Cambodian Food Vs. Vietnamese Food: Is Cambodian Food Similar To Vietnamese Food?

There are many cuisines in the world, and Asian food is considered one of the healthiest.

Cambodia and Vietnam are two neighboring countries with numerous similarities in their cultures.

But what about their food? Let’s accompany us and figure out how Cambodian food and Vietnamese food differ from each other and which country offers better food.

What is special about Vietnamese food?

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Vietnamese cuisine is a blend of Chinese and French influences, with the culture of indigenous people.

Vietnamese people maintain their traditions while also embracing new ideas, which has created one of the most diverse cuisines in the world.

They use fish sauce as an integral condiment, which gives their dishes such depth and flavor that it can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world.

Shrimp paste is also popular across the country and can be used for seasoning foods or as a dipping sauce.

Vietnamese food is traditionally served with rice and noodles.

Rice is typically steamed to enjoy with other savory dishes, and noodles are cooked in broth to serve as “Pho”.

Banh mi is also widely eaten in Vietnam as a delicious and affordable snack.

It is also prized as one of the tastiest street foods in the world.

The main cooking methods in Vietnamese cuisine are boiling, steaming, stir-frying, frying, and stewing that can apply to any ingredient like vegetables, meat (beef, pork, chicken, or duck), and seafood (fish, shrimp, crab, or clam).

Vietnamese dishes are also very healthy for you.

Vietnamese food includes lots of fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, mint, coriander, perilla, or fish mint to provide a pungent flavor to their dishes, and they are good for our bodies as well.

What is special about Cambodian food?

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Cambodian food is a type of Southeast Asian cuisine that has been influenced by the neighboring countries in the region.

It is known for its use of fish sauce, fresh herbs, vegetables, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal to flavor dishes.

One popular dish is “prahok ktihauk” which uses fermented fish paste as the main ingredient.

Other favorites include coconut milk-based curries and feature freshwater fish that is mainly caught from the Mekong flows.

Cambodian food is often served with plain rice and noodles.

A typical meal usually includes vegetables, a salad, rice or noodles, a dipping sauce, and a fish dish.

They also eat beef or chicken that is stir-fried with soy sauce and served on various raw vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce.

What are the differences between Vietnamese food vs Cambodian food?

There are not many differences between Vietnamese food and Cambodian food because these two countries share the same borders so their cuisines have been influenced by each other for a long time.

Below are some key differences between these two Southeast Asian cuisines:

Cambodians use more spices in their cooking than Vietnamese

Cambodian food is flavored with spices like star anise, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, and fermented ingredients.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese use fewer spices, mainly fish sauce, salt, and pepper, with more fresh herbs.

Vietnamese cuisine includes more seafood while Cambodian cuisine is heavier on freshwater fish dishes

Another difference between Cambodian cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine is that Cambodian cuisine offers more freshwater fish dishes because the country has great access to this ingredient from the Mekong River.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese food features both freshwater fish, shrimp, and other animals like frogs, eels, and snails, along with a lot of fresh seafood, especially in coastal regions.

Vietnamese food is more popular than Cambodian food

In general, Vietnamese food is more popular in the world compared to Cambodian food.

You can easily find a Vietnamese restaurant that serves authentic Vietnamese dishes in many countries throughout the world.

Meanwhile, Cambodian food is not as popular as Vietnamese cuisine

What are the similarities between Vietnamese food vs Cambodian food?

These two Southeast Asian cuisines seem to be more similar with the following things in common:

Rice and noodles are popular in both cuisines

Vietnamese food and Cambodian food are often served with rice and noodles.

These two staples are also very popular in many Asian cuisines like Thai, Korean, or Japanese.

Rice and noodles can be cooked in different ways with different ingredients and spices in each cuisine. 

They both use a lot of fresh herbs and fish sauce in their cooking

Fresh herbs play an important role in Cambodian cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine.

They often serve their food with herbs as an ornament and/ or an accompaniment to enhance the flavor of the main dish.

Both cuisines also use fish sauce as one of the main condiments to bring the special fishy, salty, and a bit sour flavor to their food.

Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes are made from fresh ingredients

Another similarity between Vietnamese food and Cambodian food is that they are both made from fresh ingredients.

In these cuisines, you are not likely to find dishes that are made from canned food like canned stock, canned broth, canned meat, or canned fish, or processed food like bacon, ham, or cheese.

All the ingredients are locally sourced and fresh.

Which one is better?

Cambodian Cooking: A humanitarian project in collaboration with Act...Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors [A...
Cambodian Cooking: A humanitarian project in collaboration with Act...Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors [A...
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It’s hard to say which is the best, but you can take a closer look at how each culture approaches to taste, nutrition, and health.

In general, Vietnamese food and Cambodian food are healthy because they make use of fresh ingredients and feature healthy cooking methods like stewing, boiling, or eating raw instead of deep-frying foods in hot oil or using processed ingredients.

So is Vietnamese food or Cambodian food better? We will leave this up to you.

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