The best authentic Cambodian food to eat in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s vibrant capital, is not only known for its rich history and stunning architecture but also for its mouthwatering culinary delights. Cambodian cuisine is an irresistible fusion of flavours influenced by neighbouring countries while maintaining its unique identity.

When visiting Phnom Penh, exploring the local food scene is a must. In this article, we’ll take you on a culinary journey through the best authentic Cambodian dishes to savour in the heart of the city. Learn Khmer online to enhance your Cambodian culinary adventures and connect with the locals while savouring these authentic dishes in Phnom Penh.

Amok (Fish or Chicken)

amok curry

Amok is often considered Cambodia’s national dish, and you can find it throughout Phnom Penh. This flavorful and fragrant dish consists of fish or chicken steamed in a coconut milk-based curry and flavoured with kroeung (a paste of lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, garlic, and shallots). Served in banana leaves, it’s a true Cambodian delight that captures the essence of the cuisine.

Khmer Red Curry (Samlor Korko)

Khmer Red Curry is a comforting and spicy stew made with various fresh vegetables and your choice of protein, typically beef, chicken, or fish. The curry is simmered with coconut milk, lemongrass, and a blend of aromatic spices, resulting in a rich and savoury flavour that’s sure to please your taste buds.

Nom Banh Chok

A popular breakfast dish, Nom Banh Chok is a refreshing Cambodian rice noodle salad. It features fresh rice noodles topped with a green fish-based curry sauce and an assortment of fresh herbs, sprouts, and vegetables. It’s a light and flavorful dish that provides a taste of Cambodia’s street food culture.

Bai Sach Chrouk (Pork and Rice)

For a traditional Cambodian breakfast, try Bai Sach Chrouk. This dish consists of thinly sliced, grilled pork served over a bed of fragrant jasmine rice, accompanied by pickled vegetables and a flavorful dipping sauce. The contrast of flavours and textures is delightful.

Fresh Spring Rolls (Lumpia)

spring rolls

Lumpia, Cambodian fresh spring rolls, are a delightful snack or appetizer. They typically contain fresh herbs, shrimp, rice vermicelli, and sometimes pork, all wrapped in a translucent rice paper wrapper. Dip them in a tangy peanut sauce for a burst of flavour.

Lok Lak

Lok Lak is a beloved Cambodian stir-fry dish that features marinated and sautéed beef, often served with a zesty lime and black pepper dipping sauce. A side of fresh vegetables and rice or French fries typically accompanies it. There is also a seafood version of Lok Lak. This dish includes marinated and sautéed seafood, typically shrimp or squid, served with a zesty lime and black pepper dipping sauce.

Grilled Seafood

Phnom Penh’s proximity to the Mekong River and the Gulf of Thailand means an abundance of fresh seafood. Take advantage of the opportunity to savour grilled fish, prawns, and squid, often seasoned with a blend of spices and served with lime and dipping sauces. Kuy Teav is a Cambodian noodle soup that comes in various versions, including seafood. It features rice noodles in a flavorful broth with shrimp, squid, and sometimes fish, along with vegetables and herbs. Samlor Machu Trey is a tangy and sour fish soup made with tamarind, vegetables, and fish. It’s a comforting dish that showcases the Cambodian love for contrasting flavours.

Cambodian Street Food

Exploring Phnom Penh’s street food scene is a must for food enthusiasts. From grilled skewers to noodle soups and fried snacks, the city’s street vendors offer an array of mouthwatering options that showcase the flavours of Cambodia. If you want a different style of fast food, try Cambodia’s Lucky Burger. Lucky Burger is Cambodia’s own fast-food chain and is often compared to global giants like McDonald’s. They offer a range of burgers, fried chicken, and even Cambodian dishes like num pang (a local sandwich) and fried rice. For additional Asian food flavours, try BB World. Known as Bonchon Chicken internationally, it is famous for its Korean-style fried chicken. The crispy and flavorful chicken is a favourite among locals and expats alike.

Seafood Hot Pot

seafood hotpot

A seafood hot pot is a communal dining experience where you cook your seafood, such as shrimp, squid, and fish, at the table in a flavorful broth. It’s a fun and interactive way to enjoy seafood with friends and family.

Phnom Penh is a culinary paradise for those looking to experience authentic Cambodian cuisine. From fragrant curries to fresh spring rolls and grilled seafood, the city offers diverse flavours that will satisfy your palate. So, when you visit Phnom Penh, indulge in these delightful Cambodian dishes and experience the essence of this vibrant and delicious culture.

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