Khmer Food Ingredients: Your #1 Best Guide

Are you a food lover trying to decide which Southeast Asian country to visit? We hate to break it to you, but pretty much all the food in Southeast Asia is mouth-watering and delicious. From the infamous Lechon in the Philippines to Massaman curry in Thailand, you can’t go wrong with food in this region.

However, if you want to experience explosive flavors and are a big fan of seafood, you might want to consider traveling to Cambodia, the Eastern neighboring country to Thailand. We’re here to tell you what makes Cambodian cuisine and Khmer food ingredients special, plus how you can learn Khmer so that you can talk directly to the friendly Cambodian locals!

What Does Cambodian Food Taste Like?

The majority of Cambodian dishes use a combination of fresh herbs, which we’ll talk about in more detail later, fermented fish paste, and fish sauce. The flavors can come off quite strong, especially if you’re not used to fermented sauces.

Khmer food ingredients typically consist of steamed white rice with a main dish, usually dried fish. So, as we mentioned earlier, if you love seafood dishes, particularly the use of fermented fish paste, fish sauce, and dried fish, you will be in heaven when you’re in Cambodia!

Is Cambodian Food Spicy?

If you don’t consider yourself a spicy food lover, then you might not get along with Cambodian cuisine too well. But, you should still give it a chance. Who knows, maybe you’ll come back from your trip to Cambodia a spice fiend!

Cambodian cuisine typically includes both chili peppers and Kampot peppers. Chili peppers can be mild, depending on the type and how many seeds make their way into the actual dish. On the other hand, Kampot peppers are small, green peppers, similar to peppercorns, that taste rather mild.

Remember that even if you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can always ask street food vendors to make the dish “less spicy” (hoer tech – ហឹរតិច).

What Makes Cambodian Food Special?

khmer food ingredients

Since many Khmer dishes are packed full of different herbs and raw vegetables, the dishes are light and nutritious. If you’re a vegetarian, Cambodia might be the perfect place for your next vacation.

That being said, you won’t find a lot of deep-fried or fatty foods in Cambodia. Also, if you’re someone that doesn’t need to eat a lot to get full, you’ll love the small portion sizes.

Popular Cambodian Dishes To Try

Want to know some of the most popular Cambodian food? Here are some must-try dishes!

  • Fish amok: banana leaf-wrapped steamed coconut fish
  • Char kroeung sach ko: stir-fried lemongrass beef
  • Nom banh chok: fermented Cambodian rice noodles in a creamy yellow broth topped with herbs

Whether you’re in Phnom Penh now or planning to travel there soon, you must take note of these dishes so that you can order them at a Cambodian restaurant!

Most Commonly Used Food Ingredients In Cambodia

Now that you’re an expert on the flavors and dishes that define Cambodian cuisine, you should know the names of the Khmer food ingredients used in those dishes. That way, the next time you find yourself in a Cambodian kitchen, you can impress the cook with your knowledge of the Khmer language and Khmer cooking!

Banana flowersphkachekផ្កាចេក
Chili peppersmrechម្រេច
Coconut milkkhteahdaungខ្ទិះដូង
Fermented fish pasteprahokប្រហុក
Fish saucetukatreiទឹកត្រី
Garlickhtoem saខ្ទឹមស
Kaffir lime leavesdaem krauchsaechដើមក្រូចសើច
Kampot peppermrech kampotម្រេចកំពត
Lime juicetuk kambaorទឹកកំបោរ
Morning gloryseriroungrueng peloprukសិរីរុងរឿងពេលព្រឹក
Oyster saucetukachrolk​ ngeavទឹកជ្រលក់​ងាវ
Palm sugarskarotnaotស្ករត្នោត
Shrimp pastebangkeaបង្គា
Star anisephka chantoផ្កា​ចន្ទន៍
Thai basil (holy basil)chirneangovongជីរនាងវង

After learning these words for Khmer food ingredients, you should feel prepared to go on a Cambodian cooking show! Of course, when it comes to languages, there’s always more to learn.

Learn More About Khmer And Cambodia With The Ling App!

We hope you enjoy learning about Khmer food ingredients! Do you want to learn more about the Khmer language in order to talk about Khmer dishes and all things Cambodia? Well, you’re in luck because we have the perfect solution for you – the Ling App!

Ling is a language learning app specifically designed for enthusiastic language learners just like you! No matter your language skill level, Ling has courses from beginner all the way to advanced, that way you don’t have to jump between different language learning apps depending on what you need. With Ling, you’re guaranteed to find everything in a single app.

Curious to know some of Ling’s great features? Keep reading!

  • Quick, yet comprehensive lessons
  • Applicable vocabulary for daily life
  • Fun exercises that focus on developing your writing skills
  • Mini-games and quizzes to assess your progress
  • Audio recordings from native speakers of each language
  • Interactive AI chatbot to give you direct feedback on your pronunciation

Those are just a few of the amazing features Ling has to offer. In reality, the list of features is endless. But, don’t take our word for it, start using Ling by downloading the app from the App Store or Play Store. Yes, it’s that easy!

Besides the app, Ling has an extensive language blog filled with all kinds of content related to languages. Including, information on different countries, traditions, and epic cuisines. Not to mention, the blog also has useful language tips in case you ever need more ideas on how to improve your language skills!

Start your language journey today with the Ling App. Shortly after downloading the app, you’ll never want to use anything else!

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