Our Travel Specialist Ceri headed back to Cambodia to re-visit some of her favourite spots, explore new sights and, of course, sample the mouthwatering cuisine! Here are some of her Cambodian foodie highlights to get your stomach rumbling…
An old Friend in Phnom Penh
I chose the sensational “Asian Mango Coleslaw with Kampot Peppered Lotus Root Crisps” and “Khmer Spiced Fish Fillet wrapped in Banana Leaf “ and was not disappointed. Altogether the bill came to under $10, and it tasted all the better knowing I was helping a good cause whilst gorging myself.
Fresh catch in Kep
Down at the waterfront in Kep I dined at the Crab Market. After watching the fresh daily catch arrive whilst nursing a cold Angkor beer I chose my crab and sampled the famous local delicacy of Kampot Pepper Crab.
The luscious green peppercorns grow nearby in Kampot and are thrown in whole with the crab to simmer with onions and garlic. And what a sensation, it blew my taste buds out of the water!
The fact that the electricity broke meant I had to break it apart with my hands by candlelight. I devoured the crab with the waves lapping at my feet whilst the cook and her ten-year-old son watched me intently with massive smiles plastered across their faces – making it my favourite eating experience in Cambodia.
Sampling the delicious Amoks
My colleagues had told me I must try the Khmer Amok and had built it up so much in fact that I thought it couldn’t possibly be as good as they made out. How wrong I was! I tried it in many locations, but my first taste in Siem Reap was the best, a veggie Amok served in banana leaf.
This mouth-watering dish is a mild Khmer curry made from coconut, lemon grass, galangal, turmeric chillies, kaffir lime leaves and palm sugar. I had it later with prawns, squid, mixed seafood and crab. It would have been rude not to!
There’s nothing like a home cooked meal!
I thoroughly enjoyed the various home cooked meals at the homestay in Tonle Sap which included samlor, a traditional soup and grilled fish. Most of the fish eaten in Cambodia comes from the Tonle Sap lake which swells from the Mekong River. I managed to get a cheeky snap of my guide enjoying his breakfast!
Brittany, our resident Cambodia Travel Specialist was full of useful tips on where to eat and drink, and told me I must try a Mango margarita in Viva, central Siem Reap. It certainly was most refreshing in the 40 degree heat!
What’s deep fried and has eight legs?
Although I was ready to try as much of the local cuisine as possible, I just wasn’t brave enough to try any of the tasty looking insects. If you feel you’d be up for the challenge head to any street market to sample the crispy grasshoppers and crickets on offer…