10 Best Siem Reap Dishes
The best Siem Reap dishes are often enjoyed everyplace within the quaint city, from dingy wayside stalls and ancient markets to luxury hotels and high-end Khmer restaurants. as a result of its close proximity to Tonle Sap Lake, seafood is commonly the main ingredients for noodles, soups, and curries while grilled beef, pork, and chicken are paired with rice and salads. Siem Reap is also heavily influenced by French colonialization, thus ancient soups are typically served with a baguette for breakfast. Siem Reap cooking is significantly healthier than most Southeast Asian offerings as its dishes also contain a myriad of fresh vegetables and herbs like lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime, and shallots. Not only are these dishes cheap (with costs starting at US$0.50), you’ll easily have them customized per your dietary specifications. read on for our list of ten must-try dishes in Siem Reap.
1 Bai Sach Chrouk (Pork with Broken Rice)
Bai sach chrouk is sold by roadside food stalls and native markets in downtown Siem Reap for less than US$1. this simple nevertheless common Cambodian breakfast staple contains juicy pork slices, scrambled eggs, and rice. whereas the dish typically involves raw pork that’s slow-cooked over a charcoal stove, there are many Khmer restaurants that marinade the meat with coconut milk or garlic for added flavour. Once it’s cooked , the pork is thinly sliced and arranged atop a bowl of broken rice, sliced scrambled eggs, pickled cucumbers, and daikon radish. A bowl of broth, scallions and deep-fried onions is also served along with Bai sach chrouk.
2 Fish Amok
Fish amok is freshwater fish fillet that’s steamed with curry and banana leaves, leading to a soft mousse-like texture. not like most curries in Asia, it exudes a fragrant flavour instead of a spicy one because of the mixture coconut milk and kroeung, a Khmer-style curry paste that contains garlic, lemongrass, turmeric root, Chinese ginger, kaffir lime, shallots, and galangal. Fish amok is traditionally eaten throughout the Water festival, however travellers can relish this classic dish (with a big plate of rice) any time of the day at local restaurants in Siem Reap.
3 Lok Lak (Stir-Fried Beef)
Lok lak or stir-fried beef varies from one cook to another, however it’s typically accompanied with fresh lettuce, tomato, red onion, and cucumber slices. to provide its distinctive flavour, the meat is marinated nightlong with a unique combination of fish sauce, soy sauce, lemon, pepper, and oyster sauce. If you’re not a lover of beef, most restaurants will simply substitute it with venison, pork, chicken or even tofu. like most local dishes in Siem Reap, lok lak is served with rice, fried egg, lemony brown sauce, and a side of fresh lettuce leaves.
4 Khmer Red Curry
Khmer red curry, despite its striking color, doesn’t contain chili, making it a much milder version of typical Thai and Indian curries. Ideal for those who can’t stand spicy food, this coconut milk-based dish utilises kroeung, that is a Khmer curry paste made with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime zest, and turmeric. traditionally served with a French baguette, it’s cooked along with meat slices (beef, chicken or fish), eggplant, green beans, and potatoes. the best place to relish Khmer red curry is at Khmer kitchen eating house, although we highly suggest Malis Cambodian Restaurant’s Kampot rock crab red curry (US$22) for food lovers.
5 Lap Khmer (Lime-Marinated Khmer Beef Salad)
Lap Khmer is the Cambodian version of Latin America’s ceviche, comprising raw beef slices marinated with juice, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, Asian basil, mint leaves, green beans, and green pepper. due to its different flavours, this dish goes well with a plate of rice and fresh chillies if you like it to be spicy. Most Khmer restaurants serve grilled beef slices to suit international guests, thus we highly suggest visiting Siem Reap’s native markets for the authentic lap Khmer salad.
6 Nom Banh Chok (Khmer Noodles)
Nom banh chok, almost like Vietnam’s pho, is often enjoyed as a fast and cheap breakfast. offered around markets in downtown Siem Reap, look out for native ladies carrying handmade baskets with a shoulder pole. A bowl of Khmer noodles prices between US$0.50 and US$1, consisting of rice noodles, mint leaves, bean sprouts, green beans, banana flower, and cucumbers in a fish-based green curry. On special occasions like weddings and religious festivals, locals typically replace nom banh chok’s green gravy with red sauce.
7 Prahok Ktiss (Pork Dipping Sauce)
Prahok ktiss is a ancient flavourer in Siem Reap that uses fermented fish paste as its main ingredient. whereas most prahok-based dishes have a very strong, pungent flavour, this dipping sauce is palatable to most guests thanks to the addition of sliced pork belly or minced pork, eggplant, coconut milk, and kroeung (Khmer curry paste). Served with lots of freshly sliced vegetables like carrot, cabbage, cucumber, and long beans, prahok ktiss is often enjoyed as a snack or dish to noodles or rice.
8 Samlor Machu Kroeung
Samlor machu kroeung is a filling, sweet and bitter soup that’s typically enjoyed throughout mealtime. nice for meat lovers, this dish contains diced beef ribs and succulent tripe that are boiled in kroeung paste, lemongrass, turmeric, morning glory, and coriander leaves. Peanuts are generally added to the ensemble, leading to a lemony and nutty flavour. like most dishes in Siem Reap, restaurants serve samlor machu kroeung with a side of rice and chilly flakes.
9 Samlor Korko (Stirring Soup)
Samlor korko was originally a royal Khmer dish that was later adopted by the native population. It’s basically a spicy fish-based soup with a lot of vegetables. locally called stirring soup, each kroeung (curry paste) and prahok (fermented fish) are utilized in this dish together with pounded rice, pork or fish, and vegetables like pumpkin, green papaya, green banana, long beans, eggplant, and bitter gourd leaves. Samlor korko also can be tailored to vegetarian diners, with restaurateurs subbing the meat with coconut milk and vegetable stock.
10 Samlor Machu Trey (Sweet And bitter Soup With Fish) Samlor machu trey is common among health-conscious diners because of its generous portions of recent herbs, fish fillets, and vegetables, all cooked in a very clear broth. Sweet and bitter in taste, this one-pot dish is lightly seasoned with sugar, fish sauce, and salt and makes for a filling lunch or dinner. some of its ingredients include fish, water spinach, garlic, lemongrass, celery, tamarind juice, bean sprouts, and pineapple. Priced at US$0.75 onwards, eat just like the locals by pilling fresh herbs and chilly peppers on top of your samlor machu trey.
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