When it comes to Asian cuisine, Japanese, Thai and Chinese food usually come into mind. They are highly popular around the world and constantly sought after in every international buffet, but authentic Asian cuisine is more than that.
Cambodia, famous for the historical tourist attraction Angkor Wat, is also a testament on the quality of food offered by distinct Asian cuisine. It may not be as popular as its other Asian neighbors, but once you get a taste of this country's dishes, you'll wonder why Cambodian cuisine doesn't get the respect it deserves. Here are some of the best dishes to try when in Cambodia:
Bai Sach Chrouk. You better be an early riser to get to try this dish, as it would be hard for you to find a place that serves this dish after mid-morning. Bai Sach Chrouk is a popular breakfast dish in Cambodia that is so savory and sweet you'll also find yourself craving this again at dinner. It's made of caramelized BBQ pork grilled over smoky charcoal, according to Be My Travel Muse, and can be found in market stalls and street carts everywhere in Cambodia.
Red Tree Ants with Beef and Holy Basil. Traditional Cambodian menu usually includes different kinds of insects in their main ingredients, and is a favorite for exotic foodie travelers. Served over a bowl of steaming hot rice, this dish is stir-fried with thinly sliced beef, holy basil and a healthy dose of red tree ants, according to CNN. It may be icky to some, but it's actually really good. It's spicy and aromatic and you'll discover that ants could actually taste great.
Nom Banh Chok: Khmer Noodles. Another traditional Cambodian breakfast dish, Nom Bah Chok is really popular among tourists as well. If you want to experience the most authentic version of this dish, make sure to buy it from the local women selling these noodles at the streets at early morning. It's made of rice noodles, a green gravy-like sauce made with lemongrass, turmeric root, kaffir lime and fresh veggies.