In regard to food in Vietnam and Cambodia, you will find some similarities between two cuisine cultures. Many dishes in Vietnam are widely known in Cambodia as well. The reason comes from the fact that part of southern Vietnam used to be part of Cambodia not so very long ago, and both countries have a shared history of colonization by the French. However, each country still has its unique cooking style and flavor that does not share with others. Here below are the must-try dishes you should not miss out in Vietnam and Cambodia:
Banh Mi Vietnam ( Vietnamese Traditional Bread) is among top 20 best street food in the world. This can be seen as a combination of sandwich and baguette. Thinly sliced carrots, pickles, cucumbers, liver pâté, mayonnaise and various meats are put into bread and covered by a little soy or fish sauce. You easily can find bread in small stalls on the street-side.
Phở or pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles called bánh phở, a few herbs, and meat, primarily made with either beef or chicken. Rice noodle soup with beef is one of 10 most excellent breakfast items in the world, 50 most delicious food to enjoy in the planet voted by CNN and 10 must-dishes in your lifetime.
Vietnam rice pancake (Banh Xeo): is a Vietnamese savory fried pancake made of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, diced green onion, and bean sprouts. Banh Xeo is one of the 40 most delicious dishes of Vietnam.
Hue beef noodle or bún bò Huế is a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli (bún) and beef (bò). Huế is a city in central Vietnam associated with the cooking style of the former royal court. A famous American chef, Bourdain Amthony uttered that Hue beef noodle of Vietnam is the best soup in the world. Hue beef noodle entered top 50 most delicious foods.
Nem or Fried spring roll is popular dish in Vietnam cuisine. The main ingredient of a roll is commonly seasoned ground meat, mushrooms, and diced vegetables such as carrots, kohlrabi and jicama, rolled up in a sheet of moist rice paper. The roll is then deep fried until the rice paper coat turns crispy and golden brown. in Vietnam, fried spring roll is also rated as one of 10 most delicious foods and reached the top 10 World Favourite cuisine of travelers.
Bún thịt nướng (Vermicelli with pork grilled over charcoal) is a popular Vietnamese dish topped with grilled pork, fresh herbs like basil and mint, fresh salad and bean sprouts, and spring rolls. The dish is dressed in fish sauce (nước chấm). Also, the dish is topped with roasted peanuts, Vietnamese pickled carrots, nem nướng̣ (grilled garlic pork sausage) or grilled prawns.
Bún riêu cua (Vietnamese crab noodle soup) is a famous Vietnamese dish. Bún riêu cua is served with tomato broth and topped with freshwater crab . In this dish, various freshwater paddy crabs are used. The crabs are cleaned by being placed in clean water to remove dirt and sand. The crabs are pounded with the shell on into a fine paste. This paste is strained and the crab liquid is a base for the soup along with tomato.
Bai sach chrouk (Pork and rice): Served early mornings on street corners all over Cambodia. Bai sach chrouk, or pork and rice, is one of the simplest and most delicious dishes the country has to offer. On the side, you’ll often be given a bowl of chicken broth topped with scallions and fried onions.
Lap Khmer is a beef salad in which beef more than salad. Lap Khmer is made from thinly sliced beef that is quickly seared or marinated with lime juice, lemongrass, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, Asian basil, mint, green beans and green pepper, spicily favored with fresh red chili. This full of flavors and colors dish will surely make tourists unforgettable.
Num Banh Chok or Khmer noodle is the perfect dish to eat in warm weather: rice noodles topped with a cool fish gravy and crisp raw vegetables including cucumbers, banana blossom, and water lily stems and fresh herbs, such as basil and mint.
Cambodian Kampot green pepper crab is a renowed speciality of Kampot, a city in Southern Cambodia. This Kampot crab dish could either be a starter, served as a sharing platter, or it could be the main dish served with rice and green vegetables.
Red tree ants with beef and holy basil: Ants of various sizes, some barely visible and others almost an inch long are stir-fried with ginger, lemongrass, garlic, shallots and thinly sliced beef. Lots of chilies complete the aromatic dish, without overpowering the delicate sour flavor that the ants impart to the beef. This dish will be very tasty when eaten with hot rice .
Ang dtray-meuk (Grilled squid) is the speciality of Cambodian seaside towns like Sihanoukville and Kep. The squid are brushed with either lime juice or fish sauce and then barbecued and served with a popular Cambodian sauce, originally from Kampot, made from garlic, fresh chilies, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
Fried fish on the fire lake: traditionally made for parties or eaten at restaurants in a special, fish-shaped dish. A whole fish is deep-fried and then finished on a hotplate at the table in a coconut curry made from yellow kroeung and chilies. Vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage are cooked in the curry, and served with rice or rice noodles.
Amok is thick soup cooked with fish, meat, vegetables,eggs and coconut milk. It is a common dish served at restaurants. The most common types of amok are made with fish, beef, or chicken as the main proteins. Amok can also be eaten with rice
Jaggery known as palm sugar is a famous symbol of the temple country. Jaggery sugar is processed to cook sweet soup and to season in soups, steam dishes. This is a favorite gift which many tourists often choose to buy. Jaggery is widely sold in the market and food stalls and often wrapped in palmyra leaves.
Sadao Flower Salad: Sadao is edible leaves and flowers of natural insecticide Neem trees. At first taste, the flowers are extremely bitter, more bitter than bitter melon, however the bitterness is soon lost in their unique flavor and slightly sweet aftertaste. Sadao flower is often mixed with boiled pork, cucumbers and herbs and tamarind sauce to make a tasty salad.