We enjoyed our cooking classes in North and South Thailand so much that we decided to try our hand at a Cambodian cooking class while in Siem Reap. We booked our class through Beyond Unique Escapes and were picked up by Tuk Tuk around 9:30am from our hotel. After driving just outside of town through some pretty dusty roads we arrived at an oasis of a hotel tucked outside of the city. We were able to chat with the others in our group of 6 for a little while before we walked down the road to a local family’s home where we presented the family with a bag of rice, learned a little about them and saw their traditional Cambodian kitchen.
We then walked across the road and down a little path to our outdoor kitchen. We met the chef of the hotel restaurant and learned that she would be our instructor for the day. We jumped right in prepping and cooking our dishes and the chef was great with making vegetarian substitutions. The small group size led to lots of conversation and questions, making the class very enjoyable.
Our first task of the day was a Cambodian curry paste. It was made in a similar style to those in Thailand, but with noticeably less chiles. After making the paste we jumped right into making our Fish Amok (or Tofu for a vegetarian). We did a lot of slicing and stirring, but the flavors smelled amazing! Once we were drooling, the pots were moved to the side as we moved on to the second dish.
Dish number two was a Khmer Mango Salad. This was similar to the salad Jason made in Northern Thailand, but he said the flavor was much different, better! The salads main ingredient was grated green mango. Along with carrots, tomato, basil, peanuts, chicken and some spices we had one of the most flavorful salads ever.
The last dish we made before enjoying our feast was dessert, sticky rice flour balls with palm sugar. These were so simple to make and really quite delicious. We can’t wait to try them at home stuffed with chocolate or toffee!
After the 3 dishes were complete we made our way to our nicely set gazebo over the pond. We enjoyed our ice cold beers while the dishes we made were served one by one starting with the salad. The meal was delicious and really quite different than Thai food. We had a wonderful time at the cooking class and for $22 each we found it to be well worth the money and time.