Khmer Street Food: Top 6 Popular Breakfast in Cambodia

Perhaps, you have never noticed things you have never tried or might not try at all. If you were a traveller, your trip would be incomplete without having tested street food. Street food is ready-to-eat food. Anywhere you go, you will find them as an interwoven part of the local community.

They are just simply tasty, authentic, and culturally enriching. Street food brings exotic flavors to people; having street food is to feel local. Now first go for 6 best courses for breakfast in town for your special trip in Cambodia (Cambodia Foods) Are you ready? Let’s go to explore and discover street foods with Licadho!

1. Khmer Noodle or Nom Banh Chok

Nom Banh Chok literally means putting-noodle-in-mouth food. This Khmer noodle is many centuries old with a long tale. It consists of rice noodles topped with green fish gravy and heaps of green beans, bean sprouts, banana flower, cucumber and other vegetable. This green fish gravy is known as Khmer soup or Som Lor Khmer.

Khmer Noodle or Nom Banh Chok
Khmer Noodle or Nom Banh Chok

It is simply delicious with commonly found ingredients such as traditional herbs, freshwater fish and the unforgettably tasty fish paste, locally known as ‘Prahok’.

Even prahok brings an acquired taste for most Westerners, yet, Nom Banh Chok is still one of the quintessential Khmer dishes they always ask for once they come to Cambodia.

Nowadays, because of trend, some Cambodian mostly in rich families believes that having Nom Banh Chok for breakfast causes stomach ache, and it is a kind of food served for only low-class people. Those people’s mindset is being proved to be completely wrong. Nom Banh Chok is truly Khmer breakfast.

It is healthily good to have it as a breakfast as it is a green dish.

  • WHAT: Try green dish on earth!
  • WHY: It is national food and one of the healthiest and most balanced cuisines on the planet
  • TIP: Whether you are chilly lover or not, let’s try green tiny chilli if you want to taste it in a different way
  • FUNNY FACT: You do not need to use spoon in order to sip the soup. Just directly sip it from your bowl of Nom Banh Chok

2. Pork with Rice or Bai Sach Chrouk

As rice is staple food almost every meals for all Cambodian, Pork with rice or Bai Sach Chrouk is another common breakfast after Khmer Noodle.

Pork with Rice or Bai Sach Chrouk
Pork with Rice or Bai Sach Chrouk

It is a plate of rice topped with fried-garlic oil and grilled pork, which is slowly grilled over charcoal on a wire grill. It looks similar to BBQ, yet, the tastes is much incomparable. Grilled pork here has unique taste as it is mixed with palm sugar, soy sauce, garlic, black Kampot pepper, and other secret ingredients.

Bai Sach Chrouk is served with a slide of pickled, slightly sweet cucumber, carrot, ginger, and a small bowl of chicken soup. You can also ask for fried egg or scrambled egg to add.

It is one of common breakfast that you can easily take away, and you can just spend a few minutes to finish it.

You may not find this kind of breakfast anywhere else outside this Kingdom. Then, why not try?

  • WHAT: Having ‘Bai Sach Chrouk’ as your breakfast brings you joy with rice and creative taste of ‘grilled pork’
  • WHY: You cannot find elsewhere with this kind of breakfast
  • TIPS: Try to mix them, rice, grilled pork, fried/scrambled egg, and fried-garlic oil together in one plate. You may see a new version of Bai Sach Chrouk
  • FUNNY FACT: To act like a local, dip your spoon into broth before each bite of rice

3. Noodle Soup or Kuy Teav

Noodle Soup or Kuy Teav is known as Chinese noodle, which is originally developed by Cambodian Chinese descendants. However, it tastes 100% Khmer. It is noodle with soup, which is made of pork or beef bones.

Originally Kuy Teav is topped with pork and something inside pork. However, nowadays people can have more than one choice as they can choose pork, beef, seafood, or just bones in their bowl. Usually, beef or fish balls are added.

Cambodian Breakfast: Kuy Teav - Beef Noodle Soup
Cambodian Breakfast: Kuy Teav – Beef Noodle Soup

It is always served with the garnishes of lettuce leaves, bean sprouts, chopped scallions, black Kampot pepper, lime juice, and caramelized garlic.

  • WHAT: Having ‘Kuy Teav’ as your breakfast brings you sweat
  • WHY: ‘Kuy Teav’ is hot!
  • TIPS: Try another version of ‘Kuy Teav’, one without soup together with noodle in bowl.
  • FUNNY FACT: Cambodians have ‘Kuy Teav’ not only for breakfast, but at any time of the day even late at night

4. Cambodian Rice Porridge or Bor Bor

Cambodian Rice Porridge is boiling rice with lots of water, then mixed with fish, chicken, beef, pork, Khmer snail, seafood, or plain one. Besides the plain one, it is topped with roasted garlic, chopped mint leaves, onion leaves, and extra other spices.

Cambodian Rice Porridge
Cambodian Rice Porridge

For the plain version, you can find a few simple toppings like grilled pork or chicken, soy sauce, dried fish stash, and cooked sweet fish. (see picture)

It is comfort in a bowl even it is hot and ready to eat without biting. Especially, once you try with truly Cambodian rice such as Malis rice (Jasmine rice).

It is very nourishing and flavorful.

  • WHAT: It is the king of superfoods, stomach-friendly food
  • WHY: It can warm you up and solve all manner of problem
  • TIP: One bowl of Bor Bor a day, keep the doctor away!
  • FUNNY FACTS: It can be your hangover cure.

5. Bread with Pate or Nom Pang Pate

Bread with Pate or Nom Pang Pate has been known as Cambodian Sandwich. Because of Cambodian used to stay under French colonizati the baguette, Khmer calls it as Nom Pang. Cambodians normally have it with curry, coffee, sugar, or milk. However, most of the time, they eat it with Pate. Pate is some kind of flat pork sausage.

Bread with Pate or Nom Pang Pate has been known as Cambodian Sandwich
Bread with Pate or Nom Pang Pate has been known as Cambodian Sandwich

All in one, you can find the different kinds of Pate, spring onion, mint, pickles of chili, butter, sardine sauce, and ground pork sauce inside Nom Pang Pate. Pepper or chili can be added depends on your taste. Pepper or chilli is optional depending on your appetite.

It is cheap and more than enough for a whole bread costs only 4000 riels (about $1). It is not what we are looking for only breakfast, but it is also well-suited as your best snack for all day long.

  • WHAT: It has been known as Cambodian Sandwich, but actually it is not. It is ‘Nom Pang Pate’!
  • WHY: What a great inventor; it comes from creative ideas of Cambodian. Really appreciate it!
  • TIP: Do not separate it. What are inside, try to Eat just-all-in-one-time.
  • FUNNY FACT: Eat half of bread and drink lots of water, you can immediately full until late lunch.

6. Lok Lak with Rice or Bai Lok Lak

Accompanied by special pepper and garlic sauce, beef’s taste is transformed. This kind of stired-fried beef dish enriched by pepper is called Lok Lak.

Lok Lak with Rice or Bai Lok Lak
Lok Lak with Rice or Bai Lok Lak

You can have it with a bowlful of white rice and generally decorated slices of onion and tomato and fresh lettuce. Once pepper-mixed stirred-fried beef meets sauce made of salt, pepper and lime juice, you will make a slip of the tongue ‘WOW’ because never experiencing such tasty beef.

  • WHAT: Beef never tastes such good!
  • WHY: You taste and you know. Meat lover may know the most.
  • TIP: Do not order English style unless you want fried egg and chips. Rice goes well enough with Lok Lak for your breakfast.
  • FUNNY FACT: Because every piece of beef are cut in cube side, it is called Lok Lak as the name of gambling material

Finished your reading? Then, do not just take my words; it is a must-try! Contact us if you want a good companion. We know the best where to have a good one.

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