When it comes to Cambodian food, what is a Khmer breakfast? Being English you do not get to be too snobby when it comes to food. Our imprint on the culinary world is mostly two things, fish and chips and the English Breakfast. So, when I say “too snobby” we do get to be snobby about those two things.
To read about how to eat Fish and chips click here .
In my mind the English breakfast is yet to be surpassed by any other breakfast. The only things that even come close are from the Anglosphere.
I’d go as far as saying that one of the things I liked the least about living in China was breakfast. More than once I have found myself saved by either McDonalds, or KFC when it comes to early hour dining in the Middle-Kingdom.
To read about which countries have McDonalds click here .
To read about which countries have KFC click here .
When it comes to Cambodian food though what is a Khmer breakfast like?
Khmer vs Cambodian
I’m saying Khmer breakfast in this article, but I could also say Cambodian breakfast. The Cambodians do not call themselves Camdboian, but Khmer. They call their country Kampuchea. In fact the country would probably be called Kampuchea, were it for the negative connotations of Democratic Kampuchea.
To read about Democratic Kampuchea click here
When it comes to breakfast in Cambodia you have quite a few options. Cambodian cuisine in general has been greatly affected by the countries around it, such as Vietnam, China, Thailand, and of course the colonial French. This makes breakfast less of a hardship than in China for example.
Foreign breakfasts in Cambodia
Cambodia is probably one of the most expat friendly countries in Asia. This means there is very much an expat scene. You can therefore get a great British/American breakfast throughout the land. This is particularly so alongside the riverside in Phnom Penh.
To read about the Phnom Penh riverside click here .
What is a typical Khmer Breakfast?
We have put together the 5 most best Cambodian/Khmer breakfast dishes. Some are obviously better than others, but these are the ones probably best suited to the western palate.
5 best Cambodian Breakfasts (for the western palate)
- Bobor – Cambodian Porridge – Porridge out east is not the gruel you were served as kid in Europe. Rice porridge is essentially rice mixed with water. You can then optionally mix meat, vegetables and spices with it. I used to truly hate Asian porridge, but it has grown on me in Cambodia. During the Khmer Rouge era this was pretty much all anyone ate.
2) Num Pang! All hail the French, and, or Vietnamese. Num Pang is the Khmer equivalent of Banh Mi. It is a baguette filled with meat and veg. Great fusion food and you will see hawkers selling this everywhere. You can read more about Num Pang here .
3) Nom Korng – Cambodian Donuts – So it turns out that Cambodia make really good donuts. These are perfect if you are on the go and don’t have time for a formal type breakfast. Sickly sweet you will see them being sold by hawkers throughout the country.
4) Num Banh Chok – Cambodian Rice Noodle Soup – A mainstay of Cambodian cuisine and after porridge probably the most eaten and famous. It is for all intents a rice noodle soup. If you’re familiar with my writing you’ll know I am personally not fan. Main reason? I end up with food all over me. One of the easiest breakfast dishes to get hold of.
5) Bai Sach Chrouk – Rice and pork – The joy of this dish is frankly the simplicity of it. It is a bed of rice, some veggies and spicy marinated pork. Reminds me a little of a Filipino breakfast. This is perfectly filling, carbs, meat, veg and very easy to get hold of (and cheap).
Bonus round – Fresh juices – Cambodia take fresh juices very seriously and juicers are an important part of the street food scene. There are a lot of different kinds of juices, but Khmer highlights really are sugar cane and coconut. To me both of these are enough for a nice simple keep hunger at bay breakfast.
And that is the world of the Khmer Breakfast. You’ll certainly not go hungry of a morning in Cambodia.
Let me know if I missed anything out!