Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city, is famous for its never-ending array of street food stalls, night markets, and friendly vendors offering you the perfect selection of food. Cambodian street food is notable for its open-air markets and night markets, which are teeming with rustic food joints, wooden food carts, plastic stools and tables, and a swarm of tourists walking through the narrow streets. The way the food is prepared adds to its uniqueness. Here are the top ten must-try street foods in Phnom Penh, Cambodia that will steal your heart.
1. The Lok Lak
The Lok Lak is a popular Vietnamese dish that has made its way into Cambodia. Pork marinated in fish sauce, oyster sauce, tomato sauce, pepper, and garlic is stir-fried and served with onions, cucumbers, and lettuce on the side.
2. Fish Amok
This is a Cambodian version of the popular Bengali dish ‘Fish Paturi,’ but with a completely different spice blend. The moose and spices such as kaffir lime, lemongrass, and turmeric roots are wrapped inside banana leaf pockets and slowly steamed to allow the flavours to permeate the dish.
Kralan is a very rare vegetarian street food option in Cambodia. A savoury mixture of rice, beans, grated coconut, and coconut milk is stuffed inside a bamboo stick and roasted over an open fire. The finished product has a crisp exterior and a soft and gooey interior.
4. Vietnamese Pho
Pho is a popular dish in Vietnam, but it is also widely available in Phnom Penh. Fresh rice noodles in a salty broth are topped with herbs, chicken or beef.
5. Nompang Sak Koh
Baguette breads, a French colonial relic, can be found stacked on carts all over Phnom Penh. The Nompang Sak Koh consists of meatball gravy served with barbecued beef, pickled vegetables, and lemongrass inside a baguette and green chilli sauce, which is ideal for your taste buds.
6. Num Banh Chok
It’s nearly impossible to walk a block in Phnom Penh without seeing someone slurping Num Banh Chok, Cambodia’s national dish. These fermented rice noodles are handcrafted in wooden mills and topped with fish curry, vegetables, lemongrass, turmeric root, and herbs such as basil and mint.
7. Num Chet Chien
Num Chet Chien, or Cambodian Fried Banana Nuggets, is a popular street food dessert in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Banana fillings are wrapped inside spring rolls dusted with powdered sugar and deep-fried. Num Chet Chien is best served with vanilla or Kampot pepper ice cream.
Bobor is a traditional Cambodian rice porridge served with ginger and fish. The soup is thick and flavorful because it contains fish or chicken, congealed blood, and offal. Coriander, ginger, and fried onions are sprinkled on top of the porridge.
9. Lort Cha
Lort Cha is made with rice noodles and stir-fried vegetables like spring onions, chives, and beans. However, unlike chowmein, this dish is served with beef and topped with an egg, making it far more appealing. Savour each bite of this dish with spicy red chilli chutney and you will fall in love with its flavours.
10. Kuy Teav
Kuy Teav is a spicy Khmer noodle and beef soup made with pork broth. The dish consists of thin squarish rice noodles, scallions, and pork or chicken bones. To enhance the flavour, add livers and intestines to the soup.