Have you ever tried traditional rice noodles, green mango salad, and fried crab with oyster sauce from Cambodia? If yes, you would know that Cambodian cuisine is filled with immense flavors that one cannot easily forget. With such an excellent range of dishes, it is understandable that the locals achieve these flavors using traditional culinary approaches. Thus, before you travel, we suggest you learn some Khmer cooking terms and Cambodian food culture to appreciate their food better!
Want to learn more words aside from the basics like ចម្អិន (Cook) and ដុត (Bake)? Then now is the best time to push yourself further by mastering vocab related to cooking. With that said, we invite you to continue reading below!
First, let us learn how to say the word "cooking" in the Khmer language. To pronounce the verb cooking, you have to utter the word ចម្អិនអាហារ, pronounced as chamain ahar. And if you want to refer to a person who is cooking, precisely the "cook" or "chef" you can say chamain- ចម្អិន or chongphow - ចុងភៅ.
Below are some common phrases with the words "cook" and "cooking." Learn them to use during your journey.
Before we hop into other essential terms related to cooking in the Khmer language, we must have a quick peek at some amusing facts about the Khmer food culture.
From savory noodles to fried eggs with bean sprouts, we cannot deny that the pan-Asian food culture is truly unique. However, when it comes to Cambodia, the cuisine and cooking habits take an eccentric turn. One of the most interesting facts about the Khmer food is that they feature more insects than you must have seen on any platter. From beetles and grubs to red ants and tarantulas, the cities of Phnom Penh and Skuon have everything that will leave you surprised by their unique taste.
Another fascinating tradition of the Khmer cooking culture is that they still use fire to cook. By fire, we literally mean wood fire and not a gas stove. Almost half of the population in Cambodia still cherishes the old ways of cooking in the fire woods as they believe that food cooked in fire always tastes better. However, the poor condition of the rural people also led to the widespread use of wood fires. According to a few reports, the wood fire has become a consequential source of death in children due to diseases released through the smoke.
Next, a common misunderstanding is that Cambodian cuisine contains spicy flavors as it resembles Thai and Vietnamese food. Instead, Khmer people are very subtle with their taste in spices. Items like glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, soy sauce, lime juice, sour soup, hoisin sauce, condiments like Kampot pepper, and local herbs are more commonly used than hot spices like other cuisines of Southeast Asia. So, Khmer food has a sweeter taste than other dishes from its neighboring countries and is not filled with chilies.
Since we are already talking about ingredients, flavors, and the way of cooking in Khmer society, here is a list of top Khmer dishes that you must try out during your stay!
Now we will get into all the cooking terms and related words in the Khmer language below. Please give them a good read to start communicating with the locals effortlessly.
|Caramelize||ខារ៉ាមែល||kha rea me l|
|Debone||ដេបូន||de bau n|
|Ferment||ជាតិ ferment||cheate ferment|
|Oven fry||ចៀនក្នុងឡ||chien knong l|
|Reheat||កំដៅឡើងវិញ||kam daw laengvinh|
|Refresh||ធ្វើឱ្យស្រស់||thveu aoy srasa|
|Spread||ការឆ្លងរាលដាល||kar chhlang realdal|
In this section, we will learn some verb forms of the cooking terms to make sentence forming less complicated. Knowing the following verb phrases will make the language clear to you.
|She is baking||នាងកំពុងដុតនំ||neang kampoung dot nom|
|They are cutting||ពួកគេកំពុងកាត់||puokke kampoung kat|
|To wash||ដើម្បីលាងសម្អាត||daembi leang samaeat|
|He is washing||គាត់កំពុងលាង||keat kampoung leang|
|To cook||ចំអិនម្ហូប||chamen mhoub|
|She is cooking||នាងកំពុងធ្វើម្ហូប||neang kampoung thveumhoub|
|To slice||ដើម្បីកាត់||daembi kat|
|She is slicing||នាងកំពុងកាត់||neang kampoung kat|
|To grind||ដើម្បីកិន||daembi ken|
|He is grinding||គាត់កំពុងកិន||keat kampoung ken|
|To mix||ដើម្បីលាយ||daembi leay|
|They are mixing||ពួកគេកំពុងលាយ||puokke kampoung leay|
Now that you know all the basic cooking verbs in Khmer, learn the following common kitchen sentences to intercommunicate easily with the locals of Cambodia. It will immediately improve your fluency and interaction skills.
|Do not overcook the food||កុំចំអិនអាហារច្រើនពេក||kom chamenaahar chraenpek|
|Reheat the food before serving||កំដៅអាហារឡើងវិញមុនពេលបម្រើ||kam daw ahar laengvinh moun pel bamreu|
|Bake the cake for 30 minutes||ដុតនំនំរយៈពេល 30 នាទី។||dot nom nom rypel 30 neati|
|Please peel the potato for me||សូមបកដំឡូងឱ្យខ្ញុំ||saum b k damlaung aoy khnhom|
|Can you toast the bread?|
|tae anak ach dot nombong ban te?|
|Slice the beef into thin slices||កាត់សាច់គោទៅជាចំណិតស្តើង||kat sachko tow chea chamnet staeng|
|Mix the paste properly before use||លាយបិទភ្ជាប់ឱ្យបានត្រឹមត្រូវមុនពេលប្រើ||leay bet phcheab aoy ban troemotrauv moun pel brae|
|Do you know how to chop onions?||ដឹងពីវិធីកាត់ខ្ទឹមក្រហមទេ?||doeng pi vithi kat khtoem krahm te?|
|Please mince the pork for the dish||សូមហាន់សាច់ជ្រូកសម្រាប់ធ្វើម្ហូប||saum han sach chrouk samreab thveu mhoub|
|Stir fry the meat for 5 minutes||ចៀនសាច់រយៈពេល 5 នាទី។||chien sach rypel 5 neati|
|Heat the curry until its brown||កំដៅគុយរីរហូតដល់មានពណ៌ត្នោត||kam daw kouy ri rhautadl mean pnrtnaot|
|Always refrigerate the meat||ត្រជាក់សាច់ជានិច្ច||trachak sach cheanich|
Well, there you go! Now you know how to spell and pronounce all the basic cooking terms and sentences regularly used in a kitchen in Khmer. Such essential knowledge will help you make a better presence in front of the Cambodian people and adapt to their cooking culture.
So, if you want to continue learning more Khmer words and phrases, you can check out the Ling App. It is one of the best language apps that I would recommend to you as a beginner.
If you are new to the Ling App, now is the time to achieve the most with it. Ling is one of the best language learning apps that provide content on various topics related to real life. Within the app, you can learn expressions and translations related to vegetables, hobbies, health, and many more. You just have to head out to the App Store or Play Store and download the app for free.
It covers over 60 languages, so if you have different language preferences other than Khmer, you can learn those as well. With just a few days of hard work and patience, you can improve your skills in your language of choice at your own pace. So, if you think Ling App is the right platform to take your journey forward, do not hesitate to download the app immediately.