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30 Super Easy Traditional Cambodian Recipes

🍴 10 Best Dishes Of Cambodia | Cambodian Food | Living In Cambodia.

Traditional Cambodian recipes are very unique and different from most other types of traditional Cambodian food. It has similarities to other foods in Asia, but this food offers something special.

All About Cambodian Food History

Cambodian food has been influenced by foods from India, China, Thailand, Laos, and France. This mixture of influences is what makes Cambodian food so special.

Jump to All About Cambodian Food History
Jump to 5 Most Popular Cambodian Dishes
Jump to 5 Most Popular Questions About Cambodian Food
Jump to 30 Super Easy Traditional Cambodian Recipes

Traditional Cambodian recipes use a wide range of fruits and vegetables making it one of the healthiest food choices on the planet. So, if you’re looking for something healthy to eat you should add some Cambodian meals to your diet.

A lot of passion and care is put into making Cambodian food. Many of the dishes you will find in this part of the world are slowly cooked all day. The Cambodian people are family orientated and often cook meals for many people to enjoy.

Most Cambodian food is cooked over an open fire or using a gas stove. This adds extra flavor to most meals. Food cooked by street vendors is especially sought after by residents. Cambodian food is affordable and most of what goes into a meal is locally sourced.

5 Most Popular Cambodian Dishes

Now that you are more familiar with Cambodian food, let’s look at some of the traditional Cambodian recipes that have made this food so popular.

1. Amok

Amok is a simple dish that is also known as coconut curry fish. This dish is often prepared in regions of the country that has access to lakes and rivers. It is a staple in the homes of many Cambodians.

2. Samlar Kari

If you love curry, then you will love Samlar Kari. This is traditional Cambodian curry dish is made from cut-up chicken that is mixed with a rich coconut sauce. To flavor, this dish Cambodian’s, use a mixture of palm sugar, fish paste, shrimp paste, and other spices. It is often served with bamboo shoots and purple sweet potatoes.

3. Lok Lak

Lok Lak is a Cambodian stir-fry dish that can be made from different types of meat including beef, fish, and shrimp. The beef version of this dish is served on a bed of lettuce and topped with onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes. This is one of those traditional Cambodian recipes that is shared with the entire family.

4. Kampot Pepper Crab

If you love seafood, then you will love this dish. Kampot Pepper Crab is one of the most famous traditional Cambodian recipes that you can find. This dish originated in the Kampot region of the country and contains freshly caught crabs that are fried whole. Once cooked it is covered with garlic sauce and green peppercorns.

5. Yaohon

One of the most popular traditional Cambodian recipes is Yaohon. This traditional dish is cooked in a hot pot and is often shared between family and friends. In the hot pot, you will find a variety of different meats, seafood, and vegetables. Each hot pot is prepared differently depending on the region it is cooked. In most areas, Yaohon is prepared with a broth of coconut milk, cream, and chicken stock.

Cambodia Collage of food pictures

5 Most Popular Questions About Cambodian Food

Is Cambodian Food Spicy?

Cambodian food can be spicy, however, many dishes are not. Many Cambodian traditional Cambodian recipes are sour rather than hot.

What Is the Most Famous Cambodian Dish?

The most famous of all Cambodian traditional Cambodian recipes has to be Amok or coconut curry fish. This dish is served at home and in many restaurants around the country. If you have ever tried this dish you will agree that it is one of the most flavorful of all Cambodian foods.

Is Cambodian Food the Same as Thai?

While traditional Cambodian food and Thai food share some of the same ingredients, they are not the same. Thai food is often spicier than most authentic Cambodian recipes which helps set the two cuisines apart from one another.

What Time Do People in Cambodia Eat Breakfast?

People in Cambodia eat their breakfast earlier than many people in the west. Most Cambodians eat breakfast between 6:30 AM and 7:30 AM.

Is Cambodian Food Healthy?

When it comes to healthy food traditional Cambodian food is one of the healthiest options on earth. Authentic Cambodian recipes are made from fruits, vegetables, and lean meats such as fish, seafood, and pork.

30 Super Easy Traditional Cambodian Recipes

1. Cambodian Kaw Sach Chrouk

traditional Cambodian recipes - Cambodian Kaw Sach Chrouk

Khmer Food Recipe: Kaw Sach Chrouk or Kaw is a traditional Cambodian food. This is an authentic Cambodian recipe of braised pork slow cooked with caramelized broth, bamboo shoots and hard boiled eggs.

2. Authentic Cambodian Chicken Amok Recipe

traditional Cambodian recipes - Authentic Cambodian Chicken Amok Recipe

When you ask anyone in Cambodia what their most typical Cambodian food is, you will hear “Amok”. So what is this traditional Cambodia recipe and what does it consist of? Basically, it is a mouth-watering curry dish that is served in a folded up banana leaf shaped like a bowl. Not only is the presentation absolutely gorgeous, but the flavor of chicken amok is out of this world.

3. Cambodian Coconut Shrimp Soup

traditional Cambodian recipes - Cambodian Coconut Shrimp Soup

Quick and easy, this vibrant Cambodian traditional recipe for Coconut Shrimp Soup with coconut milk, green beans, and tomatoes is perfect for a weeknight supper!

I have adapted this authentic Cambodian recipe for Coconut Shrimp Stew to some degree since obtaining all the ingredients that I learned to cook with in Phnom Penh proved tricky here in the States. However, I’ve left two traditional ingredients in the recipe: lemongrass and fresh turmeric.

4. Cambodian Recipe for Pepper Beef (Lok Lak)

authentic Cambodian recipes - Cambodian Recipe for Pepper Beef (Lok Lak)

Super tender beef that’s coated in a glossy, peppery sauce – this traditional Cambodian recipe may not be as famous as Crying Tiger Beef or Steak Frites, but it deserves to be! It’s one of my favorite ways to eat sirloin steak and an easy Cambodian food to prepare at home – and it’s ready in under 30 minutes. Winner!

5. Authentic Cambodian Recipe for Kroeung

authentic Cambodian recipes - Authentic Cambodian Recipe for Kroeung

Cambodian Kroeung which directly translates to “Ingredients” is the herb paste that gives Cambodian food their distinctly exotic flavors and aromas which distinguish Khmer food from neighboring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. Uniquely Khmer, this Cambodian lemongrass paste recipe is used in a wide variety of Cambodian dishes as a base flavoring.

6. Cambodian Food (Khmer) Fish Amok Recipe

authentic Cambodian recipes - Cambodian Food (Khmer) Fish Amok Recipe

What is “amok”? If you’re visiting Southeast Asia on our culinary tours in Cambodia and Vietnam, you’re sure to hear of (and taste) the traditional Cambodian food of Amok, but what exactly is it?

An amok Khmer recipe is a traditional Cambodian recipe usually made with fish, although chicken and beef amok are also popular. The food is traditionally a bit like a curry stew served in a boat made of banana leaves. An amok Cambodia can be served with or without rice.

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7. Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe

authentic Cambodian recipes - Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe

Here is one of the true traditional Cambodian food choices: beef lok lak. Lok lak or loc lac (ឡុកឡាក់) appears on the menu of most restaurants in Cambodia but also abroad. It is indeed a dish that delights the palate of Westerners and has therefore exported very well.

The traditional Cambodian recipe consists of beef cut into pieces, marinated and then sautéed in a wok before being served on a bed of green salad with slices of tomatoes and cucumber that bring freshness to the dish.

8. Cambodian Sweet-and-Sour Soup

traditional Cambodian food - Sweet-and-Sour Soup

Cambodian food served with jasmine rice and an assortment of flavorful garnishes, this soup can make a whole meal, and often does in Cambodia.

This authentic Cambodian recipe should serve as a guideline; add and subtract amounts and ingredients to your taste. The soup base can be made with all water, with one of the other liquids mentioned or with a mixture, depending on your preference. Once everything is chopped and ready to go, the soup takes no time to put together.

9.  Cambodian Num Bahn Chok: Cambodian Rice Noodle Recipe

traditional Cambodian food - Cambodian Num Bahn Chok Cambodian Rice Noodle Recipe

While staying with my mother in Cambodia for a few months, I’ve learned to appreciate one of her favorite Cambodian food, a traditional Cambodian recipe for breakfast called num banh chok or Cambodian noodle –rice noodle served with fish gravy and freshly foraged wild grown Cambodian vegetables (some of which does not have an English name), eaten with a few chilli peppers on the side. Like all our morning breakfast in Cambodia, it’s served at room temperature, in a plastic bag, delivered to our house.

10. Samlor Kako Recipe

Cambodian recipe -Samlor Kako Recipe

Samlor Kako is the traditional Cambodian recipe that is a version of French Ratatouille leftover from colonial times.

The original French ratatouille was made in Provence first but it eventually became a popular dish in all regions of France. The Cambodian food has an eggplant base and contains a lot of other vegetables as well.

11. Cambodian Chicken-and-Rice Soup with Shrimp

Cambodian recipe -Cambodian Chicken-and-Rice Soup with Shrimp

An authentic Cambodian recipe for this spicy, soothing and restorative chicken-and-rice soup, Ratha Chau prepares his own delectable chicken stock and roasts a chicken, which is then cut into large pieces and added to it. Easy way Using prepared stock and pre-roasted chicken significantly cuts back on prep time.

12. Lort Cha Traditional Cambodian Recipe

Cambodian food - Lort Cha Traditional Cambodian Recipe

This authentic Cambodian recipe makes the popular snack of rice pin noodles stir-fried with garlic, bean sprouts and scallions or chives in a sauce of palm sugar, fish sauce and dark soy sauce. They are typically eaten in Cambodia with a soft fried egg, a liberal squirt of chilli sauce, and perhaps a chive cake or two, which lort cha vendors fry up on the same pan.

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13. Kuy Teav Cambodian Recipe

Cambodian food - Kuy Teav Cambodian Recipe

When thinking about Asian soups, it is easy to imagine the narrow Cambodian streets, the fragrant marketplaces where the vendors sell their authentic Cambodian recipes during the day. The peak time is the morning, when most local people are looking for their soup for breakfast. Kuy Teav, this hearty and spicy, pork broth-based Khmer soup with Chinese origins, is one of the most typical morning street foods in Cambodia.

14. Cambodian Chicken Red Curry

Cambodian Chicken Red Curry

Traditional Cambodian recipe for Chicken Red Curry, known as Somlar Kari Saek Mouan or sometimes Khmer Red Curry, is a rich Cambodian food, flavorful curry made with coconut milk, chicken, eggplant, green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a wonderful red curry paste called kroeung. It’s similar to Thai red curry, but not as spicy.

We love to travel and always come home inspired by new dishes that we like to attempt to recreate.

15. Samlor Kako: Khmer Small Fish and Vegetable Stew

Samlor Kako Khmer Small Fish and Vegetable Stew

The traditional Cambodian recipe for Samlor Kako, also called Somlaw Koko, samlor koko, samlor korko or “សម្លកកូរ” in Khmer, has a very strong Asian spice basis, which includes ginger, lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, fish paste and fish sauce. The vegetables that are used are traditional Asian vegetables as well, including eggplants, green grated papaya, and yardlong beans.

16. Traditional Cambodian Prawn Amok Recipe

Traditional Cambodian Prawn Amok Recipe

Authentic Cambodian recipe for Prawn Amok is a wonderfully fragrant Cambodian curry that uses lemongrass, turmeric, garlic, chilli, ginger and shallot to create a powerfully flavorsome curry paste. That curry paste is combined with coconut milk, prawns and bok choi for a simple and light weeknight dinner that you will want to make again and again.

17. Cambodian Roti Recipe

Cambodian Roti Recipe

Roti is a type of flatbread served with Cambodian food and is easy to make at home with our easy recipe. Fry the dough to get a crisp finish. Simple Cambodian recipe for this dish can be made in a short time and makes the meal feel more authentic.

18. Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken Recipe

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken Recipe

During our visit to Cambodia, Tomasi (husband) and I were obsessed with their traditional Cambodian recipe for lemongrass chicken wings. The wings were a popular street food that we often saw cooking on small barbeques on the sidewalks. The wonderful smell of the fragrant chicken cooking on the charcoal never failed to make our mouths water.

I enjoy getting introduced to the Country’s local ingredients and learning about their food preparation and cooking styles.

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19. Cambodian Stuffed Chicken Wing Recipe

Cambodian Stuffed Chicken Wing Recipe

Stuffed chicken, or what we Cambodians call Moan Baok, is another street food favorite for Khmers. It is also found at most street food stalls along with kang kaeb baok, intended for the chicken lovers, or the less adventurous.

Slab Moan Baok or Authentic Cambodian recipe for stuffed chicken wings, is a really popular Cambodian dish. During any Cambodian celebration or a house party, you will always see slab moan baok. . Many Cambodians make it as an accompaniment to salad and soups at home monthly.

20. Cambodian Black Pepper Beef (Lok Lak)

Cambodian Black Pepper Beef (Lok Lak)

Wok cooking happens quickly, so prepare each ingredient for this traditional Cambodian recipe beforehand. 2019 Best New Chef Nite Yun’s intensely flavorful marinade not only tenderizes the flank steak but also adds punchy flavor in just a few minutes of cooking. Golden Mountain seasoning sauce is slightly saltier than soy sauce, with a hint of sweetness. Find it online and at Asian markets. Kampot peppercorns are available at oaktownspiceshop.com.

21. Cambodian Chicken Curry Recipe

Cambodian Chicken Curry Recipe

This traditional Cambodian recipe for Chicken Curry is the business. It’s very light and fragrant and people have said it’s as good as any you’d get in a restaurant! High praise indeed.

One of the best things about Cambodian food is that the dishes are extremely fragrant as the lemongrass, ginger, garlic and lime in this curry make it very light and it won’t sit on your stomach like some heavier, tomato-based curries that you may have made in the past.

22. Cambodian Sour Soup Recipe

Cambodian Sour Soup Recipe

Cambodian sour soup is not what it sounds like. I really wish there was a better English translation for “samlor machu” which is Khmer (the language spoken in Cambodia) for “sour soup.”

This authentic Cambodian recipe really not THAT sour and there’s a lot more going on besides just the sour flavor – hints of sweet, salty, spicy (though not super spicy) all fuse together for a wonderfully flavorful and soothing soup.

23. Cambodian Tuk Trey Recipe

Cambodian Tuk Trey Recipe

Fish sauce is an essential ingredient in many Asian cuisines. This is an authentic Cambodian recipe for Tuk Trey, a sauce made from fish sauce is the essence of Cambodian cuisine.

Literally, tuk trey (ទឹកត្រី in Khmer) means “fish water”. It is pronounced “tukatrei”.

Fish sauce is the basic condiment of many cuisines such as Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian, Filipino, Chinese, and other Southeast Asian cuisines. It is even found in Senegalese cuisine.

It can be added to any dish during the cooking process or mixed with other seasonings in different ways depending on the local uses of each country. Fish sauce is eaten with fish, shellfish, poultry and all types of meat. In southern China, it is often used in soups and casseroles.

24. Cambodian Grilled Eggplant

Cambodian Grilled Eggplant

This traditional Cambodian recipe for grilled eggplant with minced pork makes a delicious Cambodian food that’s called Chha Trob for short in Khmer. The eggplant is char-grilled so it has a wonderful smoky flavor, while the minced pork, stir-fried with fermented soybeans, is a little funky, a little salty, and a little sweet.

This Cambodian grilled eggplant with minced pork recipe is next in my series on the best Cambodian barbecue recipes and follows my previous recipes for smoky grilled pork ribs and beef skewers, two of our favorite Cambodian street food dishes.

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25. Chicken Samlá Curry

Chicken Samlá Curry

This Chicken Samlá recipe is a curry that is basically a soupy kind of curry and one that is found quite commonly in Cambodia. It is either served as a soup or as a stew poured over rice. The thick, soupy coconut milk broth is what makes a Samlá stand out. It strongly reminds you of the Thai yellow curry but the flavors are different.

26. Chamhoi Spicy Steamed Fish Recipe

Chamhoi Spicy Steamed Fish Recipe

As usual, to keep it as an authentic Cambodian recipe, I will be using mudfish/snakehead fish, (Trei Ros in Cambodian) —frozen of course. You could also opt for Sea Bass, Tilapia or any freshwater fish. But personally, snakehead fish is always a winner with me.

Although it has the same white, flaky meat as tilapia, snakehead meat is slightly more firm, and although both have a mild flavor, the tilapia leaves a slight fishy aftertaste whereas you wouldn’t detect any fishy aftertaste from the snakehead meat.

27. Cambodian Saom Omelette Recipe

Cambodian Saom Omelette Recipe

Our traditional Cambodian for this Saom Omelette recipe is made with a beloved Cambodian herb called saom. Known in English as climbing wattle or acacia leaf, saom is called cha-om in Thailand and in Myanmar it’s su pout ywet. Saom – sometimes written sa’om – are the feathery shoots of the senegalia pennata, which is also called acacia pennata.

Saom is farmed on a small scale here in Cambodia, but it’s mostly foraged. Cambodians were foragers well before it was fashionable. The natural instinct is to pluck something from the backyard, the neighbor’s yard, the side of the road, or anywhere in and around the village where things grow.

28. Pork and Rice (Bai Sach Chrouk)

Pork and Rice (Bai Sach Chrouk)

This well-loved authentic Cambodian recipe make breakfast dish that is found at roadside vendors in the early hours of the morning. Pork is marinated with garlic, and sometimes coconut milk, and then slowly grilled on a wire rack set over burning charcoal.

29. Cambodian Beef Skewers

Cambodian Beef Skewers

This traditional Cambodian recipe for beef skewers kicks off our series on the best Cambodian barbecue recipes. Called Sach Ko ang in Khmer, they are typically eaten with pickled vegetables and are a classic late afternoon or early evening snack in Cambodia. Some locals slide the meat off the skewer into the buttered baguette to make a meal out of them.

30. Cambodian Pahut (Fish Cakes)

Cambodian Pahut (Fish Cakes)

Food is a never-ending exploration, and the latest before us is a Cambodian food we love with these Pahut or fish cakes. Cambodia is a land of rivers and lakes, bordered by the Gulf of Thailand, and nestled between Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. The cuisine is lighter and features more vegetables and fish than Thai or Vietnamese.

Traditional Cambodian recipes are a exotic fusion of Chinese, Indian and French influences. The food is light, delicate & healthy. An emphasis is placed on freshness of ingredients & simplicity in cooking, allowing the complex aromas, textures & flavors to shine. The core flavors are subtle, utilizing lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves and turmeric.


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