Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Discussions about restaurants, cafes, coffee shops or bars in Cambodia. Feel free to write any reviews you have, whether its the best burger you've had in Phnom Penh or the worse pizza in sihanoukville, we want to read it! Discussions about Khmer dishes are also in here, or you can leave your own. If you own a restaurant, feel free to let the expat community know about it here so that we can come check it out. Found a favorite cafe or have a place we should avoid? Tell us about it. Asian recipes & questions are always welcome.
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Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:17 pm

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13 June 2019


Michelin-starred chef David Thompson explains his growing love for Cambodian cuisine

(Heavy Aqua Mekong promotion)

Many great cuisines of the world can be traced to an illustrious past, and Cambodian cuisine, with its Khmer roots, is no exception. During the illustrious era of the Khmer empire from the early 9th century to the 15th century, the culture that gave us the Angkor Wat also developed a cuisine with origins from India (the Khmer was also a Hindu society before Buddhism spread across the Mekong in the 13th century).

Not only were the Khmer great builders, decorating the Mekong landscape with monumental temples, the food was also larger-than-life. Through centuries of trial and error, the Khmer people established a subtle yet well-rounded flavor profile accented by spices and often providing intriguing contrasts such as salty and sour, sweet and bitter, as well as fresh and cooked.

If the description of fish amok sounds like Thai cuisine (arguably the most popular Southeast Asian cuisine in the world), that’s because many elements of today’s Thai cooking was influenced by Khmer cooking techniques and principles perfected over centuries.

Today, Cambodian cuisine is in the middle of a reconnaissance, with a clutch of fine dining restaurants — such as Embassy and Mealea Restaurant — making waves in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and honoring the Khmer culinary heritage. Recently, refined Cambodian cuisine has also made its way out of the cities and onto the legendary Mekong river, on board the luxury 20-suite Aqua Mekong cruise ship.

After all, a truly memorable Khmer cultural experience needs to engage all the senses. “When the ship sails into Cambodia or embarks from Cambodia, and the guests spend the day discovering the rich culture of the Mekong on excursions, it’s important that their cultural experience doesn’t just end with returning to the ship”, says Chef Thompson.

To make this happen, the chefs of the Aqua Mekong begin each day on the right foot. “There are some really superb quality and special ingredients in the lower Mekong basin like the breadfruit, which we pick and choose when either Sophal [Aqua Mekong head chef] or I visit the local market every day when we cruise, sometimes with guests if they wish to come along,” he adds.

full https://www.aquaexpeditions.com/blog/di ... nderrated/
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Re: Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by Mishmash » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:24 pm

More fishbones and river weeds then.

Even the local sinewy chicken tastes like I'm chewing on plywood.
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Re: Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by angkorjohn2 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:32 pm

well it certainly has never been overrated :stir:

when cooked very well, I personally like Kravanh by Wat Botum, it is certainly delicious and when friends visit that is where I will take them and they are never disappointed. Is it anywhere close to the best Thailand, Malaysia or Vietnam has to offer? Unlikely
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Re: Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by Doc67 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:52 pm

Asia's most underrated?

Are you having a laugh? It's awful...

I had fish amok once and it had that stinking fish sauce in it. Once mouthful, spat back up, not been near any of it ever again.

I am surrounded by lovely French Bistros that are cheap and great.
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Re: Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by explorer » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:58 pm

Kung-fu Hillbilly wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:17 pm
Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?
Good on you for adding some interesting content to this forum. But do you really believe Cambodian Cuisine is Asia’s most underrated? I suggest, stick to things where you actually believe what is being said.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Re: Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by Mishmash » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:58 pm

:facepalm: I gave local food a try for a year thinking I was an uncultured bozo (true) with an unrefined palate and it really must be delicious as everyone is eating it.

I even thought it was my cultural love of my homelands food due to being fed it during my formative years.

But that can't be true as I love Greek, Italian, French, British, Indian, Chinese.

Anything but Khmer food - It tastes terrible and I never ever eat when I go out - period

To add to my above list

Khmer bread tastes as sweet as cake.

Their copy of a baguette is rough as fuck and destroys the roof of your mouth like sandpaper

Khmer Pizza is sweet as fuck - yuck

Khmer cake is buttermilk bland shit.

Khmer rice is frankly garbage - Give me good old Himalayan Rice long grain drops off your fork into separate grains not this local gloop.

No gravy - unforgivable

Khmer food is as dry as a nun's crotch

The curry does not deserve the name - its just some heap of weak spices thrown together.

The river weeds are strawy and sinewy.

The herbs are just thrown on, instead of being properly prepared

Sucking on a lemon or lime is not good - the face of anyone doing it while claiming to enjoy it is :facepalm:

Nahhhh - old mish likes his wife's food - made just how he likes it - whatever dish I want from around the world.

My wife tries to give her Khmer leftovers to my dog - nahhh - she walks away in a huff.

And as for the articles 'breadfruit' and he's on a ship - didn't he read "Mutiny on the Bounty" - no wonder fed that crap every day. (not true I know but illustrative)
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Re: Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by angkorjohn2 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:17 pm

explorer wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:58 pm
Kung-fu Hillbilly wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:17 pm
Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?
Good on you for adding some interesting content to this forum. But do you really believe Cambodian Cuisine is Asia’s most underrated? I suggest, stick to things where you actually believe what is being said.
What on earth are you gibbering on about now sir? The post is from an article where a Michelin Chef is saying he thinks it is the most underrated cuisine in Aisa. KFH has posted as (1) it is a relevant article about Cambodia and (2) will no doubt provoke some discussion which it has so far.

Does everyone have to believe every word in an interesting article they share here? KFH's posts are a delight and many interesting articles I have found from him as opposed the anti-khmer drivel that you usually post. Stay in your lane sir and let KFH continue his good work of sharing articles I would never have found without him
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Re: Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by Mishmash » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:25 pm

angkorjohn2 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:32 pm
well it certainly has never been overrated :stir:

when cooked very well, I personally like Kravanh by Wat Botum, it is certainly delicious and when friends visit that is where I will take them and they are never disappointed. Is it anywhere close to the best Thailand, Malaysia or Vietnam has to offer? Unlikely
Looks a good little place to take the missus and kids - thanks
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Re: Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by Mishmash » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:29 pm

angkorjohn2 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:17 pm
where a Michelin Chef is saying
That does it - a fuckin tyre salesman bigging up Khmer Food - bet he loves the rubber chicken dishes served up!!! :beer3:

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Re: Cambodian Cuisine: Asia’s most underrated?

Post by Clemen » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:45 pm

David Thompsons "Thai street food" is excellent.
The problem is that most of the food people eat on a daily basis is garbage. It doesn't have to be, there are some fantastic Cambodian recipes. Our cook makes the same six or seven dishes all the time, overcooked meat flavored with Knorr chicken powder, doesn't matter whether it's beef, pork, fish, or even chicken. It's all crap, my coworkers say it's delicious everyday. It's the same when I eat in people's houses or buy it on the street. I think they just don't care, I can't find any other explanation.
But, again, it doesn't have to be like that. One of my favorite restaurants in my hometown is Cambodian, on my first trip here I had the best red curry of my life, so good I went back the next day and ordered it again, then begged the cook for the recipe. After I went home I made it for a Cambodian themed dinner party and everyone loved it.
So the difference is what you can make vs what people do make. To quote "The Castle" "it's what you've done with it"
Conscience can be a terrible thing. So I hear. Not if you're something like me, of course. I don't give a fuck. Iain M Banks
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