09 Feb2009


Noodles and simple fried foods are a big thing for breakfast in Cambodia. At least that’s what it seemed like at the market. With a guide that practically wouldn’t look at anything with meat or fish in it, it was kind of hard to keep track of everything I was taking photographs of! But suffice it to say, it all looked incredibly honest and delicious. There is something about a market food vendor and her (mostly her) way of life. Such an incredibly hard life, and yet the joy they bring to so many customers on a daily basis…


…and the smiles, such wonderful genuine smiles…


A row of vendors were offering noodle dishes of all sorts, from duck broths, to chicken, to pork with large, medium and fine, glass and wheat noodles.


Some of these ladies were decked to the nines, looking like they had just come out of the parlor, with lots of jewelry to boot!


And the stir-fried egg noodles with soy and veggies, similar to the one I had had for breakfast at the hotel was cooked up to order…


…and this customer was chowing down on hers!


Closer to lunch time, the “turo-turo” stalls near the street had a more varied selection of viands and dishes on offer…


Fried fish with ginger and chillies…


A wickedly spicy looking soup with kangkong…


Deep fried butterflied freshwater fish, which reminded me of our own bangus.


Stir-fried leafy greens with meat.


And finally a sweet snack, I suspect. I didn’t actually get to eat any of these dishes, which is a bummer, but between the vegetarian guide and Mrs. MM who is less comfortable in these colorful eating arenas, I think I will have to return another day to sink deep into local Cambodian fare… :)



  1. eej says:

    Whoah! You mean all these are typical breakfast fare? Talk about tasting and going to places where locals go. Yes, like what I’ve said before, I do appreciate your sense of adventure.

    Feb 9, 2009 | 5:28 pm


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  3. Blaise says:

    Parang ang sarap nung “hopia”, freshly grilled and I’m guessing piping hot. I wonder what’s inside…

    Feb 9, 2009 | 6:04 pm

  4. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Ummm..the first foto looks interesting. As a young child (7–8yrs old) my dad used to bring me to a market in Okinawa (Japan) and there was something that looked like that.It tastes similar to a fishcake.Hot and delish as I recall.That was so long ago but there are memories that the mind keeps. We would eat really fresh sashimi at the counters straight from the tuna fish.
    Your fotos brought back those memories…My father passed away in 1983..but like you,with him—we would visit the markets and nostalgia seeing your photos strike deep in my heart…thanks MM…..sigh…..

    Feb 9, 2009 | 6:31 pm

  5. miss igorota says:

    the pastries look like fatter versions of our very own “piaya.” :P

    Feb 9, 2009 | 6:47 pm

  6. zena says:

    I also have apprehensions about hygienic practices so I would try the fried ones like the one up top as I surmise that the hot oil would kill any bacteria that there may be. =)

    Feb 9, 2009 | 8:29 pm

  7. rose says:

    they are the same with vietnamese.. they have a wide array of foods for breakfast….well, it’s kinda dangerous to try it. but, you will never know how Yummy they are….

    Feb 9, 2009 | 9:37 pm

  8. acmr says:

    Where are the bugs? I was in Vietnam and Cambodia about 10 years ago now, and I remember they had baskets and baskets of various deep fried bugs — well, they were probably crickets, grasshoppers and beetles. They were in these wide bilao’s (flat baskets trays?) and the were sold in “takal” — measured with tin cans. Never tried them though. I would have if someone else did, but no one in our group was brave enough, so I chickened out too. You didn’t see any of these???

    Feb 10, 2009 | 12:38 am

  9. betty q. says:

    Hey Ms. Marissewalangkaparis: MM, those are fish cakes as Marisse suggested? If I am tamad, I just buy the prepared fish paste here in Asian stores. But try this, Mariise…homemade fish paste. Add some cilantro (if you like them or green onions would do!)…to make it taste Cambodian or Thai, add some lime leaves or Thai basil…and then pan fry (less calories), or deep-fry. Add some chopped pork to it, minced Chinese mushrooms, water chestnuts and you have Ke Kiam (wrap in sen sal or tawpe).

    1 pound firm fleshed fish fillet scuh as snapper or cod (no sole!), pin bones removed.
    1/2 pouns cinely chopped pork fat ( can omit )
    1 tsp. ginger juice
    1 tsp. salt /pepper to taste
    2 pinches of sugar
    about 1 tiny splash sesame oil
    1 eggwhite
    1 cuchara of cornstarch
    1 stalk green onion finely chopped or cilantro

    Sprinklle fish with the salt and finely chop it. You can put in food proceesor and just PULSE! Add rest oif ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly throwing it against the sides of the bowl so it will be pasty.

    Then take a golf ball size mound and flatten it and pan fry. Since I have no clue what Cambodian cuisine taste like…spicy, MM? maybe add a toouch of thai curry paste. But I would just dip it in Thai sweet chili sauce.

    If you want to make Ke kIam…Ted tried it and liked it. …can’t get sen sal here unless I go to slaughterhouse (I don’t I would like to do that!). Anyone has a craving for Ke kIam…try this. Use tawpe…But you have to steam it first,,,let the Ke Kiam cool down and then fry. For Ke KIam:

    equal amounts of chooped pork and fish paste. say for half pound each add:
    4 pinches of sugar
    1 tsp. sesame oil
    1 tsp. dry shery or rice wine
    2 cushara of cornstarch
    1/2 cup chooped water chestnuts
    2 or 3 softened chinese mushrooms, chopped
    pinch of minced garlic
    1 stalk gren onion or finely mined shallot (only 1)

    Blend everything together and let it sit for a while so flavours will mellow. Then use a piping bag so it is not messy to fill the tawpe or sensal. Oh, here is another thing you can do. take barbecue sticks nd lay it on a small square of sensal or tawpe …wrap it around the barbecue stick if you are using sensal..when cooked over medium heat …deep fried, youu will have those Ke Kiam that looks like a chicken drumstick!

    Feb 10, 2009 | 4:39 am

  10. Marketman says:

    acmr, I was looking for the bugs too, but didn’t find any… maybe they weren’t in season? :)

    Feb 10, 2009 | 5:21 am

  11. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Ummm sounds good bettyq….my sons like ke kiam a lot…

    Feb 10, 2009 | 5:22 am

  12. AleXena says:

    The noodle stalls reminded me of the palengke carinderia me and whoever relative I was with went to whenever we were to go to the public market in Bauan, Batangas and in Biñan, Laguna. If I am not a pesky child they will bring me to these places to have a bowl of pospas or sopas with tokwa at baboy or those fat noodles with orange sauce and of course the UFC-styled spaghetti.=)

    Every now and then if I get the chance I still eat at those stalls, but recently the quality of the very popular one in Biñan already diminished. Even those stalls in my hometown also change in quality and taste. But a few good ones are left.=)

    I bet you really wanted to eat at those stalls MarketMan=P

    For the hygenic concerns, mental note: get Hepa shots and always bring a lot of diatabs when going to some foreign land.=) Street foods should never be missed! hihihihi!=)

    Feb 10, 2009 | 8:38 am

  13. mdg says:

    mm whats cambodia food like? how is it compared with thai or ours?

    the food stalls are very much like here in some wet market

    Feb 10, 2009 | 8:49 am

  14. Sreisaat says:

    Wow, you are in Cambodia?!?
    The bugs are everywhere, MM. And if you want to see for yourself where the tarantulas (the best-sellers) come from, just head to Kampong Cham, a few hours away from the city.

    Cambodia is such an interesting country – and where else to witness a slice of Cambodian life than its markets.

    Feb 10, 2009 | 9:51 am

  15. Maria Clara says:

    Bettyq: sen sal is caul fat and usually available at meat marketplace.

    Feb 10, 2009 | 1:16 pm

  16. natie says:

    here’s what an MD friend from Canada told me:
    DUCORAL–oral immunization for cholera & salmonella but it has to be done in 2 consecutive weeks before you travel.

    yes, that last picture looks like ‘piaya’…love those noodles!!

    Feb 10, 2009 | 2:56 pm

  17. maricar says:

    wow! sounds good betty q…..by the way, i already tried the chocolate cake recipe….yummy! is this the one with the medal award and your pride and joy next to hubby and sons? my hubby like it!!!! panalo ka talaga betty q!

    Feb 10, 2009 | 4:42 pm

  18. chris says:

    hi bettyq! naiintriga na ako sa award winning chocolate cake mo. may i also ask for a recipe? the one i am using now is found at the back of hershey’s cocoa can. like maricar, i’d like to have a taste of your award-winning choco cake. btw, the siomai is patok na patok! my pihikan son wolfed it down. i didnt find any labong, i thought of subbing ubod but when i tasted it, sabi ko parang di bagay. i think i made a good judgement of holding back the ubod. thank you thank you!

    Feb 10, 2009 | 10:58 pm

  19. chris says:

    betty q: i found the recipe of the tinuktok closest to the one my househelp made. this is the link from iriga city


    i don’t know if its legitimate to directly copy and paste the recipe here…

    Feb 10, 2009 | 11:01 pm

  20. ted says:

    Everyone should try Betty Q’s KeKiam recipe, i did and they were so good and wonderful as an appetizer. I used the tawpe or beancurd wrapper which you can find at the freezer section of any Oriental store. Sensal is harder to find.

    Feb 11, 2009 | 3:52 am

  21. B says:

    Cambodian food seems pretty similar to Filipino food to me, especially the cheap, everyday variety. Less complex than other SEA food, it also uses lots of oil and garlic.

    I stayed for a couple of weeks, ate every veg food imaginable. Definitely worth a return visit, I think it’s a place you have to “live in” for a bit to fully appreciate.

    Cambodia posts

    Feb 11, 2009 | 3:10 pm


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