Cambodian Suman: Num Nuya and Num Onsomjeak

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After having some traditional Khmer food for lunch, we wanted to ingest something sweet. It’s funny, I noticed in Siem Reap’s Pub Street, you’ll have a real hard time finding authentic Khmer dessert. The bulk of places there were serving ice cream, cake and you know, just regular stuff. I told my mom that we’d be better off walking further and finding something new to try. In a big old open restaurant, the first table was occupied by a woman with some fruit and snacks for sale. Wrapped in banana leaves just like back home, the rice cakes (known in the Philippines as suman) caught our eye.

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Here’s a shot of them both unwrapped in all their ricey glory. We honestly had no idea what was in them because the one selling to us didn’t speak a word of English so we bought two for starters by means of pointing (HAHA turo-turo). These were really cheap though, if I am not mistaken one suman comes out to about $0.25.

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This one with darker rice mixed into it had some shredded bits of coconut meat. I liked that this wasn’t too sweet and that the rice consistency was perfect. I really do love rice.

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I didn’t know this was banana until my mom told me. The fact it was pink kinda threw me off. I don’t think I’ve ever seen pink bananas. I still find this strange and it reminds me a bit of bagoong in terms of pigmentation. Taste-wise this was much sweeter. I haven’t had much of a sweet tooth lately so I prefer the coconut even though this was good too.

Click this to print out a Khmer translation if you’re heading to Cambodia and want to try this out as well. Just show it to any local and they’ll help you out for sure.

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