When it comes to experiencing the culture of Cambodia, trying out the local cuisine is an absolute must. With its unique blend of sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavours, Khmer food is a treat for the senses. Whether you’re an adventurous eater or prefer to stick to familiar dishes, there’s something for everyone in Khmer cuisine.

Follow us on a culinary journey through Cambodia, highlighting the 10 best Khmer dishes that you simply have to try. From classic favourites like amok and kuy teav to lesser-known delights like larp Khmer and prahok ktis, we’ll give you the lowdown on the must-try food that will leave your taste buds wanting more. So, let’s dive in and explore the richness of Khmer food together.

10 Khmer Food Dishes to Try in Cambodia

Khmer Food: Fish Amok
Khmer Food: Fish Amok

1. Amok

A fragrant and creamy curry-like dish made with fish or chicken and a blend of spices such as lemongrass, turmeric and kaffir lime leaves. It is typically served in a banana leaf cup and garnished with coconut cream and red chilli.

2. Kuy Teav

A comforting noodle soup made with rice noodles, chicken, pork or beef broth, and a variety of toppings such as sliced meat, fish balls and bean sprouts. It is often served with fresh herbs, lime wedges and chilli flakes. Main photo.

3. Bai Sach Chrouk

A simple yet delicious breakfast dish made with grilled pork marinated in coconut milk, garlic, sugar and fish sauce, giving it a slightly sweet and savoury flavour. It is typically served with rice and pickled vegetables. The pork is typically sliced thin and grilled until caramelised on the edges.

Khmer Food: Larb Khmer
Khmer Food: Larb Khmer

4. Larb Khmer

A salad which consists of minced meat (usually beef or pork), roasted ground rice, and a variety of herbs and spices such as shallots, garlic and lemongrass, it is often served with fresh vegetables and rice.

Num Banh Chok: Cambodia's Rice Noodles
Num Banh Chok: Cambodia’s Rice Noodles

5. Num Banh Chok

A breakfast staple made with rice noodles and a fish-based green curry sauce, it is typically served with an array of fresh vegetables and herbs. It is a refreshing and flavourful dish that is perfect for a hot day.

Discover more about Num Banh Chok in our post Num Banh Chok: Cambodia’s Rice Noodles.

6. Prahok Ktis

This dip is made from fermented fish paste, coconut milk and a variety of aromatics such as garlic, shallots and lemongrass. It is typically served with fresh vegetables such as cucumber and long beans and can be enjoyed as a snack or as part of a meal.

7. Cha Kdow

A sour soup made with fish or meat, tamarind and a variety of vegetables such as tomatoes, okra and aubergine. It is typically served with rice and fresh herbs such as basil and mint.

Khmer Food: Nom Pain
Khmer Food: Nom Pain. Cambodian style baguette

8. Nom Pain

A popular street food in Cambodia, Nom Pain is a sandwich made with a baguette that is filled with a variety of ingredients such as grilled meat, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs. It is a perfect option for a quick and delicious snack on the go. Pronounced “nom pang” the name is derived from the French word for “bread”.

9. Sach Kror (Khmer Sausages)

This traditional Cambodian sausage made with ground pork, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and other spices is typically grilled and served with fresh vegetables and a spicy dipping sauce.

Num Kachay
Khmer Food: Num Kachay

10. Num Kachay

A steamed dumpling filled with minced pork or prawns, mushrooms and scallions, it is typically served with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce made with vinegar, sugar and chilli.

Whether you are a meat lover or a vegetarian, there is something for everyone in Khmer cuisine. The rich flavours, fresh ingredients and unique preparations make Khmer food a must-try for anyone visiting Cambodia.
Now that you know some of the best dishes to try, get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a newfound appreciation for the delicious cuisine of Cambodia.

To discover more about Khmer food, visit Darren Gall’s excellent vindochine.com website.