Cambodian cuisine

Cambodian food is a mix between Thai and Vietnamese flavors. Much of the stewed dishes have been taken from Thai cuisine, although more herbs and less spices are used.


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  • 1 soups
  • 2 Main dishes in Cambodia
  • 3 Dessert
  • 4 Cambodian drinks
  • 5 Sources


It is the basic dish during breakfast. Before going to work or at an early break after an hour or two of work, Cambodians take a rice stew or rice noodle soup. During the rest of the meals soups are also taken, although of another type. One of the most popular is somla machou banlé, a sweet and sour soup with fish and pineapple. Somla machou bangkang, a very spicy shrimp soup, or somla chapek, a soup with pork and ginger, is also popular. During weddings, a fish soup with molluscs is served.

Main dishes in Cambodia

  • Meat, and especially fish, are very present in the Cambodian diet. Often both fish and meat, specifically beef fillets or sausages, are first dried in the sun before eating. Fish is also often dried out.
  • Crab, especially in the south of the country, prepared with the famous Kampot pepper, squid and shrimp are also very common in meals.

Among the specialties, Loc Lac is probably one of the best known Cambodian cuisine dishes both inside and outside the country. Loc lac is a dish of beef marinated in a soy sauce that is then spread on a preparation of pepper, salt and lemon.

For its part, amok , another favorite dish by foreigners, is a fish cooked with coconut milk and presented on a banana leaf . Sometimes it is made with chicken.

Other dishes that we can frequently find are frog legs, generally smeared with the same pepper, salt and lemon preparation as that used in lac loc, and fish and curry meats .


Cambodians are not used to eating desserts after eating, but between meals. In fact, in most restaurants or cafes where meals are served, there is no after-meal dessert of any kind. Desserts are usually bought at the market or from some specialty stores. There are also carts on the streets that sell them. Most of them are made from glutinous or coconut rice.

Cambodians have also preserved the French baking tradition and you can find a kind of baguettes in almost all markets.

Cambodian drinks

Tea is the basic drink in Cambodia, so much so that it is given away in all cafes. A variant is iced lemon tea (tae kroi chima). Palm wine is actually a juice that is extracted from the sugar palm and then cooked, extracting the sugar, and allowing it to ferment. Everyone drinks it in Cambodia, including children, despite being an alcoholic beverage.

Coconuts can be found anywhere in Cambodia, although they are often sold at roadside stands. The top of the coconut is removed with a knife and a small incision is made where a straw is inserted. Large coconuts can contain several liters of juice, but small ones are tastier and sweeter.

One of the delicatessen in Cambodia, as in other Southeast Asian countries, is the swallow nest juice. In Cambodia, there are entire buildings dedicated to the breeding of swallows, which, unlike other species, make their nests only with their saliva. Cambodians take these nests and make a refreshing drink out of them in cans.

  • To understand the gastronomy of this Asian country, it should also be borne in mind that Cambodians hardly ever eat at home and that restaurants are a meeting point for citizens.


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