Originally Posted On: https://www.mostinside.com/is-cambodian-food-healthy/
Did you know that Cambodia is one of the few countries that doesn’t have a McDonald’s? Residents don’t mind though, because they’ve got something better.
Instead of turning to greasy fast-food, Cambodians keep things fresh with signature homemade dishes. Delectable dishes, like freshly made curry or fried beef with lemongrass.
However, not only is Cambodian food tasty, but it’s also good for your body! How can a dish be both tasty and healthy? Read on to find out what makes Cambodia’s dishes nutritional and delicious.
It’s common for the most popular Cambodian dishes to include fresh vegetables. For instance, pumpkin is one delicious vegetable you’ll find in Cambodian food.
However, not only is pumpkin tasty, but it’s also incredibly good for your digestive system. Whenever you eat pumpkin, you’re providing your body with fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.
Another fresh vegetable you can find in Cambodian recipes is bitter melon. Don’t let the name fool you, bitter melon is full of flavor and it has the power to lower your blood sugar and cholesterol. As if that’s not enough, bitter melon also has anti-cancer and anti-aging nutrients.
Finally, other vegetables you’ll come across include spinach, mushrooms, and Chinese broccoli. All of these vegetables are full of body enriching vitamins. For instance, cabbage is especially great for getting your daily dose of calcium.
Did you know that eating fish helps provide your body with much-needed minerals? Zinc, iron, iodine, potassium, and magnesium, are all minerals in freshwater fish.
Luckily, the Great Tonle Sap Lake and Mekong River, make freshwater fish easy to find in Cambodia. Whether you decide to go to a street vendor or restaurant, you’re definitely going to find a fish dish.
Cambodia’s signature fish dish, fish amok, is a must-try! Cambodians cook fish amok by steaming the dish in a bowl made from a banana leaf. Inside your banana leaf bowl, you’ll be able to enjoy a creamy curry with fillets of tasty freshwater fish.
Bobor, or rice porridge, is the standard breakfast dish in Cambodia. The dish includes rice and or rice noodles. Mixed in with the rice you’ll find fish, chicken, or beef.
Sometimes, instead of only using 1 meat, bobor includes a combination. Using a little bit of fish, chicken, and beef together, the rice porridge comes to life. However, whether used alone or together, all of these meats can give your body the protein it needs.
Of course, bobor is just 1 one of the many breakfast foods available in Cambodia. There are also other variations of the rice porridge. Ones that include health-enhancing roots like turmeric.
In Cambodia, residents regularly enjoy the benefits of entomophagy. If you don’t know entomophagy is the practice of eating bugs.
While eating insects may seem gross to you, it’s commonplace for both kids and adults in Cambodia. After all, snacking on insects can provide you with amazing nutritional benefits.
For instance, did you know that insects are rich in protein as well as healthy fats? Another benefit is that insects are low in carbohydrates. However, they’re rich in both calcium and iron!
If you’re visiting Cambodia, you owe it to yourself to try at least 1 insect snack while you’re there. Be brave and grab a tasty tarantula, and get to nibbling. If you’re looking for a distinct flavor, crickets are also a good option.
Lemongrass is a popular Asian herb in many Cambodian dishes. This herb can help calm an upset stomach. It can also provide gastrointestinal relief for other issues like cramps.
On top of making your tummy happy, l also has other nutritional benefits. It can treat hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, and even acne!
Are you planning on taking a food tour in Cambodia, like the Siem Reap Food Tour? If so, ask your guide where you can find the best lemongrass dish. One lemongrass dish you should try in particular is, “char kroeung Sach ko” or stir-fried lemongrass beef.
You’ll be able to enjoy the flavor of a fried dish, without having to worry about dealing with an upset stomach. Stir-fried lemongrass beef also includes other healthy Asian herbs. Herbs like kaffir lime leaves and galangal.
In Cambodia, it’s common to add sugar to drinks, smoothies, or juices when you’re dining out. However, all you have to do is ask your waiter, or street vendor, to keep things sugar free. It’s particularly easy to avoid sugar when you’re ordering from a street vendor when they cook in front of you.
When you’re food is being made, take a peek around to see if there are any tubs of sugar. If the vendor goes to open a tub of sugar, politely stop them and remind them you want a sugar free meal.
Finally, if you’re eating at a Cambodian restaurant, make sure you’re choosing the right ones. Look for restaurants that state they don’t use monosodium glutamate or MSG. While MSG is tasty, it’s not healthy at all. Luckily, there are plenty of restaurants in Cambodia that are MSG-free.
What’s more healthy than eating a salad for lunch? If you like traditional salads, you’ll love Cambodian salads! Instead of sticking with lettuce and spinach,
Cambodian salads mix things up with a combination of sweet and sour flavors. Take for instance the Cambodian green mango salad.
A Cambodian green mango salad uses a green or unripe mango. Next, they add dried shrimp or grilled fish. Other tasty ingredients you’ll enjoy include roasted peanuts, sliced shallots, and fish sauce.
Now you know about some of the tastiest, and healthiest types of Cambodian food available. What signature dish do you see yourself trying first?
Will you be diving into a freshwater fish dish? Or are you ready to switch things up with a colorful Cambodian salad? Whatever dish you decide to try, it’s sure to be an amazing experience for your tastebuds.
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