The markets in Cambodia blew us away, with their wide array of ingredients and bustling atmosphere! “Local” produce in Cambodia takes on a whole new meaning, with tropical fruits we’d never seen before – lychee, dragonfruit, mangosteen – as well as the more standard favorites – mango, pineapple, and coconut.
Mangosteen (our favorite!)
Vendors lay out their wares on blankets…
…including fresh fish and shell fish, some literally flopping around waiting to beheaded and scaled! Now that’s fresh.
You also can get fresh meat, butchered right before your eyes. We passed on that one.
At every turn, there was a new ingredient, sound, or smell!
We went to the market a few times in Battambang to get ingredients for cooking at the Green Mango Café. We found you could find many of the vegetables you’d find at an American market (tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, peppers), but lots of other special ingredients used in Cambodian and Southeast Asian cooking, like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and bird’s eye chilies.
We’ll miss the ready access to these ingredients, though we do have some great international markets here in town…and we’re excited to try growing lemongrass in our garden!
Stay tuned for next week for more on Cambodia, including a recap of our time cooking at the Green Mango Café!