Eating a Frog, Sampling Amok and a Tarantula On My Shirt

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Chicken amok  - the national dish. which is really just a curry with egg in it
Chicken amok – the national dish. which is really just a curry with egg in it

Much of the food in Cambodia is the same as in Laos. Lots of curries, rice dishes, noodles, meat, veggies and fruit shakes filled my stomach…as well as lots of amok. Essentially, amok is just a curry with an egg in it. However, for some reason it tastes completely different from a standard curry. Sadly, there was no sticky rice to go with it.

In addition to the normal foods, I also had a chance to sample frog for the first time at a rest stop near Phnom Penh. The head was chopped off, the body was stuffed with herbs and spices and the little legs had just a teeny bit of meat on them that tasted a bit like chicken. Still, pretty good and makes me want to try a full one.

Live tarantulas waiting to be fried
Live tarantulas waiting to be fried

Spiders were the other strange food that I encountered, but didn’t actually try. All over the country, vendors sold fried tarantulas. At the same rest stop where I sampled frog they had buckets filled with live tarantulas ready to be fried up. One of the local girls put a live one on my shirt and, as it began to crawl up I reminded myself, “if a 6 year old can handle it, so can I.” Sadly, the bus pulled away before I could negotiate a fair price for an eight legged treat and I haven’t encountered one since.

Lastly, we come to the national beer: Angkor. Available everywhere, it is a medium colored lager that is full of taste. Unlike Beer Lao, it requires no salt to spice it up and I especially loved sipping one during the hot days of wandering through the Angkor temples.

Check out a video of me eating a frog for the first time at a rest stop in Cambodia:

To check out a bunch of different Cambodian foods, click the first image then use the on-screen navigation (or just click the image) to scroll through.

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