Last updated on October 1st, 2023 at 06:28 am
The Cambodian Lok Lak recipe may not be as well-known as Crying Tiger Beef or Steak Frites, but it certainly deserves to be for its super-tender beef covered in a glossy, peppery sauce. It’s one of my go-to methods for cooking sirloin steak and it just takes around 30 minutes from start to finish.
It’s simple to see why the Cambodian Lok Lak recipe (Cambodian Black Pepper Beef) is such a popular meal in Cambodia. On a bed of fresh lettuce, cucumber, and tomato, you’ll find tender beef stir-fried in a savory pepper and slightly sour sauce. Like many Southeast Asian meals, this one uses few ingredients but offers an explosion of flavor and texture.
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We had a great time laughing and joking about while we learned to make authentic Cambodian cuisine. Being a good student, I jotted the recipe notes on my notebook and I still have them with me now. It’s a miracle that I was able to take any notes at all; the free drinks they provided during class knocked me out cold. Laurel claimed that this was the finest culinary lesson she had ever taken.
In Cambodia, the majority of the food we ordered was served with a little bowl of salt, pepper, and chili. At Sihanoukville, I had steamed clams served with a simple dipping sauce of fresh lime juice and heaps of crushed white pepper.
Before going to Cambodia, I had no idea how much of a fan of pepper I actually was. One possible explanation is because Kampot is home to some of the world’s best peppercorn. Southwest Cambodia is home to the province of Kampot. Kampot wasn’t on our plan this trip, but it will be the first stop the next time we’re in the area.
There is now Kampot pepper on French restaurant menus. Its peppery flavor is bold yet nuanced, with overtones of flowery and citrus. Very neat that the World Trade Organization has recognized Kampot pepper as deserving of the ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ label. This acts like champagne trademark law in protecting the Kampot Pepper brand. Unless it comes from the Champagne area of France, you can’t call it Champagne.
3 Reasons People Love the Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
1. Bold and Spicy Flavor: The Cambodian Lok Lak recipe is a favorite among many because of its robust and spicy flavor. The dish’s rich and fragrant sauce is a result of the union of chili peppers, garlic, and ginger. This meal is a wonderful sensory experience, with the heat of the chili peppers perfectly balanced by the sugar and saltiness of the fish sauce.
2. Tender and juicy beef: The meat is so tender and juicy, it’s another reason why everyone loves this meal. The beef is seasoned with a blend of spices and sauces before being marinated. The beef is then stir-fried at high heat, producing a tender, juicy, and very flavorful entrée.
3. Easy to make: Another plus for this meal is its simplicity to prepare. The meat is stir-fried quickly after being marinated in a sauce and spice combination. This straightforward technique yields a dish that is not only tasty, but also quick to prepare, making it ideal for hectic weeknights.
How To Make Our Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
Ingredients: (8 Servings)
2 lbs sirloin steak, sliced into thin strips
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
4 red chili peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Steamed rice, for serving
1. In a large bowl, mix together the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Add the sliced beef to the bowl and marinate for 30 minutes.
2. In a large wok or frying pan, heat the oil over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, red chili peppers, and onion to the pan and stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the marinated beef to the pan and stir-fry until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Serve the Cambodian Pepper Beef over steamed rice.
Nutritional Information For the Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Protein: 32 g
Fat: 17 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 83 mg
Sodium: 948 mg
Potassium: 715 mg
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 6 g
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Pots, Pans, and Cooking Equipment Needed for the Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
Wok or large frying pan
Best Way to Store Leftovers From the Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
Leftover Cambodian Pepper Beef can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply stir-fry the beef in a pan over medium heat until heated through.
Substitutions For the Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
Fish sauce can be substituted with soy sauce for a vegetarian option.
Red chili peppers can be substituted with green chili peppers for a milder flavor.
Sugar can be substituted with brown sugar or honey for a sweeter flavor.
Substitutions For the Vegetarian Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
For a vegetarian option, the beef can be substituted with tofu or mushrooms.
Tips and Tricks For Easier Creation
To ensure the beef is tender, slice it against the grain.
Marinating the beef for at least 30 minutes to infuse the flavors into the meat.
Stir-fry the beef over high heat to quickly cook it and keep it tender.
Side Dishes and Desserts For the Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
Fresh fruit salad
How To Serve the Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
The Cambodian Pepper Beef is typically served over steamed rice and can be accompanied by steamed vegetables or a fresh fruit salad. The dish can also be served with fried rice or spring rolls for a complete meal.
FAQs About the Cambodian Lok Lak Recipe
What is the origin of the Cambodian Lok Lak recipe?
The Cambodian Lok Lak recipe is a traditional dish from Cambodia. It is believed to have originated from the country’s rich culinary heritage and is now a popular dish both in Cambodia and around the world.
What kind of beef is used in the Cambodian Lok Lak recipe?
The most commonly used beef in the Cambodian Lok Lak recipe is sirloin steak. However, other cuts of beef such as flank steak or tenderloin can also be used.
What gives the Cambodian Pepper Beef its spicy flavor?
The Cambodian Pepper Beef gets its spicy flavor from the combination of chili peppers, ginger, and garlic used in the dish.
How is the Cambodian Pepper Beef typically served?
The Cambodian Pepper Beef is typically served over steamed rice and can be accompanied by steamed vegetables or a fresh fruit salad.
Can the Cambodian Lok Lak recipe be made in advance?
Yes, the Cambodian Pepper Beef can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply stir-fry the beef in a pan over medium heat until heated through.
As someone who enjoys experiencing different cultures via their food, I was instantly drawn to Cambodia. When in Cambodia, I finally got to eat the dish for which it is most known: The Cambodian Lok Lak recipe with Kampot peppers. The first taste of this tangy and delicious meal blew my mind.
The beef in this dish is marinated in a sweet and savory blend of fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. The meat is given an incredible kick of flavor from the marinade. The beef becomes soft and juicy when it is stir-fried with garlic, ginger, red chili peppers, and onion.
The dish’s adaptability wowed me. The tenderloin, sirloin, and flank steak in the Cambodian Lok Lak recipes make it a versatile dish suitable for both everyday and exceptional occasions. Low in carbs and strong in protein, the meal is both simple and nutritious.
The dish’s cultural importance, in addition to its robust and spicy flavor, left quite an impression on me when I first had it. Anyone interested in sampling authentic Cambodian cuisine and learning more about the country’s history and culture should try this Cambodian Lok Lak recipe.
I can’t say enough good things about the Cambodian Lok Lak recipe with Kampot Peppers. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just trying to broaden your culinary horizons, you’ll be impressed by this meal. Its historic importance, tender and juicy meat, and robust and spicy flavor make it a culinary marvel.
Great Cambodian Pepper Beef
- large bowl
- Wok or large frying pan
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- 2 lbs sirloin steak, sliced into thin strips or cubed
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 4 red chili peppers, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- Steamed rice, for serving
- In a large bowl, mix together the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Add the sliced beef to the bowl and marinate for 30 minutes.
- In a large wok or frying pan, heat the oil over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, red chili peppers, and onion to the pan and stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the marinated beef to the pan and stir-fry until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Serve the Cambodian Pepper Beef over steamed rice.
Tips and TricksTo ensure the beef is tender, slice it against the grain. Marinating the beef for at least 30 minutes to infuse the flavors into the meat. Stir-fry the beef over high heat to quickly cook it and keep it tender.
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