Cambodian cuisine


When living abroad, tasting the local cuisine is part of discovering the country.

What is your favorite food in Cambodia?

What is the local speciality?

Share with us the local tastes of Cambodia and why not your best recipe.

Thank you in advance,


Hi Priscilla,

Greetings to you.

Absolutely, while we are roaming in Cambodia. Have a lot of opportunity to taste some delicious Khmer food. But I like much in Fried Rice with soup(Bhai cha).Fried noodles(Bhai Mee). those are we mixed with fish oil,chille,ginger and garlic.  Taste is pretty good.

Have a lot of foods, but i used to taste often these things.


i didn't really like cambodian food, but you should definitely try:
Fried Noodles for breakfast,
Balut (ferilized duck eggs)
Spiders (fried, sold in the streets)
Soft bananas with big seeds
Green bananas
Dragon fruit juice
Street sandwich
Ants sauce (i tasted it near siem reap)
Street oisters
iced Coffee with condensed milk.

Background info:  I am a retired chef who has lived in Siem Reap for three years now.  To be honest, my first reaction to Cambodian cuisine was "nothing to write home about" especially when compared to the world class cuisines of it's neighbors Thailand and Vietnam.  However, I have been living with my Khmer partner (a great cook!) on his family compound for 16 months and my opinion has made a 180 degree turn.  REAL Cambodian food is delicious!
Probably my favorite dish is something Khmers call Burnt Chicken. Basically, take a Khmer Chicken (NOT a farmed "fat" chicken) and rub it on the inside and outside with a few tablespoons of EITHER Oyster Sauce OR a mixture of Soy and Fish Sauce.  Let it sit 20 minutes.  Stuff the bird with some chopped Garlic, sliced Ginger, a few Kefir Lime leaves and a stalk of Lemongrass, pounded and tied in a knot.  Heat some oil in a large pot (with a lid) and brown the Chicken on both sides, then turn the heat to med-low, cover the pot and cook 50 minutes, turning once or twice.  When the bird is cooked, remove from pot and hold.  In a separate pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil on medium heat.  Add 5 cloves Garlic, 1 1/2 Tablespoons Black Peppercorns and 2 dry, chopped Hot Chili peppers (or more) and roast until the aroma is good [DO NOT BURN]. Grind in a mortar and pestle.  Slowly add the juice of 2 Asian Limes (the small ones), 1 1/2 teaspoons Sugar and 1/2 teaspoon Fish Sauce. Add a small amount of the Chicken juice from the pot.  If thick add some hot water to make it pretty loose......Check might need some salt. Now, stir-fry the Water Grass and Spring Onions in the original cooking pot for 5 minutes.  Cut up the Chicken and serve with the vegetables and sauce on the side with rice (OF COURSE!).......Chin-niang!!!
Another of my favorites is Bitter Melon Soup Stuffed with Pork........wonderful!  Strangely, I have not had either of the two "national" dishes, Lok Lak or Amok served to me in a restaurant that was memorable. I will say that if anyone is in Phnom Penh wishing to experience Khmer food at it's best, you can't go wrong at Mallis Restaurant, in my opinion (I have NO interest in that business).  There are several other dishes, I could go on about but you get the point. There is lots of wonderful Cambodian cuisine out there if you're willing to find it. Bon Appetit!!!

Where exactly is Mallis restaurant?

Mallis is on Norodom Blvd. about two blocks SOUTH of the Independence Monument on the left hand side (heading south). 
They are actually building one here in Siem Reap and I can't wait for them to open.  ENJOY!!!

Hi, Priscilla welcome to Cambodia,

Cambodian cuisine is very nice, please visit following restaurant for testing local cuisine;

Khmer Surin Restaurant

No. 11A, St. 57, 12302 Phnom Penh

012 887 320

Olympic Khmer Thai Restaurant

No. 27Eo, St. 205, 12309 Phnom Penh

    Mobile Phone 016 599 816
    Mobile Phone 012 613 228
    Mobile Phone 012 613 828

Hope you enjoy with that.

Hi everybody,

Thank you for your contribution.  :par:

Can you please recommend the restaurants that you have suggested in the business directory > Restaurants in Cambodia as well?

It can help other members to find these addresses more easily too. ;)



sorlacsiul :

i didn't really like cambodian food, but you should definitely try:

Balut (ferilized duck eggs)
Spiders (fried, sold in the streets)
Ants sauce (i tasted it near siem reap)

You don't like Cambodian food but these you are????

Oh my!!!!!  :huh:

please dont eat from Mike burger house. Staff so rude. and not polite.

I didn't like most recipes. It doesn't mean one should't experience some peculiar stuff. I didn't like the balut, but I still think people shouldn't miss it.

Nothing really special here. whether street food or restaurant you end in the toilet having diarrhea.  Just maybe they dont know how to store the meat. One time , I saw someone just put back old stuff from yesterday and cook it again.

and one vendor, just put the old smelly meat into the fried rice... food poisoning.

They have to change and regulate food here in Cambodia specially the street food, MINISTRY OF HEALTH , ACT ABOUT IT!!!!

The food is seriously wonderful. When you are south the Kampot pepper mixed with blue swimmer crab or squid. The amok(fish paste) varies from chef to chef but its pungency seriously wonderful , turning freshwater fish into something delicious. The use of tamarind paste and the bitter/sour taste refreshes the pallet. I also love the fact that the local people are still inclined to prefer fresh  coconut juice rather than Coke. keeping obesity in check. I felt the country is a moveable feast,

Its hard for the average tourist who comes to Cambodia to really appreciate the cuisine especially for the tourist on the 3 days in Siem Reap, 2 days PP with a quick side trip to kampong som or kampot/kep circuit.

After traveling all off north, central, and south America  with a stint living in Brasil i came to SE Asia in 2012 spending time in Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia. After 10 months traveling  and 2 months in the ststes i always come back to Cambodia enjoying the people the culture the scenery and yes the food.

Wherever i go i try just about anything and have learned to like many dishes that i honestly didnt like the first couple times i tried them. In cambodia ive ridden my moto from SR to PP to ratanakri to mondalkiri back to PP on to kampong som to koh kong to kampot kep and batambong. Ive eaten at the side of the road in cardamom mountains and in the jungle in mondalkiri where it seems they never saw a westerner and the thing that i love most about cambodian cuisine  is the abudance of non processed food. Antibiotic, chemical, steroid, free free range meat and poultry. yes, its a little harder to chew than the meat here in the USA but the taste is so much more flavorful and lean. Im  not going to lie I have to admit the first week i got home california  I ate steaks and kobe beef burgers daily but thats more about being able to get certain cuts of beef so cheap here in the states that i cant get in se asia except for some overpriced tastless Australian beef they tend to sale everywhere.

With the exception of what the other post mistakenly called balut, ive tried pong tia koon in cambodia, kai look in lao and something vit lon in vietnam and yes balut in the Philippines thats one dish i cant seem to enjoy or get used too. at just about every little side of the road restaurant you can find pong tia koon and my companions always seem to buy a bowl of eggs but im cool on the duck eggs. But offer me some grilled fish squid or any seafood in kep or some sausage from siem reap or bbq thia in batambong or the can of  small cockles that sit in the sun marinated in chili or grilled frog or small bird with the egg inside and im down. I havent even got to the fruit vegetables soups stews or bobo som. Khmer food is really delicious if you take the time to open your mind and heart Im sure there is something for everyone.
Ill be moving to PP august 26 to open the first Boys and Girls club outside the usa.The first thing im going to do is be out by kandal market around 4-5 pm when the first bbq ducks start to come off the grill and ill go back and forth until i get one for $5 and eat the whole thia (duck) myself!

Malis expensive and mediocre.

I am afraid that contemporary Cambodian cuisine is based around the use of MSG. As a consultant chef I have worked in establishments here that claim to be superior and they have all used MSG. In fact one establishment had an entire palate of chicken powder in its stores. You are OK if you do not have an allergy. I must also comment hygiene is probably of the lowest standard I have ever encountered. As another poster says "food poisoning".

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