10 Khmer Foods That Give You An Unique Taste About Cambodia

Cambodia! Cambodia! Cambodia! Welcome to Cambodia, a small country but fantastic. Also, it is a country that has the oldest culture among the other countries in Asia.

Hum~~ what do you expect to do, visit, and taste about Cambodia when you arrive to this wonderful land? Well, besides tourism sites like Angkor Wat, and Preah Vihear Temple, I would suggest you to try out some of the great Khmer/Cambodia foods that will give you the unforgettable taste about this country!

1 . Somlor Kor Ko
It is known as one of the Khmer traditional dishes, a favorite for all Khmer citizens. If you have a home stay with Cambodia family, sure they will cook this for you.

2. Khmer noodle (Khmer noodles with Khmer soup)
I can say that it is the most popular food in here Cambodia and the first choice for you to try. You won’t be disappointed at all. Cambodian like eating it very much even the foreigners who try it also says it is not bad. They do admire on Khmer’s cooking skill for this food.

3. Som Lor Mchou
Well, this kind of foods is also divided into several other types like we have Som Lor Mchou Thro Kuon ( water convolvulus soup), Som Lor Mchou Prolit ( Water lily soup), and Som Lor Mchou Scat. All are yummy. For Som Lor Mchou Thro Kuon, we cook it with fish meats and add their eggs (can be Wallago attu fish’s eggs. Wallago attu in Khmer we call Trey Sanday) or for other type, we can do it with green onions and beef. Som Lor Mchou Prolit (water lily soup), we use water lily, fish meat, and shrimp to cook this food. And Som Lor Mchou Scat is the same as above just the main vegetable is Scat. All kinds of Som Lor Mchou have a sour taste because we, Khmer like this taste and like using unripe tamarinds to cook the soup like these. And one more ingredient that makes this soup taste superb is Prohok – the best taste that Cambodia people never miss out when they eat.

4. Cow’ tripe with Prohok ( Khmer Proma)
This food is also considered as one of the most popular. It gains its popularity because of the best ingredient that our Khmer cannot forget-Prohok(a fermented fish paste). Some foreigners maybe don’t like this stuff. But I would encourage everyone including them to try it. It is pretty much delicious. It is mostly available at most of the restaurants in Phnom Penh as well as in provinces.

5. Lobster Soup
Mostly, Cambodian people like calling this food “Kuor Bang Kong” “Kuor Bang Kong”. If you go to the Khmer style restaurants, you will see that it is always in the menu. It is very very delicious I guarantee you! The secret to cook this awesome dish is first you need to have lobsters, a kilo or half is up to you, and of course; you need a fresh one so that it can taste more yummy when we eat. Then, we cut the lobsters meant into a small piece and mix it with their brain, and don’t forget to put some additional soup pack and finally you have to use lemon (Khmer lemon, the green one) when you start eating. Without the lemon, it won’t taste good.

6. Som Lor Kor Krom
Coming to food number 6, I would like to introduce you to know about this kind of dish. Khmer people would probably have this food in the crap seasons rainy seasons, in which there are a lot of farm craps ( Krom Sra) available for sell at the local markets. And if you intended to cook it, it is good to choose the big big one because it will provide you more of it brains which it is one of the most significant ingredient to cook this food style. Its legs are kept to put in the soup. They are not pounded with the body of the craps.

7. Prohouk Ktek
Now you see the word Prohok again but this time, it is a food that Khmer people takes Prohok alone to stream with water and then eat it with unripe mangoes or Ma Kat, a kind of fruit which we can eat it as a vegetable for this food.

8. Paork
Paork is fish or meat paste made with chopped fish salt, sugar yeast and rice placed in large airlight jar and allowed to ferment. We have many kinds of Paork like pangasius djambal fish paork, Paork Trey Rot, and many more. We eat them with rice. If you have this food for today, other will say you are very lucky!

9. Smoke fish and Dried- salted fish
Have you ever heard about it before? I’m sure some of you do! because it is a number one food that people like eating in Cambodia even someone who go to study aboard never forget to bring it alone with them. And some of the Khmer people, who live in America, Australia, and other countries that could not come to Cambodia, ask their family members or relatives living in Phnom Penh to buy and send to them. First people buy the fish, then they mix it with salt and seasoning. Following that they take it to lay down under the sun for two to three days. After that, it will be ready to be served.

10. Mix unripe mangoes
This food might look simple but you shouldn’t look down on it. Just have mangoes, several unripe ones, red chilies, garlics, dried shrimps, parsleys, and smoke fishes mixing together with salt and seasoning then, you will be surprise on the taste!

Well well well it is now to sum up, I myself is already feel hungry and mouth-watering toward these nice and nice dishes! How about you? Do you feel the same as me? Whatever of those Khmer foods you choose, they are all palatable. Please come to Cambodia to enjoy these wonderful Khmer dishes! Cambodia, Kingdom of Wonder!!!!

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  1. Marisa Tan says

    Dear Lyda,
    Thanks for sharing this great topic with us! I just got really hungry for Khmer food. I agree with Theany. Opening up a restaurant would be a wonderful idea. I would eat there for sure ;)

  2. Ek Jeudy says

    I totally agree with Theany about the Khmer original teste restaurant. I like some foods that Lyda comment in her topic like cow’s tripe with Porhok. It’s yummy. I hope all guy like.

  3. Vann Theany says

    It’s really a good topic to write about Khmer Food. You know what? If possible, you should think about opening a restaurant, whose menu are all Khmer Food. I felt so ashamed once I was asked by an American guy where he could find an origial taste of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. I found no answer for him although I kept counting many restaurants such as Khmer Thai, Sourin, and Pa Tak Bay Khmer. He said those were not original taste of Khmer and he found that Khmer foods were bad comparing to Thai and Vietnam. I wish we would have a restaurant, where exists all our original taste of Khmer with yammy dishes.

  4. Lyda says

    @Mr.Santel : Poark is not available at the restaurant but some other like I have mentioned in my comment because I used to go to the restaurants, Khmer restaurant in Siem Reap, and I saw mix unriped mangoes has been availabled. Ãnd yes, I agree that these foods mostly available when staying with Cambodian family. For example, my mom used to cook Som Lor Kor Krom and lobsters soup to my sister’s American friends. After they ate those food, they said they were very delicious.
    @Bopha : yes! I do like cooking!! Ok, thank you. You will be able to read my next article soon.

  5. says

    Umm sound like you know a lot about Khmer recipes, Lyda :) and yeah i totally agree with you. I hope to see your next post about our original Khmer recipes soon.

  6. Lyda says

    Some Khmer foods that available at resturants might not be the original one! They got influences from other countries like Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Loas, and others.

  7. Lyda says

    Really?! Mr.Santel?But I think we can find some at our local resturants eventhought not all like Mix unripe mangoes, Lobster Soup, Som Lor Mchou, and yes especially Cow’ tripe with Prohok. I think those foods really make us and foreigners don’t forget about Cambodia wherever they go.

    • says

      Maybe I didn’t notice on the menu, LOL. It is nice to have them available at the restaurant.

      But for example Paork, I rarely see it on the menu. Maybe I am not at the right restaurant. By the way, I am really like it, LOL

      What I mean in my comment is that some of them are very typical Cambodian food, some time it could cause some effect to the stomach of foreigners that not used to it.

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