Cambodian Cuisine -- it's not thai, damn it !!!!!

Most visitors to Reathrey Sekong know little or nothing about Cambodian food- and what they think they know is often incorrect. You can’t blame them, of course, because most travelers and foodies unfortunately also get it wrong.

We spent a few hours at Reathrey so we would no longer get it WRONG.

Newbies to Cambodian food are quick to grumble in restaurants about the food put on their table. Most have no hesitation sending barely touched plates back to

the kitchen with messages for the chef like “This is off!” (a typical complaint about any dish featuring the fermented fish, prahok).

As a result, chefs are adjusting recipes to taste more like Thai dishes, creating a sort of Thai-Cambodian fusion- which leads foodies to come to these conclusions, as well.

Do NOT expect ANY adjusting at Reathrey. "Chef Mom" creates the dishes as if you were sitting in her kitchen in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.

As with most of Asia, rice is the dietary staple, served with all of their meals. Traditional Cambodian cooking can contain any combination of more than a dozen types of rice which are commonly used. Most of the main courses contain fish or shellfish. Edible plants are also key components of Cambodian cookery. Equally important are spice pastes (kroeung), fermented fish paste (prahok, which adds a salty/savory component), palm sugar (khaw), and a wide variety of herbs. Like other Southeast Asian cuisines, Cambodian food is a balance of sweet, bitter, sour and salty flavors, although it’s markedly less spicy than Thai and Laotian food.

We left this hidden gem full and much smarter about true Cambodian dishes. Our tasting experience was made better with exceptional service and a very comfortable atmosphere.

Give them a try, you won't be sorry.

Anthony Wood

Editor/Food Photographer

Eating a2z

Below are a few of our favorites:

Steak & Thuk Prahok

Slices of beef served with thuk prahok, a dipping sauce made from fresh lemongrass, kefir lime leaves, galangal, eggplant, garlic, lime juice, chilis, and prahok. This exotic meat & veggie dip platter is served with raw slices of cucumber, eggplant & cabbage.

Phnom Penh Noodle Soup

Light , flavorful broth with ground pork, tail-on shrimp but highlights more interesting cuts including pork intestines, liver, and heart. We particularly enjoyed the chewy bits of intestines, which offer a nice contrast of texture to the chewy, white rice noodles. Sliced pork heart may resemble beef if you're not paying close attention. Served with sides of cilantro, bean sprouts, and lime. The mild flavor of the roasted garlic imparts a bit of sweetness to the soup that works nicely with the rich umami flavor of the broth.

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