Siem Reap, the vibrant gateway to Angkor Wat, is a destination in which you can not only discover ancient temples but distinctive culinary creations too! Cambodian cuisine offers a delightful mix of fresh flavours, fragrant spices, and unique textures and here’s a peek into some of the must-try dishes in Siem Reap.

Lok Lak

Lok lak is a quintessential Cambodian dish featuring marinated stir-fried beef. While the core ingredients include beef strips marinated in a fragrant blend of oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, lemon grass, and pepper, the accompaniments can differ. Traditionally served with fresh tomato, lettuce, red onion, and cucumber slices for a refreshing contrast, some restaurants offer a delightful salt and pepper lime dipping sauce instead. This dish can be enjoyed at restaurants at hotels like FCC Angkor by Avani as well as eateries in the city.

Fish Amok

Fish amok is a delicate and visually stunning dish with freshwater fish fillets steamed to perfection in fragrant banana leaves. Unlike curries from neighbouring countries, Khmer curries prioritise aromatic flavours over fiery spices. Fish amok achieves this beautifully with its creamy coconut milk base infused with kroeung, a fragrant curry paste. Traditionally enjoyed during the Water Festival, this dish is also a staple on menus at the best restaurants in Siem Reap, allowing you to savour this Cambodian classic any time of year.

Stefan Fussan, Cambodian Fish Amok, CC BY-SA 3.0

Khmer Red Curry

The vibrant red colour of Khmer red curry might send shivers down the spine of spice-averse travellers. However, fear not! Unlike its Indian and Thai counterparts, this curry is a milder option, perfect for those who want to experience the aromatic flavours of Cambodian curries without the heat. The secret lies in the base – a fragrant coconut milk infused with kroeung paste featuring galangal, lemongrass, turmeric, and kaffir lime, that adds a depth of flavour without the fiery kick of chillies!

Bai Sach Chrouk

This favourite breakfast dish translates to “pork with broken rice,” and it perfectly captures its essence. Tenderly grilled pork is thinly sliced and served over a bed of broken rice. Scrambled eggs add a touch of richness, while radish and pickled cucumbers provide a delightful contrast in texture and tanginess. A steaming bowl of chicken broth alongside a plate of fried onions and scallions completes this culinary masterpiece that’s readily available at affordable prices from roadside stalls and markets in Siem Reap.