Cambodian Noodle Soups are a popular breakfast dish enjoyed by most locals and a must-try for tourists. The noodles are made from heavy stone mills, but the availability of rice vermicelli noodles has made it easier for people to cook such dishes at home. The flavors of the rice noodle soups have also been subject to experiments by different cooking enthusiasts who enjoy adding different sauces, pastes, and vegetables such as shrimp paste, hoisin sauces, parsley, and cilantro.
A bowl of Cambodian noodle soup is considered a staple food in Cambodia because the flavors and ingredients depict the distinct character that only Khmer cuisine can achieve. The top three popular Cambodian noodle soups that are considered as a must-try not only for locals’ but also to visiting tourists are Pork and Seafood Noodle Soup (Kuy Teav), Nom Banh Chok, and Beef Noodle Soup (Kuy Teav). For cooking enthusiasts who want to learn to cook these Cambodians’ dishes, take a look at the recommended recipes below:
Pork and Seafood Noodle Soup: A Kuy Teav Recipe
Kuy Teav is a top-rated recipe wherein it is a noodle soup topped with pork meat and various toppings. It is well known and sold locally on the streets of Cambodia. Although there are many variants of the toppings and garnishes, its broth is usually clear and a go-to-food during the morning. Try this Khmer dish by following the recipe below:
No. of Servings: 4
|2-3||lb||Pork Soup Bones|
|1||lb||Raw Shrimp (peeled and deveined)|
|1||lb||Rice Vermicelli |
|Ng Fung Brand Guo Rice Noodle|
|1||tbsp||Dried Shrimp||Asia Trans Dried Louisiana Large Shrimp|
|1||tbsp||Rice Wine||Lotte Rice Wine|
|2||tbsp||Fish Sauce||Lucky Thai Fish Sauce|
|2||tbsp||Soy Sauce||Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce|
|2||tbsp||Honey||Honeybliss Raw Honey|
|1||tbsp||Hot Chili Sauce||Tabaco Sriracha Sauce|
- Boil the pork bones in water within a big pot or stockpot for 5-7 minutes. Get the bones from the stockpot and then drain and rinse it.
- Put the pork bones on top of a baking sheet and broil it in the oven for around 9-10 minutes. Make sure that the bones appear darkened and crispy.
- Get the stockpot and fill it with water. Place the pork bones on the stockpot too. Add water and make sure that there is at least one inch of water covering the pork bones.
- Add the dried shrimp to the stockpot and let it simmer on low for 2-3 hours. Skim the foam on the surface of the brother and add water as needed to maintain the bones covered. After 2-3 hours, the bones should have fallen off from the bones.
- Let the broth cool and separate the bones from the meat. You may now discard the bones. Set the meat aside.
- Enhance the seasoning to the broth by adding the 1tbsp fish sauce, salt paper. Continue to simmer the broth in low.
- In a separate cookpot, bring water to a boil and add the Cambodian rice noodle – this will cook the noodles within at least 30 seconds. Drain and rinse the noodles with cool water.
- In a separate pan, set into medium-high heat – add the ground pork, wine, soy sauce, and honey. Make sure that the pork is broken into chunks and adequately cooked. The liquid mixture should be evaporated within 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add in the mixture the pork bone meat and mix it with the sesame oil.
- Go back to the broth that is simmered – bring it to boil and add the shrimp using a strainer. Just dip the shrimp into the boiling simmer. This should cook the shrimp – you will know that the shrimp is cooked as it turns pink. Once cooked, set aside the shrimp.
- Now you have four separated items – broth, pork, noodles, and shrimp.
- This recipe is suitable for four servings, so distribute the noodles, pork, and shrimp into four bowls.
- Add the broth and top it with the remaining ingredients as a garnish.
Nom Banh Chok: A Traditional Cambodian Breakfast
Nom Banh Chok is a popular and traditional breakfast dish in Cambodia that is filled with Cambodia’s distinct flavors, including the Kroeung paste (Cambodian Lemongrass Paste) with chicken and fish meat. Some variants of this dish are topped with Cambodia-native vegetables and served inside a plastic bag delivered to the people’s houses as vendors roam around villages. If you’re looking to taste a Khmer traditional flavor, try cooking this Cambodian noodle soup with the recipe below:
No. of Servings: 6
|1||piece||Freshwater Fish (whole)|
|2||piece||Chicken Bone (whole)|
|2||cup||Coconut Milk||Aroy-D Coconut Milk|
|1||stalk||Lemongrass||Angkor Cambodian Food Lemongrass Paste|
|1||pack||Rice Vermicelli Noodles||Haiku Premium Rice Noodle|
|1 and 1/2||tbsp||Fish Sauce||Abalone Finest Thai Fish Sauce|
|1 and 1/2||tbsp||Salt|
|1||tbsp||Prahok (Fermented Mud Fish)||Angkor Cambodian Food Prahok Paste|
|2||tbsp||Roasted Peanuts||Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts|
- Put the finger root or any rhizome, the kroeung paste, roasted peanuts, chili pepper, and garlic into a mortar and pound them using a pestle. This should bring about a paste-like mixture. Set this mixture aside.
- Put 4 liters of water into a large pot and bring it to boil. Mix the crushed lemongrass into the water.
- Add the chicken into the boiling water and allow it to cook for at least 10 minutes.
- Add the mudfish into the boiling water. Allow both chicken and fish to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. The time shall allow both of them to be cooked.
- Once the chicken and fish are cooked, remove them from the broth and debone each. Separate the chicken meat and fish meat. Set them both aside.
- Get the mixture with kroeung paste and slowly mix it with the chicken and fish – continue to pound it using mortar and pestle. This can be done by portions if you have a small-sized mortar and pestle, just make sure that the meat is mixed, and a coarse mixture is achieved.
- Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl and add with chicken mix, fish sauce, coconut milk. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Add salt and sugar to taste and let this mixture stand for up to 15 minutes for flavors to integrate.
- Get the pot with the broth and add the prahok liquid. Bring the broth into a boil and then add the mixture with fish & chicken. Set the pot into low-heat and let it simmer for at least 10 minutes. Try tasting the broth and adjust the flavor by adding sugar or salt. After simmering and achieving the desired taste, set aside mixture – this is what you call the Somlar Praheur.
- Bring water into a boil in a separate cookpot and add the Cambodian rice noodle. Stir the noodles as it softens for about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Once the noodles are cooked, strain it and transfer it to a bowl filled with cold water and strain it. Set the noodles aside.
- To prepare one service, get a serving of noodles by hand and add cucumber, cilantro, or any other greens you prefer. Ladle the Somlar Praheur mixture on top.
Beef Noodle Soup: Another Variant of Kuy Teav Recipe
The Cambodian noodle soup recipe below is another variant of Kuy Teav, but instead of using pork and seafood, it uses beef! Specifically, this dish uses the oxtail meat of the cow and has a similar vibe to Phat Pho of Vietnam. But what makes this dish unique is the intense flavor of the broth brought by the beef meat, and there are more additional herbs and garnishes involved – most of which spice up the unique and beefy flavor. Like Num Bahn Chok, this dish is enjoyed by most locals during breakfast but can be eaten at any time of the day. Check it out below:
No. of Servings: 4
|1/2||lb||Rice Vermicelli Noodles||Anil Rice Noodles|
|1 and 1/3||tbsp||Sugar|
|5 and 1/3||tbsp||Fish Sauce||Squid Fish Sauce|
|1/2||tbsp||Lime juice||Nelli & Joe’s Lime Juice|
|6||tbsp||Vegetable Oil||Happy Belly Vegetable Oil|
|2||tsp||Sriracha Sauce||Flying Goose Sriracha Sauce|
|1||pc||Onion (Peeled and halved)|
|4||pc||Garlic Cloves (peeled and sliced into small pieces)|
|2||pc||Spring Onions (Sliced)|
- Get the oxtail bone and put it in a bowl filled with cold water. Bring the water into a boil and then, after a few minutes, remove the pot from heat.
- Safely remove the oxtail bones, drain and clean it using cold water. Remove any dirt or scum away from the bones.
- To create the broth, put the bones to another pot or a cleaned pot and add together the following ingredients – water, 5tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, salt, coriander seeds, star anise, onion, cassia, and 1 tsp black peppercorns. Put the pot into a gentle simmer and let it cook for three hours. Add water as necessary.
- While letting the broth simmer, do the garnish:
- Fry the minced beef over the 2 tbsp vegetable oil.
- Add the remaining 1/3 tbsp sugar, sriracha sauce, lime juice, and 1/3 tbsp
- fish sauce until the minced beef is cooked.
- In a separate pan, fry the sliced garlic over the remaining vegetable oil, it is crispy and browned at the edges. Drain the garlic from the oil.
- Cook the noodles by doing the following:
- Fill a separate pot with water and bring it to boil. Add the noodles and stir it as needed until it is cooked.
- Once the noodles are firm and the desired texture is achieved, strain it and put it to cold water. Strain it from the cold water and set aside.
- Go back to the broth – around three hours of waiting, strain the broth, and set aside the oxtail bones until they are cold. Once cold, separate the oxtail meat from the bones and set it aside.
- To create one serving,
- Place noodles in a bowl together with the bean sprouts.
- Garnish the minced beef mixture and oxtail meat on top of the noodles.
- Ladle the broth and top it with the fried garlic, chopped coriander, and spring onions.
- You may enhance or modify the flavor to the soup by adding different sauces such as hoisin, fish, and sriracha. You can also squeeze a lime or two.