Saturday, 18 Nov 2017
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TRAVELFOOD

Discover Cambodia’s cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City

Updated at Thursday, 31 Aug 2017, 14:44
The Hanoitimes - Formed over 20 years ago, the Cambodian market has become a destination for tourists in Ho Chi Minh City.
Its official name is Le Hong Phong Market, but for decades people have been calling this market in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10 the “Cambodian Market”, simply because it sells particular products from Cambodia.
Its official name is Le Hong Phong Market, but for decades people have been calling this market in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10 the “Cambodian Market”, simply because it sells particular products from Cambodia.
Located in the small alley 374/51 on Le Hong Phong Street, in Ward 1, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, the market offers many kinds of Cambodian food and specialties.
Visitors can easily recognize Cambodian cultural characteristics at this market through signboards with Cambodian scripts and the special arrangement of stalls and goods.
The best-selling products at this market are all kinds of dried fish, dried meat, and salted fish. Many kinds of Cambodian food are also available at the market. Most of the traders here are Cambodian Vietnamese who came to Vietnam in the 1970s to avoid political clashes in Cambodia.
Indeed, when walked into the market, you could feel an atmosphere which was totally distinct from other Vietnamese’s common ones. The foodstuff on offer there had delightful eye-catching colours. The sellers are all Cambodian Vietnamese who have resided in Vietnam for decades.
In the market, various products originating from Tonle Sap lake area in Cambodia are well-stocked on wood shelves. They vary from different kinds of dried fish, dried frog, and vegetables, to traditional foods. If you are a real foodie, you cannot miss the Num Bo Choc fish noodle of Tu Xe.
According to Xe, the main ingredient of the noodle is the snakehead fish from Tonle Sap Lake, Prahok and whole rhizome. Prahok is a Khmer traditional paste made with salted and fermented mudfish. Besides Xe’s noodle, there is another intriguing dish, which is sweetened porridge. At present, this market is not only the place where Cambodian-Vietnamese stay and trade, but it is also a meeting place for the Cambodian community in Ho Chi Minh City when they miss the atmosphere of their hometown. The market opens from 5 am to 6 pm.
The market dates back to the 1970s when Vietnamese Cambodian people were forced to flee Cambodia due to civil war, a vendor named Tu Xe explains. Those families returned to Vietnam and set up the market together.
The market dates back to the 1970s when Vietnamese Cambodian people were forced to flee Cambodia due to civil war, a vendor named Tu Xe explains. Those families returned to Vietnam and set up the market together.
Does this ‘num banh chok’ noodle soup look like the one you get in Cambodia?
Does this ‘num banh chok’ noodle soup look like the one you get in Cambodia?
Cambodian che, or sweet dessert, is another highlight at this market. Co says she follows her mother's recipe to cook Cambodian che at the market.
Cambodian che, or sweet dessert, is another highlight at this market. Co says she follows her mother's recipe to cook Cambodian che at the market.
Huy Chuong - Tuyet Nhung
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