From its raw ingredients, like Kampot pepper, to the most elaborate dishes, like Fish Amok, and everything in between, Cambodian cuisine is a real party for your taste buds. Get ready, we start with the basics.
To the kitchen
Nothing beats a local market when it comes to a vibrant atmosphere. The fruit stalls in the streets of Yangon and the people of Yuangyang’s market gave us a good sample of what a real Asian market is all about.
Not surprisingly, Cambodia was no different: the minute you set foot in one of its markets, all yours senses are blown away by the most beautiful cacophony of colours, sounds and smells. And as ever before, there are one or two big smiles to welcome you in.
You either love it or hate. Meat, fish, veggies and fruits. Fresh and not so fresh. It is all there, stirred and mixed. Yes, we love it!
Our mission was to find the ingredients for a cooking class we were due to attend later in the day. A few questions here and there and soon we were all sorted. The cooking class was a great success and as the saying goes (or not), family that cooks together, stays together!
Green and Red
Green Curry never disappoints, especially when it comes together with a cold bottle of Beer Lao, by far one of our favourites beers in this part of the world.
And how about a creamy red curry sauce, spicy enough to make you sweat a little bit, filled with so many shrimps that would put a few London restaurants to shame. This little gem was Kep’s take on Red Curry and it was good, very good.
Something unexpected happened in Battambang
Ok, so this is not your typical Cambodian recipes, but what the hell. Paula’s heart skipped a beat when she found out that our little restaurant in Battambang served Croquettes. Not quite as good as grandma’s but close enough!
They were good, but not as good as the next surprise on the menu, beef ribs. Nothing new, I know, but these are quite possibly the best ribs we have ever had. They were thick, juicy, tender, and… just perfect.
Being a group of eight, trying to agree on which dish was the best was challenging to say the least. Which is why we knew we had found one of our winners when everyone agreed that Kep’s crab was spot on. Stupidly fresh crab coupled together with Kampot pepper – it does not get any better than this.
Having said all that, when it comes to flavours nothing better than Cambodia’s national dish: Fish Amok. A tender fish fillet, steam cooked in a thick curry sauce wrapped in banana leaves. Heaven.