Banh Chiao

Banh Chiao

During our 8 month food tour through S.E. Asia, our main focus was to learn as much as we could about the regions food. We went straight to the hawkers themselves to ask them to show us first hand, how to prepare the dishes that they had been perfecting for years. After little convincing they would agree to show us step by step how to prepare one of the countries most traditional dishes. Minutes later, we would have one chance at recreating this dish. We also only had one video camera to capture the moment. Did we fuck up sometimes? Of course we did. Remember we only had one shot at it and only a few minutes as the hawker was still open for servicing their loyal paying customers…..No pressure. Not to mention the fact that most of the time the people showing us the dish didn’t speak a lick of English.

So the three of us (Chad, Clayton, and Lyndon) would figure out not only what the ingredients were, but also how to prepare the dish the way were shown. This would normally be done through a series of pointing and sign language with the occasional hint or word that may have sounded similar to an English or French word for a food item or method that we were familiar with. For added pressure there was usually a queue of hungry locals lined up for their next feed. Did I mention that we only had one shot and a few minutes!
Russian Market

Russian Market

On this particular day we were at Phnom Penh’s Russian Market in search of traditional Cambodian food. We had a few dishes that we were there to possibly learn. After about five failed attempts at finding a hawker to show us his specialty, we hit the jackpot. We found a food stall that would teach us Banh Chiao the Khmer version of the Vietnamese dish bánh xèo, a savoury fried pancake made of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, diced green onion, and bean sprouts. 

 
This market became the market for foreigners during the 80’s  when most of the foreigners in Cambodia were Soviets, hence the name Russian  Market.

Russian Market (Psah Toul Tom Poung, as the locals refer to it) is located on the south side of Phnom Penh away from the normal tourist areas, but moto drivers who cater to tourists will take you there for a buck or two.
To see the Vietnamese version of the dish, click HERE

Clayton Klyne
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World travellers, Chefs and television personalities. Without Borders take food, travel and adventure and make short videos that has been turned in to a television series called Chefs Run Wild.

2 Responses to “Cambodian street food Banh Chiao – Russian Market, Phnom Penh” Subscribe

  1. Agness October 5, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    I had some Ban Chiao when I was living in Siem Reap. There was a cozy restaurant in my neighborhood I used to go and they served the best Cambodian food. I liked shrimp and onion in mine, so good!

    • Without Borders March 21, 2014 at 12:19 am #

      Sounds awesome! One of the best Cambodian dishes by far! Amok is pretty good too! Have you tried it?

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