Cambodian Fried Noodles, or Lort Cha (លតឆា) are one of the best dishes that you can have in Cambodia. You will find in everywhere from fine-dining establishments to holes in the wall, to even street carts that specialize in it. And of course that is who Cambodian noodles is best had, as street food.
What is Lort Cha?
OK, so this is where I get very much corrected by my Khmer friends! There are actually many different variations of Cambodian Fried Noodles – which we will get to later, but the most popular is Lort Cha. Lort (លត) is a soft rice noodle, while cha (ឆា) means fried “noodles”. You then add vegetables, such as spring onions, bean sprouts, green Khmer leaves, or pretty much whatever vegetables you like. This means Cambodian Fried Noodles can be as vegan, or vegetarian friendly as you like.
To read about doing vegetarian in Cambodia click here
Variations of Cambodian Fried Noodles
So, when I first wrote about Cambodian fried noodles the article managed to rank really well, but I was also told off by my Khmer friends, for whilst lort cha is the most popular of Cambodian fried noodles, there are other variations that fit into the Khmer Fried Noodle category, which I will cover a few of here.
Mi Cha (មីឆា) – When we talk about Cambodian Fried Noodles the correct translation would really be Mi Cha, Mi meaning noodle, fried being Cha. Within this family you get curly noodles, yellow noodles, rates style noodles, and of course – soft rice noodle AKA Lort Cha.
Regardless of the variation you tend to get the same choices as to what to add and the condiments that go with it, which we will get to later.
Where can you get Cambodian Fried Noodles?
Cambodian fried noodles are literally everywhere, and can be as expensive as you like. Fine-Dining, or western establishments that have a Khmer menu will usually have a Khmer Fried Noodle dish as part of the menu. You can obviously get it at Khmer restaurants, but the best places to eat Cambodian fried noodles are either at specialist street food style restaurants, or better still from food carts that travel around selling pretty much just fried noodles.
To read about my love of Chinese fried noodles click here .
What do Cambodian Fried Noodles taste like?
Cambodian stir-fried noodles are the absolute bomb, and the easiest goto food when you are in Cambodia. As I have said fried noodles come in a lot of shapes and forms, with the Cambodian style having much more in common with Cantonese cuisine, which shows in how rich the gravy-like flavoring is!
What differentiates Cambodian style fried noodles is also that a fish sauce is usually added (like with most Khmer dishes), but also the condiments that are added.
The salad – you will be presented with Khmer leaves and vegetables that can be thrown into the bowl, much like happens with other noodle dishes and is common in Vietnam.
The Condiments – On your table will be chilis that can be added, limes and various hot sauces, or sweet chili sauces, you then mix it to make it fit your palate.
Where are the best places to try Cambodian Fried Noodles?
Location, location, location! As I said this is a great go to dish wherever you are in Cambodia, if you are out in the boonies then you can’t go wrong with the street food stalls/carts.
In Siem Reap it is all about the riverside – which is also one of the best places for street food in general.
You can read about the best Street Food in Siem Reap here .
When it comes to Phnom Penh, well you can read my Best Street Food in Phnom Penh article here – BUT I think I might have discovered the best Cambodian Fried noodle place in the city (at least judging by the lines, so will give that its own standalone article.
A meal, a snack, whatever, but an absolute street food must for Cambodia!