Vietnam and Cambodia both have dishes that are world renowned.
A regional Vietnamese dish made with noodles pork and local greens that is only found in the town of Hội An, in central Vietnam. Its unique taste and texture is achieved by using water from an undisclosed ancient Cham well, just outside of the town. This story is promulgated in a popular guide book and has become something of an urban legend. We certainly indulged ourselves on this dish whilst there.
What list of Vietnamese cuisine would be complete without pho? It’s almost impossible to walk a block in Vietnam’s major cities without bumping into a crowd of hungry patrons slurping noodles at a makeshift pho stand.
The French may have brought with them the baguette, but Vietnam takes it to a different level. How exactly depends on what end of the country you’re in. In the north chefs stick to the basic elements of carbohydrate, fat and protein—bread, margarine and pâté—but head south and your banh mi may contain a more colorful combination of cheese, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, sausage, fried egg, fresh cilantro and chili sauce.
Steamed pork buns aren’t traditionally Vietnamese but that doesn’t stop the spongy rolls from being sold by street vendors and in traditional Vietnamese restaurants.
Cambodian cuisine includes noodles, soups, grills, stir-fried, curries, salads, desserts, lots of vegetables, tropical fruits, and of course rice which is the staple food for Cambodians. Cambodian culinary secrets are rarely written down; the recipes were instead handed down from mother to daughter. From an ancient origin has come a traditional cuisine of unsuspected treasures: a unique blend of flavors and colors that enhance the natural ingredients used. During the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s, Cambodian cuisine was almost wiped out and forgotten. It’s only been quite recently that Khmer cuisine has made something of a revival. Cambodia’s top ranking dish is:
A lightly flavoured seafood coconut curry dish that is served in a banana leaf. Many places serve chicken or pork varieties. The flavours are exquisite and you would never be forgiven for visiting Cambodia and not trying Amok. We certainly gave it a “bashing” and wish we could replicate it back home.
Khmer red curry:
Less spicy than the curries of neighboring Thailand, Khmer red curry is similarly coconut-milk-based but without the overpowering chili. The dish features beef, chicken or fish, eggplant, green beans, potatoes, fresh coconut milk, lemongrass and kroeung.
Char kroeung Sach Ko (Stir-fried lemongrass beef):
This popular Cambodian stir-fry is another common dish found throughout the country. After put beef in the heat oil with garlic, stir fry until the beef become tender. Then add vegetables such as red peppers and onion as well as the kroeung mixture.
We also tried many other dishes in these countries, the recipes of which might have originated elsewhere but nevertheless eaten in Vietnam or Cambodia gave them special appeal.