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Khmer cuisine at its best

Often overshadowed by the food produced by its neighbours, Cambodia is not renowned for its culinary offerings, but there is little reason for this, as the dishes are just as tasty as those from Vietnam and Thailand.

With this in mind, what better way to sample and come to love Khmer cuisine than on Cambodia adventure tours, where the visitor has the chance to build up an appetite while doing a number of exciting activities.

To start the day in the time honoured Cambodian tradition, bai sach chrouk can be purchased on street corners all over the country.

This pork and rice dish may be simple, but it is full of flavour and one of the most popular meals eaten in this part of the world.

Each vendor has their own slight twist on the classic dish, which involves grilling the sliced pork slowly over warm coals, making it particularly sweet.

Garlic, coconut milk or other ingredients may be added to the pork, which is then served on a large portion of rice.

Bai sach chrouk is not complete without the usual accompaniments of pickled cucumbers, ginger and daikon radish on the side.

Insects are a staple in Khmer food and one of the best examples are red tree ants, though they are often served with a number of other ingredients to help visitors forget that they are eating creepy crawlies.

For those keen to experience the full Cambodian repertoire of cuisine there is nothing better than red tree ants cooked with beef and holy basil.

The lemongrass, ginger, garlic and of course chillies help to mask the sour flavour of the ants, although with some as long as an inch in length they are easy to spot in the bowl.

And for desert in Cambodia the best options are served up from street stalls in Phnom Penh, where sticky rice can be purchased with lashings of coconut milk.

Another typical option is cha houy teuk, this jelly desert is made from gelatine, which is derived from seaweed and is unexpectedly sweet.