Tag Archives: Phnom Penh

Cheap Cambodian Street Food!

Cruising Cambodia on a motorbike allowed us the opportunity to get away from the touristy areas and get stuck into some diverse street food. A few of the street foods we consumed in Cambodia included nom pang, num kachay, kuy teav, ang dtray-meuk, kralan, as well as BBQ rat, grilled water snake, fried worms, crickets and beetles.

Tips on eating cheap in Cambodia – Street food is so much cheaper than eating in the restaurants and, more often than not, it is much tastier. Go further afield for cheaper and more authentic street food. Go to where the locals eat and enjoy eating amongst them. You will find they really do appreciate having foreigners enjoy eating their national dishes and, of course, rejoicing in their cooking.

Our favourites!

Nom Pang – the pork baguette – is a delicious remnant of the French colonial period in Cambodia (1863-1953). Our favourite is the pork baguette with several different types of pork, including a spread of pork mince, pork sausage and roast pork. Nom Pang will usually include pickled vegetables and sometimes up to three different sauces. They are so delicious! You can also buy egg, fish, ham and chicken baguettes, as well as many other options.

Angkor Wat baguette vendor
Angkor Wat baguette vendor

In popular tourist places such as Angkor Wat, you pay USD $2, in Battambang we had the biggest baguettes full of meat and veg for USD $1.25. One of my favourites was a cheap USD $0.75.

Pork baguette $2 at Angkor Wat. It was a yummy breakfast after watchingth sun rise over the temple.
Pork baguette $2 at Angkor Wat. It was a yummy breakfast after watching the sunrise over the temple.

Num Kachay – chive cake – this traditional Cambodian food comes in two varieties. Round fried cakes with rice flour dough on the outside and a green filling of chives (and spinach I think), or it can be bought as a square cake in which the chives are blended into the rice flour mixture. We tried the round filled num kachay and really enjoyed them.

Num Kachay
Num Kachay
num kachay - chive filling
Num Kachay – chive filling

Kuy Teav – noodle soup – This is a popular breakfast dish in Cambodia, and is typically sold by vendors before midday. The delicious broth is made from pork or beef bones. This noodle soup is served with beef, chicken or pork, it will often include pork or beef balls. Garnished with bean sprouts, lettuce or sawtooth leaves and a lot of fresh herbs; this soup is colourful, tasty and filling. Condiments on offer will usually include chilli – fresh, dried, pickled or chilli sauce – pepper, lime, sliced garlic, soy sauce and sugar. Dwayne loves noodle soups so we often had this for breakfast.

beef noodle soup
Beef noodle soup with beef balls.
Beef noodle soup
This is also a beef noodle soup. The soups differ so much from one to another. All just as tasty though.

Ang Dtray-Meuk – grilled squid – You can usually find seafood hawkers with small charcoal-burning grills on the streets. At the popular seaside town of Kep, there is an abundance of skewered barbecuing squid for sale at the ‘Crab Markets’. The squid are usually lightly marinated with lime juice or fish sauce.

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Whole barbecued squid

Amongst the freshly caught seafood, for sale, at the “Crab Markets” there is a profusion of barbecued seafood for sale, such as barbecued prawns and barbecue fish sandwiched between split bamboo skewers. There was also a fantastic array of fish cakes and prawn cakes.

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BBQ prawns
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Whole barbecued fish
Prawn cakes
These prawn cakes were quite tasty.

Roadside Barbecues – rat, chicken, fish, snake and quail

Dwayne loves his barbecued meat and, on a ride from Siem Reap to Battambang, Dwayne felt like something barbecued. We stopped to buy lunch at a roadside BBQ and we were a little shocked by what they were cooking.  BBQ rat! Never one to miss an opportunity to try something different we bought a rat, which they served to us with a little salt & pepper mix and limes. The rat was delicious… and I know its been said before about many foods but….it did taste like chicken! These rats are caught amongst the rice fields and are considered a delicacy. Read more about the BBQ rat here!

Barbecued rats
Barbecued rats

Other barbecued meat we found at the roadside during our ride around Cambodia included fish, quail, chicken pieces and skewers of chicken. Away from the main cities very few Cambodian’s speak english so we often had to point to what we wanted and then held up one or two fingers to indicate how many or how much of a certain food we wanted. The Cambodians are wonderful, friendly people who were eager to sell us their food and were really pleased when we liked it. Even without a common language we still managed to have a laugh with the locals. The worldwide common sign language of the smile’ goes a long way.

Friendly BBQ lady was happy to pose for a photo with Dwayne.
Friendly BBQ lady was happy to pose for a photo with Dwayne.
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Whole BBQ quail, chicken skewers and fish

Dwayne ate a skewered water snake while out at the pub one night. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to take a photo. He said it was over-cooked and very dry. I was hoping for the opportunity to try snake myself but it never eventuated.

Kralan – sticky coconut rice in cooked in bamboo

We often found ourselves riding down a road and suddenly there are numerous stalls (in the middle of nowhere) all selling exactly the same thing. This made us a little curious so we eventually pulled over to see what was for sale. One such example was these little lengths of bamboo.

Roadside Kralan hawker
Roadside Kralan hawker

Not knowing what was inside and unable to ask the lady selling them (no english) we indicated we would take one. The top of the bamboo was plugged with leaves. After a short ride we found a shady tree to stop under and we opened our curiosity.

Top of the bamboo stuffed we leaves.
Top of the bamboo stuffed with leaves.

To our delight we found a delicious sticky rice, which I have since learnt is called kralan. It is very popular and is thought of as a specialty in Battambang where it is quite famous. It is made by cooking rice, black beans, coconut milk and sugar in the bamboo. It was not too sweet. Really very tasty.

Kralan
The bamboo is easy to open because the outside has been stripped to leave a thin easy to open ‘take away’ package.

We had a similar treat in Phnom penh where the sticky rice, wrapped in banana leaves, was grilled over coals. To our surprise, when we opened our banana wrapped treats we found the sticky rice was wrapped around a banana. Really delicious.

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The banana inside the rice!
The banana inside the rice!

Fried crickets and other bugs

Deep fried tarantula is one of the foods I really wanted to try but didn’t find… perhaps I didn’t look hard enough? But we did eat worms, grasshoppers, crickets and beetles. Read more about the bugs, insects and creepy crawlies here!

To watch the video of us consuming these creepy crawlies (or trying to) click here ….. Munching on Insects in Cambodia

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Green Mango salad

We found many mango salads being made along the roadsides. This particular one in the photo below was being made with crushed up crab pieces (shell and all). We didn’t get to try this one because we had just bought some insects to nibble on. We did have quite a few mango salads and they were all delicious… a must!

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Making green mango salad with crushed crab pieces.

Ice coffee

Dwayne could never pass up an opportunity to have an iced coffee with his noodle soup… it was breakfast after all.

Cambodian Ice Coffee
Cambodian Ice Coffee

Related posts

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2 Awesome Cheap Cambodian Cooking Classes!

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Eating in Cambodia.

We had a sensational time touring Cambodia on a motorcycle. The roads are shocking, as is the chaotic, crazy driving but the food is delightful.

Khmer cuisine is flavoursome and includes soups, meaty baguettes, lok lak (beef stir-fried with sauces), and of course Amok which is traditionally made with snakefish, but is also now made with chicken or veg etc. to suit different dietary requirements.

Great little family eateries - cheap delicious food.
Great little family eateries – cheap delicious food.

A Khmer meal will encompass a mixture of flavours, texture and colour. It will usually consists of more than one dish, incorporating lots of herbs, vegetables (pickled, raw or cooked), edible flowers, sauces and condiments.

Duck and rice
Duck and rice – Phnom Penh

If you are into chilli, like we are, take note that the Cambodians don’t really eat their food super hot. However, chilli (fresh, dry or sauce) is usually available on the table. If it is not, just ask, they will usually have chilli available.

Chicken noodle soup
Chicken noodle soup

All the following prices are from Aug/Sept 2015 and are quoted in the US dollar (US dollars are the main currency). You may receive change in Riel (Cambodian currency), keep the Riel for use in the small, backstreet eateries, where meals only cost a dollar or two.

A sneak peak at street food….

Street Food
The weirdest street food we ate included BBQ rat, worms, crickets, water snake on a stick and beetles. One of the yummiest was Nom Pang (pork baguettes).

Check out Cheap Cambodian Street Food here!

BBQ Rat
BBQ Rat

The following restaurants/eateries are just an example of where and what we ate. There are many little family run eateries throughout Cambodia; eat at these small places or go further afield, and leave the touristy areas, to get better value food and, more often than not, food that is more authentic and tasty.

Pork and egg
Pork and egg – road side eatery on our ride to Phnom Pehn.

We ate mostly at the small family eateries, which I am unable to give a name for, as they are written in Cambodian and I can not read Cambodian yet! I cannot list all of the cheap, delicious local places we ate at, because there were just so many of them. The majority were fantastic… in fact I can’t remember a bad meal. Most will display some sort of food so you know what they sell, but a couple of times we had to mime eating and just wait to see what we got. We were never disappointed! NOTE: cost is in Australian Dollars.


Siem Reap

While in Siem Reap we stayed at Urban Jungle Hostel on Angkor Night Market Street. There were a lot of good places to eat along this road. This first one had very friendly proprietors and delicious food.

Address: Angkor Night Market Street (across from Stung Thmey Primary School).

1 x Beef noodle soup $2.00
1 x Fried noodle $2.00

Fried noodle
Fried noodle

TOTAL: $4.00
VERDICT: Delicious cheap food. Friendly family. Free water or tea on the table + glass of ice.

Another great little eatery on Angkor Night Market Street where we had breakfast a few times. We ordered a beef stew/soup-like dish with a baguette.

What we had…

2 x Beef and baguette $3.00
Pot of Green tea.

Beef Stew and Baguette
Beef Stew and Baguette

TOTAL: $3.00

VERDICT: Delicious and so cheap. Really friendly people. No English, just point to what you want and wait and see what you get.


Also in Siem Reap

Sinn Sisa Mouth Cafe
Address: Angkor Night Market Street (next door to Urban Jungle Hostel).

What we ordered…

1 x Khmer lok lak and steamed rice $3.00
1 x Chicken curry and steamed rice $4.00
2 x Angkor beer $1.50
1 x Small water $0.50

TOTAL: $9.00

VERDICT: Very nice food. Nice setting and very nice proprietors. Meals were large. I could not eat all of mine. Lots of meat.


Blue Wave Bar and Restaurant
Address: Steung Thmei, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

Meals start at around USD $1.00 (for fried rice) and most meals are between $1.00 and $4.00. Higher range meals include steaks for $7.00 or $8.00. Drinks are between $0.50 and $3.00.

What we had…

2 x Chicken amok $6.00
1 x Glass draught beer $0.50
1 x Small bottle water $0.50

Chicken Amok
Chicken Amok

TOTAL: $7.00

VERDICT: Large nice, clean restaurant. Service was fine. Food was delicious. Amok, which comes in a choice of chicken or fish is a creamy coconut, curry-like dish; not spicy but very flavoursome. Lots of meat in the dish. Food presentation was good also.


Khmer Food
Address: Sivatha Blvd, in front of the Huy Meng Minimart, across from Pub Street (Street 8)

This is a great little outside eatery that does soups, rice, noodle, BBQ chicken and lok lak.

Meals range between $2.00 – $3.00
Drinks between $0.50 -$1.25

What we had…

1 x Beef soup $2.00
1 x Spicy fried rice with beef $2.00

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TOTAL: $4.00

VERDICT: Great food and cheap! Free green tea on the table and given a glass of ice each.


Phsa Chas Restaurant
Address: Street 9, Old Market Area

Meals – $1.50 – $5.00 (including whole fish and other seafood).
Drinks – $0.50 – $2.50 (including cocktails)

What we had…

1 x Grilled frog with lemongrass $3.00
1 x Fresh spring rolls $2.00
1 x Chicken and potato curry $3.00
2 x Draught beer (glass) $1.00
2 x Ice lemon tea $1.00
1 x Mango shake $0.75

Chicken Potato Curry
Chicken Potato Curry
Grilled frog with lemongrass
Grilled frog with lemongrass

TOTAL: $10.75

VERDICT: Extensive menu and very flavoursome food. My fresh spring rolls (cold rolls) were freshly made and delicious. Dwayne’s chicken curry was good. It had too much potato for his liking but I thought the potato was great. Frog delicious but had lots of small bones. The ice lemon tea was the best I’d had for a long time.


Nai Khmer Food Restaurant
Address: Street 9, Old Market Area

Meals between $1.50 – $10.00 (include lobster, whole fish etc)
Drinks between $0.50 – $2.50

Crispy fried frogs
Crispy fried frogs

What we ordered…

1x Fresh egg rolls $2.50
1 x Quail $3.50
1 x Frog $2.50
3 x Draught beer $1.50
2 x Lemon shake $1.00

Egg Rolls
Egg Rolls
Yummy frogs
Yummy frogs
Crispy fried quail.
Crispy fried quail.

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TOTAL: $11.00

VERDICT: Delectable. The fried frogs were delicious, crispy and tender. The quail was a bit over cooked. The pepper dipping sauce served with the frog and quail was delicious. The egg rolls – thin omelet filled with salad and rolled up, served with dipping sauce were very good.

Dwayne playing with his food - the quail head!
Dwayne playing with his food – the quail head!

Ladybug Guesthouse
Address: Steung Thmey Village, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap city, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

What we had…

2 x American breakfast $7.00

TOTAL $7.00

VERDICT: Breakfast consisted of two eggs and a piece of bacon sausage, toast, butter and jam. A choice of orange juice, tea or coffee and a small plate of fruit. Nothing special. We stuck to cheap local breakfast after this choice.


Temple Sight Restaurant and Bar
Address: Achor Hem Cheav

Drinks between $0.50 – $2.50 (including spirits)

What we had…

1 x Fried rice with pork $2.00
1 x Red curry chicken $3.00
1 x Cambodia Beer (sm bottle) $1.50
1 x Ice lemon tea $0.50

Chicken Curry
Red Chicken Curry

TOTAL: $7.00

VERDICT: Nice setting with upstair dinning area. Free  tea brought to the table. The rice was nice. The chicken curry was different. Taste was ok, more like a stew than a curry… not spicy. But it was full of vegetables and chicken and Dwayne really enjoyed it.


Battambang

Ambrosia Cafe
Address: 112 Road No 2, 112 Rd No 2, Krong Battambang, Cambodia

What we had…

1 x coffee
1 x pot of green tea
2 x bacon and egg sandwich

Breakfast Sandwich
Breakfast Sandwich

TOTAL: $8.00

VERDICT: We stopped here the day before for a quick breakfast, when she came back to say they didn’t have what we had ordered, we decided to skip breakfast. The next day we went to try again. We asked for the same thing, ‘still no have’ ok. So we asked about the breakfast sandwich… yes we could have those. Dwayne then tried to order from the menu, an expresso ‘no have’, so he tried to order the Swiss Italian Coffee (or something like that)… ‘no have’. So he ordered black coffee with sweet milk. ‘ok have’.

The coffee was ok. The green tea was very weak and didn’t get any stronger as it seeped (I like it strong). The bacon and egg sandwich was nice, three pieces of bread… egg was plain omelet style.


There are places that serve food that is already cooked and you just point to the food you want and say how many serves i.e one or two etc. It is usually served with rice. Very handy when there is a language barrier. The name of this place was written in Cambodian (I assume) so I can’t tell you the name but I did take photo.

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1 x Chicken & ginger (this is my description not the name of the dish)
1 x Mild chilli chicken (again my description)
2 x Rice
1 x Cambodian beer (can)
2 x Glass of ice
Water free on table

Chicken and ginger
Chicken and ginger
Mild chilli chicken
Mild chilli chicken

TOTAL: $3.10

VERDICT: Very nice food. Clean serving area. They went and got Dwayne a cold beer from a shop further down the road as they didn’t actually sell beer.


Kampot

Fresh Pulled Noodle
Address: Street 735 (Riverside Road)

What we had…

1 x Fried pork dumplings $2.50
1 x Boiled pork dumplings $2.50
1 x Chicken soup with pulled noodles $2.50
2 x Coconuts $1.00

Pulled noodles
Pulled noodles
Fried pork dumplings
Fried pork dumplings

TOTAL: $8.50

VERDICT: Really nice dumplings and the pulled noodles were superb. It was interesting to watch them make these noodles. They are called pulled noodle because that is literally what they do. Just fold and pull the dough until they have strings of noodles. Amazing really!


The Rusty Keyhole
Address: Riverside Road, Kampot, Cambodia… Crn of Street 735 (Riverside Road) & Street 724

What we had…

1 x Full rack of ribs (for 2) $8.00
1 x House wine $2.00
1 x Vodka and Sprit (not asked for – just asked for Sprite) $2.00
1 x Fresh OJ $1.50
1 x Water $0.25

Pork Ribs
Pork Ribs

TOTAL: $13.75

VERDICT: Huge meal; couldn’t eat it all. It came with a choice of baked potato or chips etc. Coleslaw. Not ribs as I know them so much meat.

The Rusty Keyhole Happy hour 3-7pm.

Prices –
House spirits and mixers $1.50
Canned beers all $1.00
Draft mug $0.75
Pint $1.20
Jug $2.50


Bohemiaz Eco Retreat
Address: Andong Khmer, Kampot, Cambodia
Phone: +855 15 809 005

Even if you don’t stay at these bungalows it is worth popping in for a drink or a meal. They have a good range of meals including pizza, burgers, wraps, lasagne and Khmer food. The owners and staff are very friendly. We felt like part of the family while we were there. They have a small pool table, fooze ball, cards, and other games such as scrabble etc. If you just want a nice meal or a relaxing drink, and would like a chat with friendly people, head there to get away for an hour or two.

An example of their prices…

Tea $1.00
Coffee $1.50
Lime juice $1.00
Tequila & soda $2.50
Wine $2.75
Pizza (delicious) $6.50
Spring Rolls $3.50
Full English breakfast (real bacon and pork sausage) $5.75
Steak wrap $5.50


Kep

Kimly Restaurant
Address: Waterfront Crab Market, Kep, Cambodia

What we had…

Banana chips brought to the table (free)
1 x Beer $0.90
1 x 75ml cointreau and ice $2.00
1 x Savingnon Blanc (bottle) $13.75
1 x Mud crab fried with green pepper sauce (crab by weight) $11.80
1 x Large fried rice $3.80
Pineapple brought out to us at the end of the meal (free)

Fried crab with Kampot green pepper sauce
Fried crab with Kampot green pepper sauce

TOTAL: $32.25

VERDICT: Delicious food. Great setting on the water. Very attentive staff. Clean. Large range of meals and beverages.

Example of prices:

Fried swimmer crabs with pepper sauce (small)$ 7.25 (large) $10.87
Most meals between $5.00 – $10.87
Noodle and rice dishes $2.70 – $5.00
Pasta $2.50 – $5.00

Drinks
Bottle wine $11.65 – $17.85
French Champagne around $40.00
Angkor beer can $0.90
Spirits $1.75 – $3.75
Tea by the pot $1.00 – $1.50
Glass of tea $0.75
Cocktails $2.00 – $3.00


Kngi Bang Chatt Sailing Club
Address: NR33A, Cambodia

2 x red wine (glass) $8.00

TOTAL: $8.00

VERDICT: Nice relaxing place. Good setting on the water, clean. Pool table. Hobie cats and wind surfers for rent. Tourist prices – wine $4.00, beer $3.00


Sihanoukville

Palm Beach Burger Bar
Address: Serendipity Road | 40 Meter From Golden Lion, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Drinks- Juice around $2.00, soft drinks around $1.00
Burgers between $3.50 – $4.50

What we ordered…

1 x Beef garlic bacon burger $4.00
1 x Beef cheese bacon burger (with extra garlic) $4.25
2 x Homemade chips $1.50
1 x Anchor draught beer $0.75
1 x Water (small bottle)$0.50

Beef Garlic Bacon Burger
Beef Garlic Bacon Burger

TOTAL: $11.25

VERDICT: Very nice burger. The burger sauce was delicious, not just plain mayo. All burgers have Palm Beach burger sauce or Palm Beach tartare sauce. They have beef, fish and veggie burgers and they also do fish (or shrimp) and chips with coleslaw and green peas.


 

Don’t eat in Cambodia just for the sake of eating and filling your belly… food in Cambodia is an adventure! Have a little fun! Step out of your comfort zone and wander in to the little places and see what delicious meal is placed before you.