locals. It consists of fish or chicken, congealed blood, and offal which make the soup quite thick and flavourful. The porridge is garnished with coriander, ginger, and fried onions. As exotic as it may sound, Bobor is still one of the most affordable dishes around. In fact, the overall Cambodian street food prices are quite easy on a tourist’s pocket.
10. Banh Chev
Among the best street food options in Cambodia, Banh Chev is a Cambodian rice flour crepe, stuffed with diced prawns, shrimps, chicken, onion, bean sprouts, and green onions. It is served with fresh mint, vinegar sauce cucumber, and ground peanuts. These crepes are famous for its distinctive flavour in Phnom Penh and are relished with spicy fish sauce.
It must be evident by now that this country has sumptuous delicacies on offer. Be sure to try them on your Cambodia tour package where the tour operator can double up as a Cambodian food guide!