The Best Khmer BBQ Restaurants in Siem Reap
The traditional Khmer BBQ is a communal cooking affair. Sometimes known as the "Fire Mountain", this round BBQ metal tray sits on top of the heat source. The meat is cooked on the dome-shaped centre of the tray and the soup is cooked around the edges. You all pitch in and cook your dinner on your side of the BBQ. The juices from the sizzling meat on top drips down into the soup to provide the flavour. This truly social cooking is a very popular meal out for many Cambodians.
Khmer BBQs are very popular with locals. Tourists interested in trying authentic local cuisine also want to try the Phnom Pleung (Fire Mountain) style of eating.
How to cook Khmer BBQ
Don’t worry if you get your BBQ placed on your table and you don’t know what to do! Most restaurants will only be too happy to show you the ropes and guide you along the way. If you’re curious, here’s a quick guide to follow so you can look like you know what you’re doing when you order yours!
You BBQ will be placed on top of a heat source on your table. Most restaurants will give you a camping style gas stove. In some places, you might even get a real fire BBQ placed next to your table.
You’ll be given a place of raw meat, a plate of vegetables, some noodles and some broth. If you’re vegetarian, there are some restaurants which can provide vegetable broth and non-meat options.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll find some places which serve crocodile, ostrich, kangaroo and frogs on offer!
Cooking the food
Pour the broth in the edge of the BBQ and put in some vegetables and noodles.
In the centre of the BBQ dish, there is a dome-shaped cooking area. Here, you can place your meat for cooking.
First, you’ll be given some “fat” or “butter” to put on so you meat doesn’t stick.
Each person can place “their” food on their own side of the dish. You can use your chopsticks to turn the meat. Cook it your desired amount and then put it in a small bowl along with some soup and vegetables from the outside and you’re good to go!
Repeat this process until you’re full!