21 Best Dishes to Eat in Cambodia

Cambodian cuisine may be lesser known than the world-renowned dishes of neighboring Thailand and Vietnam, but it’s just as delicious. Here are 21 of the best dishes in Cambodia, with a handful of the weird and wonderful thrown in for good measure. Fish amok

Fish amok is held in esteem as Cambodia’s signature dish, and the creamy curry can be found in abundance on menus in tourist hubs. Diced fillets of freshwater fish are smothered in coconut milk, eggs, fish sauce and palm sugar. Kroeung — a paste made from pounded spices and other ingredients, such as turmeric, kaffir lime, lemongrass and shallots — is also added. The traditional way to cook the dish is by steaming it in a banana leaf shaped into a bowl, within which it is served.

Kuy teav / Noodle Soup

This popular street food dish is how most Cambodians start the day. Kuy t…

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The ‘MasterChef’ selling papaya salad from his modest eatery

With its modest surroundings and dozen or so red plastic tables, restaurant Bong Rith Bok Lahong Piseh behind Phnom Penh’s Chhouk Meas Market may not stand out at first glance. But this humble eatery has attracted many customers for two reasons; the food’s great taste and its friendly chef who found fame on competitive cooking reality television show MasterChef Khmer. Wearing a black apron, chef Eang Darith has a seemingly permanently happy demeanour as he stands in the open air kitchen in front of his restaurant – whose name translates to ‘Brother Rith’s Special Papaya Salad’. Phnom Penh native Darith has been passionate about cooking since he was a boy. The 38-year-old was taught by his mother as she prepared family meals. His break in the food industry came when he was a teenager and moved to Siem Reap town in search of work, where he was hired in a restaurant and would observe the chef prepare food for patrons. On quiet days when there were not many diners, Dari…
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Phnom Penh’s Russian eatery still going strong

Before her country declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Irina Godlevskaya and her family from Tashkent, Uzbekistan had had enough of their lives in Central Asia’s most populous country. A country of many ethnic groups and religions, Irina’s family found it hard to compete in the harsh post-Soviet business environment. She was advised by many of her Cambodian friends about the possibility of a bright future and good business opportunities in the Kingdom. Convinced, in 1990 she and her family uprooted and began their new lives 5,000km away in Southeast Asia. They brought with them the taste and traditions of their motherland, opening Irina’s Russian Restaurant in Phnom Penh. Today, 66-year-old Irina, along with her husband and daughter, run among Basaac Lane’s longest established and best known restaurants. Sitting in the restaurant kitted out with traditional Russian decor, including Soviet iconography hanging on the wall, Irina’s daughter So…
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The street food you adore, but given a refined twist

There is no shortage of street food vendors scattered across Phnom Penh, but what is far rarer is finding a place that also has comfortable seating, good hygiene and parking. This is where Jing Ling and her five friends step in. With the concept of elevating street food with more creative recipes, comfortable seating and plentiful parking, Ling and her business partners opened eatery The Street Cambodia in the capital. The 32-year-old Ling says they studied local street food, selecting some of its most popular dishes in order to adapt them and make them stand out from the rest. We carefully chose some of the best street food and were creative with them by adding a unique flavour to each dish." “For instance, sweet and sour chicken feet are sold on every street corner. It is popular and you can never go wrong when you eat them with a nice beer. And here, we also have it on our menu, but we’ve added special scallions from Kampot province to give it a twist,” she tells…
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