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Cambodia's Culinary Highlights

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December 7, 2014 / Cambodian / By

Cambodia has a rich and varied culinary heritage with some really distinct flavours. Whilst most people visit Cambodia to explore the temples it is also worth stopping to taste the food and enjoy a restaurant meal. Here are some of the things to look out for in Cambodia.

Colourful Markets

Cambodia's markets are a vibrant mix of vegetables, fruits, spices, and fish. There are chickens too but fish is the staple food here. Locals tend to eat fish every day, either is a soup or a delicious amok curry. It's noisy for sure but the freshness of the food on sale is remarkable.

Local Spices

Chances are you'll find galangal growing outside most people's homes as it flavours a lot of the food. Check out lemongrass too and amok powder used in the curries. Inn particular Cambodia is renowned for its blends of spices such as Lok Lok, Amok, and Kroeung. Cambodia is famous for its Kampot Pepper which is produced in the south of the country and finds itself in the top Parisian restaurants, such is the quality. It also makes an excellent souvenir for friends back home.


Fish or chicken amok is a delicate curry flavoured with coconut milk, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal and pepper. It comes served in banana leaves and is accompanied by rice. The flavours are quite unique and tasting this national dish is a must do in Cambodia. Don't forget to check out the cookery lessons on offer in Cambodia so you can learn to recreate this flavoursome dish and much more.

Unusual Ingredients

Walk round a market in Cambodia and you'll find the fish and vegetables with no problem. But look closer and there are some very unusual items served as delicacies. If you ever wanted to taste a spider then a visit to Cambodia is your big chance. Some markets have stalls selling deep fried tarantula, crickets, and grubs. Others feature duck embryo and other delicacies. Want to taste? Make sure that anything has been cleaned and is freshly cooked.

Social Enterprise

Cambodia is recovering from years of war and famine and as a result there are many displaced people. One of the ways ion which disabled and disadvantaged people are able to find work is though the many social enterprise training programmes. These include restaurants staffed by people in training who come from underpriviledged backgrounds. One example in Phnom Penh is the Friends Restaurant which serves delicious food. others include hotels and cafes all over the country which are worth looking for when tasting the culinary specialties.

Cambodia has a lot of culinary specialties and taking time to experience the flavours is an excellent way of getting to know this country.


Country: Cambodia, Kingdom of

Province/State: Phnom Penh

City: N/A

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

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Price Guide:$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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