Singaporean Girl Tries Local Cambodian Food

A year ago, I was staying in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for work for a period of 3 months. Besides sourcing for the top Instagrammable places in Phnom Penh and cafe-hopping at Instagrammable cafes in Phnom Penh, I combed the streets for some local and authentic Cambodian food; both Cambodian cuisine (Khmer cuisine) as well as Cambodian street food and snacks. Here are my some of my favourites and must-try list when you visit Phnom Penh.

1. Cambodian Beef Lok Lak 

One of my all-time favourite during my stay in Phnom Penh. I could literally have this dish for three times a week and I’m not even kidding. The typical Cambodian Beef Lok Lak comes with marinated beef, stir fried onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and is usually served with tomato rice, fried egg and lettuce. The dish usually paired with lime and pepper sauce.

 Where I got it: 95 Degree Coffee – 4.20 USD (top) & Maison Eric Kayser – 8 USD (bottom)

95 Degree Coffee: #34A Street 240 Sangkat Chaktomuk, Cambodia (6.30am – 8.30pm)

Maison Eric Kayser at White Mansion: 26 street 240, Phnom Penh 12207, Cambodia (6am – 11pm)

 

2. Pig Stomach Peppered Noodles Soup 

This is the comfort food to go to on a rainy day when you are missing home. The pig stomach is however a little different from the ones I’ve tried in Singapore. Lesser fat and slightly thinner.

Cost: Around 3-5 USD

 

3. Stir-fried Kai Lan Vegetables with Noodles 

One thing I love about Cambodian cuisine is that it is pretty similar to Chinese cuisine. You get the same kind of noodles, rice, soup, in Tze Char style. Only difference is that they tend to use a Oyster sauce in the dishes (secret ingredient which made them taste so nice I feel) and are usually a tat sweet. Kolap Angkor Restaurant serves pretty good Cambodian-Tze Char style dishes such as Yang Zhou Fried rice and Morning Glory (Kang Kong) as well.

Where I got it: Kolap Angkor Restaurant

Cost: 2.50 USD

Address: St 55, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Opposite Lumiere Hotel)

 

4. Barbecued Pork Belly & Ribs

Crispy on the exterior, juice and chewy on the inside. That’s how I would describe these barbecued pork belly (fats) and pork ribs! This is my all-time favourite supper food weekly because the stall is located right outside my hotel. You can top it up with a packet of rice, and you are good to go! The stall opens in the evening and is frequent mainly by locals all the way till midnight.

Where I got it: Bay Kolab

Cost: 5-10 USD

Address: St 55, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Opposite Lumiere Hotel)

 

5. Deep Fried Banana Fritters (chek Jean)

Hereby declaring my utmost love for Cambodian deep fried banana fritters. Unlike the tiny Goreng Pisang (What we call fried banana fritters in Singapore) we usually buy in Singapore, the ones found along the streets of Phnom Penh are much crispier, longer (arms length) and contains fresher and juicier banana flesh. I would totally love to help those pushcart ladies franchise their awesome banana fritters to Singapore.

Where I got it: Anyway along the streets (try your luck), or at the Central Market

Cost: You can choose which amount you would like to get (e.g 1 USD or 2 USD)

 

6. Fried Sweet Potatoes & Taro 

Similar to the deep fried banana fritters, these sweet potato and taro sticks are worth your try!

Where I got it: NHAM24 (Cambodia Food Delivery Website)

Cost: 5-8 USD

 

7. Cambodian Bamboo Sticky Rice

You’ll find nuts in the sticky rice that is wrapped in bamboo leaves. Reminds me a little of the Nonya dumplings that we eat during Dragon Boat Festival.

Where I got it: Central Market

Address: Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (7am – 6pm daily)

 

8. Grasshoppers and Tarantulas (‘A-Ping’)

The most exotic food I’ve tried to date: Tarantula. Scary and ‘ewww’ as it sounds and looks, it is actually pretty tasty. The stall owners have fried and seasoned it such that they taste like crispy snacks. I only tried the legs of the Tarantula because I was afraid that the body might have warm liquid oozing out as I bite into it. Dare devils, this is a must-try! They have lots of other creepy crawlies like grasshoppers and crickets.

Where I got it: Central Market

Address: Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (7am – 6pm daily)

 

9. Cambodian Mango Sticky Rice

The sticky (glutinous) rice is chewier and sweeter than the ones that I’ve tried before. Never thought I would be eating Mango sticky rice outside Thailand.

Where I got it: Khmer Surin

Address: House #9 57, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (7am – 10pm daily)

 

10. Assorted sweet snacks 

I have this weird phobia for food with too many colours (E.g Bandung scares me). Nevertheless, I’ve tried some of them and they can be really sweet. If you have a sweet tooth and likes kueh-sort-of snacks, you would fancy the wide variety of Cambodian street snacks.

Where I got it: Central Market

Address: Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (7am – 6pm daily)

 

Finding the best Local Cambodian Food

Hope this little personal food list of mine helped you have an idea of the kind of local Cambodian food you can get in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. If you are more interested in cafe-hopping, you might want to check out these 10 Cafes in Phnom Penh that are famous for their food, concept and Insta-worthiness.

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