“Mandzha s grozde” in Cambodia

Main topics in the article: food, transportation and activities in Cambodia.

The name of the article is in Bulgarian and literally means “a dish with grapes” in Cambodia. This proverb is used when you mix a lot of things as I do here: I write about Cambodian dishes, transportation and how to arrange/negotiate transfers from one city to another and what to do. 🙂

And if you read to the very end I’ll give you a recipe for my favorite Cambodian dish called Amok. So let’s get this started with: 

one is alright, two are not enough, three – too few

Exactly, beer lovers, I’m talking about our favorite drink and you can find nice beer in Cambodia. The three most famous are: the pilsner Anchor — pronounced “an-chor” to differentiate it from the more popular lager Angkor, and  Cambodia Beer – another cheap lager. You will love the price of the beer – $1 on the street and $2-$3 in the bar. Lerk dach, mates! (Cheers!)

 

Me drinking Angkor… Cheers!
Mango lassi – it’s an yoghurt-based drink made with fresh mango and some spices. It’s popular in India but you can find it in Cambodia as well. A must-try!


 FOOD

In the previous article did I mention that I LOVE the Cambodian food. Khmer cuisine is an incredibly delicious mix of Thai, Vietnamese and Indian influences. It’s a balanced mix of vegetarian, fish, meat and seafood and if you like spicy – you have to go to Cambodia! I’ve tasted almost all of the traditional dishes and surprisingly I even managed to loose 2 kg.

Green papaya salad, fish amok with red chillis and chicken-vegetables curry, all served with rice and of course – beer!
The fish market in Kep – grilled fish, squids, shrimps, crabs… delicious!
Clams with chillies – the local chips!
A river snake – don’t eat this, tastes like slime and it was very dry…

 

I don’t have enough photos of the food but I can recommend: the Amok, the fish, the Kampot’s specialty – green pepper crab and the noodles. For a dessert my pick is the mango sticky rice or fruits. You can find very cheap the jack fruit – I L-O-V-E J-A-C-K F-R-U-I-T.

And, of course, if you are adventurous enough – try the fried bugs, flies, cockroaches, etc. 😀 from the street stalls where the food is very cheap.

You can also buy some spices as I did – I bought the spice mix for Amok and I cooked it in Bulgaria. The recipe is in the end of the article. I would also recommend to buy pepper – Cambodia is a big producer of pepper which is very delicious. And when you visit – make sure you try the green pepper crab! Unforgettable!

transportation

Taxi, bus, tuk-tuk, bicycle, plane, boat, motorbike, on foot – name it, for 12 days you have a lot of options and I’ve almost tried everything. Some of the roads are good but they are very busy and noisy so I wouldn’t recommend non-motorized way of transportation between the cities.

Generally, the transportation is not very expensive but you need a basic haggling skills. And when you show them the money – it helps! even if the amount is less than the requested price. 😉 Always make sure when they tell you the price to request a cheaper price! In most of the cases you’ll get the better price! Buy me a beer if this advice helped you 😉 or click on the ads on my website.

Busy Phnom Penh – after work traffic
A taxi ride from Phnom Penh to Kep. This time I don’t drive 😉

 

Tuk-tuk is the best option to move in the city and between nearby cities.
But you may need to cover your nose because it’s very sandy. Also make sure you don’t forget your sunglasses!

 

A boat ride between the islands and mainland
I love bicycles! It’s the best option to explore the city and the temples in Angkor Wat 🙂
I can’t wait to book my next flight…

what to do

Cambodia offers a lot of things – relaxation, extreme hiking, good food, temples and culture, romance and clubbing – you choose. Ideas on what to do you can find here: Curious Cambodia with a sample 12 days itinerary. Thumbs up if you like it!

 

AND THE PROMISED RECIPE FOR AMOK


Ingredients:

  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • 500 g(1 lb) chicken breast fillets/ or fish / or shrimps / or meat of your choice
  • 400 ml thick coconut milk
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • Vegetables – broccoli, green beans, zucchini or whatever you prefer
  • Spices: First make the spice paste. In an electric food processor grind the chillies and the salt to a fine paste, then add one by one and grind in the lemongrass, galangal, coriander, turmeric, lime skin, shrimp paste, garlic and shallots in that order until you have a very fine paste.

Cooking time: 30 minutes, easy.

Thinly slice the fish/chicken/meat into 1,5 cm thick bite size pieces and set aside. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the spices paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp paste, coconut milk, whisking to combine. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add the fish and vegetables, gently folding the fish into the curry sauce with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Let the amok simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through. Turn the heat off 😉

Invite friends. Serve with steamed rice. Share! Enjoy!

 

Thumbs up if you like my article and stay tuned for more interesting stories coming very soon!

Sincerely,

Irina

 

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