Cambodia chefs go in search of forgotten flavours as renaissance in Khmer cuisine gathers pace

Chefs revitalising the country’s food industry cook use traditional local produce and techniques but incorporate global influences.

Mudfish, sardines or anchovies are first cleaned and descaled before being placed in a basket and then crushed underfoot. What remains is left out in the sun to dry for 24 hours, salted and stored in jars to ferment for weeks or even months on end.

This is prahok, and it’s no surprise that the beloved staple condiment of Cambodian cuisine can be hard for visitors to stomach, with its huge and unsubtle whack of funk and flavour, not to mention a distinct and unforgettable aroma.

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