Welcome to Taste Cambodia! Here you will discover the magic of the Kingdom of Wonder through its unique cuisine. From the hearty wild honey roasted chicken of the cooler Northeast highlands to the spicy blue crab with Kampot pepper from coastal Kep, learn more about the rich diversity of the country’s culture and its people.
Food is the soul of every travel adventure and the story behind Khmer cuisine makes it the perfect way to experience the true heart of Cambodia.
What is Khmer Cuisine?
Khmer Cuisine is one of the least known cuisines in the world and can often be confused with its neighbouring counterparts. Humble in its origins, it is bold in flavours with its own distinctive taste linked to the regions of the Kingdom of Wonder.
Tasting authentic Khmer Cuisine is as important a bucket list experience as seeing the great Temples of Angkor. A well-preserved ancient cuisine, take a journey through the history of Cambodia where you will find dishes that date back to the great civilisations. Discover abundant recipes with origins from Cambodia’s trading location on the Maritime Silk Road, to recipes that show the Khmer people’s resilience in overcoming challenging periods in their history.
Discover the Flavours
Khmer cuisine provides a harmonious balance between sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, accompanied by incredible aromas that entice the senses. What differentiates Khmer cuisine from others is its rich ingredients, which have strongly influenced the flavour of its food throughout the centuries. Historically a trading point that brought in settlers from India, Europe, Persia, and China, many of these herbs and spices were assimilated into local dishes.
A number of these herbs and spices are combined into Kroeung, an essential paste that serves as a base flavour to a wide array of Cambodian dishes.
Another common staple is Prahok, a strong-smelling paste made of a small, fermented fish. Also known as Trek Riel, it is used as a cooking ingredient or a condiment to accompany many traditional meals.
Home to the world’s award-winning Kampot pepper, Cambodia has become internationally renowned for its ‘black gold’. Delicately harvested and produced by traditional pepper farmers, this ancient craft dates as far back as the 13th century and is known for its exceptional quality.
Iconic Khmer Ingredients
Taste the Northern Region
Home to the Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri highlands, reconnect with nature and enjoy delicious Indigenous food. Many ingredients used come from forests in the region, such as the bamboo used to make traditional Bunong dish, Samlor Prong. In the right season, try Mondulkiri’s distinctive wild honey or even freshly brewed Mondulkiri coffee before embarking on a day trip with the Elephants.
Taste the Central Region
Where urban and traditional collide, explore the capital city’s vibrant food scene. Try street food at one the architecturally stunning Central Market (Phsar Thmei) or join the local and expat communities in the bustling Russian market as the sun goes down in Toul Tom Poung. Besides checking out street foods, transport yourself to high society in one of the city’s many fine dining restaurants that serves traditional and fusion Khmer dishes.
Taste the Siem Reap Region
Home to the Angkor Wat temple, immerse yourself in Kompong Thom, Battambang and Siem Reap’s rich culture and traditional cuisine. Here you can taste fresh fish from the great Tonle Sap Lake, cooked in the traditional method on one of the floating villages. Cambodia’s turbulent history has created a unique resilience in the Khmer people, encouraging them to make the most of the nature around, creating incredible flavours from deep-friend tarantulas or the crispy red ants.
Taste the South Coast Region
Go island-hopping around the coast to enjoy sumptuous seafood, from fresh crabs to shrimps on the picturesque Kep and Koh Tonsay beaches. Get up early and have your tasty lunch delivered directly to your island resort from a traditional fishing boat. At the famous Kep market, have your crabs freshly cooked with spicy Kampot pepper. For the curious travellers, take a tuk tuk up to one of the plantations where you can discover the story of Cambodia’s signature pepper.