There is really a lot that can be learned from ancient culinary traditions, from the use of local ingredients to different sets of cooking practices and Khmer cuisine has a thing or two to teach us about. In Cambodia, households still continue to use locally-sourced vegetables, traditional spices, and organic herbs in their kitchens that add aromatic and unique flavors to their cuisine. However, did you actually know that these typical Cambodian ingredients used in everyday home cooking were superfoods? Here is a list of common Khmer ingredients that are nutrient powerhouses. Come, discover these incredibly healthy Cambodian superfoods and explore the world of Khmer cuisine.
5 Local Cambodian Ingredients that are Superfoods
Turmeric is a bright yellow powder made by dry grinding the rhizomes of a plant in the same family as ginger. Research studies show that turmeric contains 5x to 8x more vitamin E and vitamin C which helps boost your immune system, enhances your liver function and inhibits the growth of cancer cells. The paste that the locals use in their popular Khmer red curries actually has turmeric in it, along with other traditional spices.
Basil is an herb that has many uses in cooking and natural medicine. Not only this wonderful herb graces our meals from pasta to salads, basil is also packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Adding this Cambodian superfood to your daily diet can provide you wealth of nutrients that helps you enhance your over-all health.
Bananas are not only high in potassium but they are also a good source of fiber. Research suggests that potassium helps regulate blood pressure and helps promote cardiovascular health. In Cambodia, you will have the chance to indulge yourself in this ‘superfruit’, from fresh banana smoothies to shakes and they usually just cost a dollar! Some locals are also being creative with it, like the ‘Chek khtes’ (sweet banana in coconut milk), a typical Khmer dessert.
Not only does this flowering plant native to Southeast Asia add a unique spicy taste to cuisine, ginger is also praised for its amazing health benefits. This superfood is high in anti-inflammatory properties, loaded with anti-oxidants and helps improve digestive function. Locals often use ginger in cooking, teas and other drinking indulgences.
Often called as the ‘miracle tree’ with scientific name, Moringa oleifera, Moringa has become huge in the world of nutrition and wellness. Research says that an ounce of moringa leaves contains twice as much protein as yogurt, 4x more calcium than milk and 7x more vitamin C than oranges. So if you are looking for a superfood that is cheap yet high in nutritional value, you may want to give moringa a go. In the kingdom, moringa trees are grown everywhere and are often used in cooking. One Cambodian signature dish called ‘Samlor korko’ has the moringa leaves as one of its major ingredients, together with other vegetables.
Cambodian Culinary Adventure with Navutu Dreams
If you are interested to discover the world of Khmer cuisine, Navutu Dreams, Cambodia’s only upscale resort & wellness retreat will walk you through an amazing culinary experience through our cooking classes. You will be introduced to these incredible ‘Cambodian Superfoods’ and you will go through ‘a farm-to-table experience’. It will be a fun, information-loaded culinary journey with our Khmer chefs with lots of opportunities on picking your herbs and spices, tasting, seasoning and mixing to understand the balance of Khmer flavors and uses of these local ingredients.
For more info on our Siem Reap wellness culinary tour, you may email [email protected] or call 063 964 864.