Cambodian cuisine is an entity. The Khmer foods are typically high in vegetable, rice and fish product. The fish product often is bprahok a fermented fish which is salty and aromatic. It's a reliable source of protein and able to be made by ordinary households and carries the protein resource through the dry season to the prolific new fish stock re-population of the following year. The natural resource Tonle Sap is or was the greatest resource of fresh-water fish in the world. Development and the tragedies of poor management in recent history have taken the edge off that but hopefully this can be reversed. The "greens" range from the abundance of tropical plants typically growing by and on the many waterways of Cambodia. Many of these herbs are aromatic and useful for their flavour characteristics. There is an extensive use of new shoots of shrubs and trees with typical bitterness, the evolution of which  in the cuisine is lost in time but is probably associated with need, nutrition and non-toxicity.

Sugar palms are the signature of Cambodia and the juice of the flower parts harvested seasonally. This is a significant proportion of carbohydrate and used extensively for sweetening, wine production and vinegar. Palm sugar vinegar is a particularly "clean" vinegar and can be used where-ever white vinegar is indicated. Palm sugar is easily available and has a soft caramel flavour. Coconut palm sugar and sugar palm sugar are almost identical, if not identical in flavour.

Chinese and Vietnamese influence is strong and many dishes have been imported from these  places. The Chinese have had a long time presence in Cambodia and Vietnam-Cambodian borders have altered many times so that the land that is now Mekong Delta and including Saigon was once Cambodia. Thai cuisine is noticeable and once again the borders have played a role. Cambodia has often modified the imported dishes by name and sometimes ingredients but not beyond recognition. The fusion works well.

Northern Cambodian foods have a similarity to Southern Laos cuisine and this is due to border proximity and a shared resource of the Mekong at one of its most bountiful points on the river's course at and near the escarpment which separates the two countries. There is no ocean proximity at this point and the major source of edible protein is fresh water fish which has been abundant.

Original Khmer foods are not so readily seen by travelers. The restaurants serving these are usually not so easy to spot other than the ubiquitous street vendor stalls. Cambodian dishes require a significant preparation time and often involved cooking procedures to bring out the unique characteristics of this very flavoursome cuisine. Cambodia has a unique rice the so called floating rice which has the same height growing rate as the filling of the lakes during the wet season. There is some speculation that this may have been the original rice. It can be eaten today but I have never done so. On enquiring with various contacts there seems to be a consensus that contemporary rices are superior in flavour. Sticky rice is also used but not so widely; mostly in dessert dishes.

Interestingly there is an underlying shyness with regard to promoting Khmer food. This has been noticed in western countries also and now just changing. Typically Khmer restaurant owners would label their establishment as Thai food and introduce selected dishes as Khmer within the menu generally of the Surin Thai-Khmer tradition.


Khmer cuisine is now re-emerging. Interestingly it is the rural or peasant cuisine that is most noticeable and little of the Royal Cuisine. Khmer cuisine will be more and more noticeable in time for three reasons. Travel, training and confidence.


 

  1. Amok Moan អាមុកសាច់មាន់(Chicken Amok Curry Parcels)
  2. Amok m’hohp sa-mot អាមុកគ្រឿងសមុទ្រ(Cambodian coconut curry with seafood)
  3. Cambodian Chicken Curry ការីសាច់មាន់
  4. Cambodian Prawns បង្គារស្រុស
  5. Cambodian Red Curry Paste
  6. Char Kroeung ឆាគ្រឿង(Aromatic Fried meat dish)
  7. Ginger Fish Dipping Sauce ទឹកខ្ញី
  8. Katiev Phnom Penh. កុយទាវភ្នំពេញ(Phnom Penh noodle soup)
  9. Khar Trey Ruah Nung Saik Chrouk (Caramelized White Fish)
  10. Khmer Asparagus
  11. Khmer Grilled Chicken មាន់អាំង(Mouan Ang)
  12. Khmer Savoury Pancake
  13. Khmer Turmeric Chicken Wings (Slap Moan Char La Miet )
  14. Loc Lac Beef ឡុកឡាក់សាច់គោ
  15. Noom Pachok (Breakfast Noodles)
  16. Num Kari Chien (Fried curry bread)
  17. Num Pa Kon Chien (Cambodian Shrimp Cakes)
  18. Nyoum Trayong Chaek (Banana Blossom Salad )
  19. Pakon Kho (Caramelised Shrimp )
  20. Pork with Coconut Milk and Pineapple សម្លខ្ទីស(Samlor Khtis)
  21. Pos Weng Chrouk Char Manor. ពោះវៀនជ្រូកឆាម្នាស់(Stir-fried Pork Intestine with Pineapple)
  22. Prahok
  23. Prahok Kh'tih ប្រហុកខ្ទីស(Creamy Prahok Dip)
  24. Provincial Beef Salad សាឡាត់កំពង់ឆ្នាំង (Salat Kompong Ch'hnang)
  25. Sach chrouk char-chiu. សាសឺសាច់ជ្រូក (Xa Xiu Roasted pork)
  26. Sach Chrouk Kho Tirk Doung Poang Chap ឆាផែ្អមសាច់ជ្រូកជាមួយពងគ្រួច(Caramelised pork with quail eggs)
  27. Sach Chrouk Pakon Char Marik ឆាផែ្អមបង្គារជាមួយម្រិច(Caramelised Peppered Pork and Shrimp)
  28. Sach Moan Nung Chee Van Souy Parang. ស្ងោជ្រក់មាន់ជាមួយជីវ៉ាន់សុយ(Braised Chicken with Celery)
  29. Saich Ko Char Spee Khieu ឆាសាច់គោជាមួយស្ពៃខៀវ (Beef with Chinese Broccoli)
  30. Saik Chrouk Ch'ranouitk (Pork Medallions with Coconut)
  31. Snail Meat Amok អាមុកសាច់ខ្យង(H'mok)
  32. Sngou Chruok Trey ស្ងោជ្រក់ត្រី(Fresh Sour Fish Soup)
  33. Stuffed Angkadei
  34. Tamarind Beef Curry (Samlaa Ko Phet)
  35. Tirk Khngay ទឹកខ្ញី(Ginger Dipping Sauce)
  36. Tirk Prahok ទឹកប្រហុក(Preserved fish dipping sauce)
  37. Tirk sa-ieu chu p’em (Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce)
  38. Tirk Trei Pa`em ទឹកត្រីជូអែម(Khmer Sweet & Sour Dressing)
  39. Trey Kho Manor (Caramelized Fish With Pineapple)
  40. Trey Kho Marit (Peppered Caramelised Smelt)
  41. Trey Kho Nung Thay-thao (Caramelised fish with daikon)
  42. Tuk salouk svey ទឹកត្រីស្វាយ(Mango salsa)
  43. Ung Kep Chien ជើងកង់កែប(Fried Frog Legs)
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