Traditional Khmer Cuisine

Khmer Cuisine and Traditional Cambodian Dishes

Last updated on December 5th, 2018

Freashwater fish, seafood and more fish…

Cambodian diet is based on seafood and freshwater fishes and crustaceans. From the founding of the Khmer civilization to present days, the fertile plain of the Tonle Sap (the Great Freshwater Lake, south of Angkor) and the sea have provided for proteins. Basically, we are fish-eaters, we love dried fish and rice, fish sauce and rice, and if we have the money we eat crabs and shrimps and rice. Have we mentioned rice? Yes, rice is essential to a good meal. Your average Cambodian wolfs down huge quantities of rice with relatively little meat. Fresh (and often) organic vegetables and fruits complement our meals. We have put up a list of traditional dishes that you have to try. Local Siem Reap culinary specialties include dried pork sausages (sach krork) and dried fish from the Great Lake (trei ngeat).


Traditional Khmer Hors d’oeuvre

Nataing – Crispy rice with pork and coconut milk

Nyoam Lehong – Green papaya salad

Sach Ko Ang Kroeung – Beef skewers with lemongrass paste


Traditional Khmer main dishes

Khdam Cha РStir fried crab (try it with Kampot pepper)

Kouy Teav – Phnom Penh noodle soup (beef, chicken, pork shrimps)

Kouyv Teav Cha – Khmer stir fried noodles (twist on a Chinese classic)

Ban Chaev – Pancakes (pork and shrimps, we took it from Vietnam)

Moan Ang – Khmer grilled chicken (organic farmed raised)

Moan Cha Khnyei – Stir fried ginger chicken

Sach Ko Loc Lac – Beef Loc Lac (marinated with lime sauce, 100% Khmer!)

Samlor Machoo Kreugn – Khmer lemongrass soup (200% Khmer!)

Samlor Machou Mouan – Khmer chicken soup with tomatoes

Saraman – Braised beef curry with peanuts (a home cooking classic)

Trey Ang – Grilled fish (more than 40 freshwater and marine fishes)

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Khmer Desserts

Chek Ktih – Bananas in sweet coconut milk

Nom Norsorm Chek – Glutinous rice and banana wrap

Nom Kroap Kanau – Sweet mung bean rolls

Vaoye – Golden angel hair



Chek Namva – Namva banana (excellent grilled or with caramel)

Chek Pong Moan – Egg banana (the smallest we have)

Svay – Mango

Turain – Durian

Samaev – Rambutan



Traop – Eggplant

Marech – Bitter melon

Tralach – Winter melon

Samdech Bandos – Bean sprout

Mteh – Chili

Ambel – Salt

Marich Kampot – Kampot pepper



Angkor Beer – Local brew (good stuff!)

Bayon Beer – Local brew (cheaper stuff!)

Taei – Tea

Sra Thnaot – Palm wine (your stomach won’t take the raw stuff!)

Sra Sor – Rice wine (stuff strong enough to use as fuel…)