Songvak – the very Cambodian fish cake

Songvak is a very Cambodian fishcake, if you have not tried it then you are missing out on one of the main Khmer street food dishes. You will find this throughout the country, with my first taste being towards the end of my ill-fated living in Siem Reap experiment.

To read about street food in Siem Reap click here

What is Songvak –សង្វាក់

It is a kind of fishcake that is pretty small, but prepared and cooked in banana leaf, which is what all the best Khmer foods seem to come served with. It truly is great to see food not wrapped in plastic.

Traditionally is a native of Battambang is grilled in the banana leaf. There are now many regional variations which involve different degrees of cooking and indeed sourness, a core flavour to the dish.

There are though other dishes that look like this, but are not this and in fact a bit disgusting. Be careful at Kep Market.

To read about a wet weekend in Kep click here.

As to the fish that is used, from what I can tell from my Khmer friends its a few fishes mixed together, with various regions having their own take on the Khmer fishcake.

How do you eat Songvak –សង្វាក់?

This is the fun bit about this dish! It comes with Khmer herbs, cabbage, rice noodles and hot sauce – you uno though eat the banana leaf.

Firstly you wrap it from the banana leaf, then you mix wrap it in a bit of lettuce and some herbs, throw in the rice noodle, dip it in hot sauce and hey presto! You have yourself a Cambodian street food sensation.

To read about street food in Phnom Penh click here.

They are though rather small, so it is easy to wold down ten Songvak -សង្វាក់ and still be hungry. This though makes it the perfect snack with some Cambodia Beer , or decent as an accompaniment to a wider Khmer street food night.

Where can I get Songvak –សង្វាក់?

All over Cambodia! Including next to my house!

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