My Favorite Khmer Dishes

If you all didn’t know, I am Khmer AKA Cambodian. Both of my parents were born somewhere in the little country of Cambodia (yes, in the large continent of Asia). It may seem obvious to you but a grown man once confidently stated that he believed Cambodia was in Africa. Anyways… my parents came to America and met each other somehow in Minnesota and made 3 children together. I was one of those 3 children. While my parents were together my mom made us dinner every night, she would always make traditional Khmer dishes. They’re hard to find since there aren’t many restaurants serving Khmer cuisine out there.

When I was in Elementary school, they asked us to draw a picture of our favorite food and write “My favorite food is ___” the only thing I could think of was my mom’s Prahok but I was smart enough to know that my teacher would think I had made a spelling error or something… which I probably would have if I did try to spell it out at that age.

I simply wrote, “my mom’s stinky food!” because other than Prahok, I loved a few other “stinky” dishes so I’ll start my list of favorites with those:

Prahok (every kind)

Photo (+ a recipe) on the right found on A Cook’s Memoir; Photo on the left found on Travel Fish

Tuk Kreung (made with Mackerel or Tuna)

Sorry, this video is the closest I could find to what my mom used to make! The lady in the video (above) is speaking Khmer but the ingredients are listed in English if you really want to try making it on your own!


Photo (+ a recipe) found on Eating Thai Food

My mom didn’t make this one as much as my Grandma did. I would get so excited to go to Grandma’s house and eat some Kapi!


Somlor Tapeng Sach Mean 

Photo (+ a recipe) found on Khun’appétit

Somlor Machu Kreung

beef sour soup
Photo (+ a recipe) found on Tevy’s Blog

Somlor Kor Ko

kor ko
Photo (+ a recipe) found on Tevy’s Blog

My mom would make this one with beef.

Somlor Machu Trey

Photo found on Cambodia Tour

In this recipe I found on Khmer Krom Recipes they use fish and in the photo above they use shrimp. My mom would use either/or and sometimes even both.

Other soup dishes my mom used to make that I loved but are considered Vietnamese Cuisine are Pho and Chicken Congee… yum!

Side Dishes

Jrouk Spey

jrouk spey.jpg
Photo (+ a recipe) found on Tevy’s Food Blog

My grandma used to make so much of this, she would sell it to all of her friends and give it to us for free. 🙂 Yummy. Better than pickles.

Num Som (pork and/or banana)

nohm sam
These are the banana ones; Photo (+ a recipe) found on Salee Recipe

In the video (above) she is making pork ones!

I sure wish there were more Khmer restaurants around or maybe that I lived closer to my family but I don’t and I’m sure to mess up trying any of these recipes– if YOU end up trying any of the recipes I provided in the links above I’d love to know how they turned out and if you enjoyed eating them. 😀

XO, Hunida

Featured Image by Todd Quackenbush

25 thoughts on “My Favorite Khmer Dishes

  1. Ooooo! I’ve never tried Cambodian food but my friend and I are planning a trip to Cali; it’s definitely a must when I go back to visit. A lot of the cuisine mirrors what’s served in the West Indies so it’s really interesting to me how culture was preserved, relocated, and maintained throughout all of the years! Is there a large Cambodian population in Minnesota or were your parents like the Spider-Man meme when they saw each other and fell in love?

    Great post Hunida!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesss! Long Beach has the highest population of Khmer people in America and the best Khmer restaurants in Cambodia Town. 😀 I hope you enjoy some Khmer food if you do get back out there!! I want to go back, too!
      LOL there is not that big of a population of Cambodian people in Minnesota but there is a good amount… I think? lol.
      Thank you!! Glad you liked the post, Dom!! ❤ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Cambodian food or even tasted it. Some of the soup/brothy recipes you showed here look like the equivalent of caldo de res (beef broth) with lots of veggies and tender meat. I’d love to try and see how different they are from Mexican caldos lol.
    By the way, are you the youngest, oldest, or middle child? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I could cook it for you hahah! I wonder if you’d like it. 🙂 I looked up that Caldo De Res and it looks delicious!!! I’d love to try that sometime!
      Between my mom and dad’s 3 children I am the middle but my dad has 3 younger children (2 w/ his wife & 1 w/ his ‘ex’-gf) so if we are including them… I’m closer to the oldest! Do you have any siblings??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I might like it. Never know until I try. But like you said, it’s kind of hard to come across authentic khmer dishes. I’ve never seem any here but I’ll have to do a quick search just in case. Maybe some restaurants serve some.
        Wait, so how many siblings do you have? Lol 3 younger ones from your dad, and I’m assuming, you and your sister? Right? So 5 of you?

        And I do. Technically it’s just my brother and I, but before my parents got together, my dad had 3 other children that I know of lol. So I’m the baby 😛 lol. I miss my brother though 😭 I talked to him for like an hour yesterday lmao. We were practically tied at the hip when he was here.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I wonder if there any Khmer restaurants in Portland. There could be!
          Um… me and my sister and one younger brother. Then my dad has 3 more. So there is 6 of us lol.
          Oh do you ever get to see or hangout with your dad’s first children? Where does your brother live? My sister and I used to be really close when we were younger, too but we grew apart as we got older.


          1. I’ll have to look them up, knowing portland there should be at least one because we have everything else lol. You just have to look for them haha.
            Oooh I was off by one lmao. I see. And my older siblings, no. I don’t like two of them. I’m not even entirely sure who’s the oldest. But there are two who are from the same mother living in mexico, and the third lives in California. My brother in mexico only called my dad when he needed money, like he had leukemia and my dad sent him money for his medical expenses but in the end he was an ungrateful bastarda saying my dad never helped him or was never there for him. My dad worked his ass off over here just to be able to send him money and still pay his bills on time.. not sure about my sister. I only saw them a few times when we lived down there. As for the one in cali, same. I don’t think she calls my dad often, and it’s usually about money too. Pisses me off and I’m sure my dad hates it when I say they’re a little ungrateful but I’m only telling the truth. I call my parents and I’ve never asked them for money even when money was tight.
            And my brother was here last year, we technically lived together before I got pregnant. But I sent him away for a vacation last year but he stayed with my mom in Utah. He’s been wanting to come back but his job isn’t giving him enough hours.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah, Portland seems very cultural and diverse!! I love that. I bet they’ve got something! Ahhh… I see. That is kind of annoying. I’ve never asked my parents for money either… neither does my older sister. And all of my younger bros are still in school so they live with my dad. You’re supposed to give your parents and grandparents money when you grow up… not ask for it. 😛 I totally understand why you think they’re ungrateful!
              I hope your brother is able to get back to Oregon someday! ❤

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yeah, some families are bleh lol. Luckily they’re not my siblings from the same mother, id tear them a new one just using words. Lol. I can be a bitch sometimes (maybe a lot, actually) but people deserve it. They’re only sorry when you tell them the truth.
                I hope so too!! I miss him!

                Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.