Since moving to Cambodia I have been a bit useless in sussing out where to enjoy decent street food and so was delighted to stumble across an old blog post from Eating Asia where they visited a small village just outside Siem Reap for Num Banh Chok, one of my favourite Cambodian dishes.
The village just appears to be known as the Num Banh Chok village, my tuk tuk driver immediately knew where I meant when I asked if we could stop there on the way to explore Banteay Srei with friends who are visiting from Bangkok.
Two different types of noodles were available at the stall that we stopped at; “Curry” Noodles and “Soup” Noodles with 2 of us taking the curry noodles and the other 2 trying the soup version.
The “Curry” noodles were topped with a generous serving of lightly spiced chicken curry made with shrimp paste as well as chunks of chicken, blood cake and yams, amongst other harder to recognize ingredients. I added a spoonful of chilli flakes to mine as well as fresh sweet basil leaves, mint and other local herbs before digging in.
The Soup Num Banh Chok was the more classic version that I have seen elsewhere – with more than a passing similarity to Thailands “Khanom Jeen Namya” – the noodles are topped with a watery fish curry sauce with raw cucumbers and banana blossom before you finish the dish by adding in lots more of the fresh herbs and condiments of salt, dried chilli, pickled chilli and fresh chilli.
I think one of the reasons I like Num Banh Chok so much is for the same reason Robyn gives in her num banh chok post – they really are the perfect hot weather food. Substantial enough to fill you up yet at the same time, refreshing and almost cooling owing to all the additional leafy greens and fresh herbs that you add in to complete the dish
4 portions of noodles and 4 bottles of local water came to the grand total of $6 and we set off on the remainder of the journey to Banteay Srei happy and contentedly full. Don’t make the trip to Banteay Srei without stopping there for a delicious bowl of noodles first – you wont regret it!
Here is Robyn’s link to her meal at the Num Banh Chok Village. There are also some great images on how the noodles are actually made too – interesting reading!http://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatingasia/2008/08/num-banh-chok-a.html