Eating Khmer 101

It’s time to talk about Khmer food. You knew it was coming, right? Specifically, I want to start with two dishes: Loc Lac and Amok.

Loc Lac gets recommended to foreigners a lot, because it’s considered accessible to taste buds that may be unfamiliar with Khmer cuisine. Very simply, it is stir fried, cubed beef served over a bed of fresh tomatoes and onions. The key is the dipping sauce, a blend of salt, pepper, and lime juice. As I said, simple, but also quite effective. The time I ordered it, there was also a fried egg on top.

Amok is coconut milk based curry most often served with fish, although I did see it offered with chicken on one menu. What makes Amok different is that it is steamed (in banana leaf) instead of boiled. That makes it thicker than other curries, although it’s still moist. And because it’s based on coconut milk, it tends to be very mild, which is good since then it won’t overpower the fish. I’ve had twice since arriving in Phnom Penh, and definitely give it a thumbs up. Light and delicious.

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~ by Samer on August 5, 2007.

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