Cambodian Sauces Recipes

A selection of authentic Cambodian sauce recipes: dipping sauces, curry sauces, mango salsa, coconut sauce and salad dressing…


Camdodian Salad Dressing



  • 1/4 c Lemon juice
  • 1/4 ts Chopped garlic
  • 2 tb Fish sauce
  • 3 tb Ground roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 c Sugar
  • 1/4 c Water-
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 t Chopped coriander leaves
  • 1-2 ea fresh red chilis-sliced
  • 2-3 T chopped white onion


In a small sauce pan, cook sugar in water over med heat until it turns into a light syrup. Add all remaining ingredients, stir well. Let cool. Serve over salad.


Basic Lemon Grass Curry Sauce

Serving Size : 1



  • 1/3 cup lemon grass — sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon galangal — dried
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 Thai/ jalapeno chile — stemmed & seeded
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 lime leaves
  • 1 Pinch salt or shrimp paste


Puree together the lemon grass, garlic, galangal, turmeric, Jalapeños and shallots.

Bring the coconut milk to a boil and add the pureed ingredients, lime leaves, and salt and boil gently, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for about 30 minutes, or until lime leaves are tender and the sauce is creamy. Remove the leaves before serving. 
To prepare one portion, pour 1/2 cup of this curry sauce into a shallow vessel or a wok. Add 1/2 cup of meat or vegetables, bring to a medium boil and cook to desired degree.

NOTES : Yield: 1 quart.


Red Curry Cambogee

Serving Size : 5 Preparation Time: 0:00


  • 4 Thai/Jalapeno chiles, dried stemmed & seeded
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups Basic Lemon Grass Curry Sauce (above)


Break the chiles into small pieces. Pour boiling water over them to cover and let steep until they are soft, about 15 minutes. Combine the chiles, chile water, and the paprika in a blender to make a paste. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet, add the chile paste, and stir-fry until it begins to darken. Reduce the heat, if needed, to prevent burning. Stir enough of the paste into the Basic Lemon Grass Curry Sauce to give it a good red color, and to suit your taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Related:  Cambodian Vegetarian Recipes


Tirk khngay

(Ginger fish dipping sauce)
This ginger dipping sauce is wonderful with either grilled, fry fish or boil meats.


  • ¼ Cup fresh limejuice. (Approximate 2 lime)
  • ¼ Cup hot water.
  • ¼ Cup sugar.
  • ¼ Cup fish sauce.
  • 1/3 Cup fresh ginger. Grated.
  • 2 Gloves fresh garlic. Minced. Option.
  • 3 hot chili pepper. Chopped. (To your taste.) Option.


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Stirs well and serve.


Tirk sa-ieu chu p’em

Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
Tangy sweet soy sauce is not only great for vegetarian dipping sauce , it also great for dipping any kind of meat.


  • ¼ Cup hot water.
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce. I prefer La choy.
  • 1 ½ to 2 Tablespoon sugar (or to your taste).
  • ½ Teaspoon Sambal Olekek grounded chili paste. (Option)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice.
  • ¼ Cup roasted unsalted peanut. Crushed.


Mix hot water, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar and hot pepper together. Mix well. 
Top with peanut before serve.

Tirk Pahok
(Pickle fish dipping sauce)

Sweet, sour and spicy, with delicious light flavoring fermented/pickle fish dipping sauce. This is an authentic Khmer recipe and the most popular dipping sauce in Kampuchea Krom. Sauce is very important in most Khmer dish. Therefor, it is very important that you adjust the sauce to your taste.


  • 1 Cup water.
  • 3 Tablespoons creamy style fermented/pickle fish paste “ pahok”.
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh lemon grass.
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice.
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar.
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil.
  • 1 Teaspoon grounded fresh chili paste. Prefer Sambal Olekek brand.
  • 2 Gloves garlic. Minced.
  • 3 Chopped fresh hot chili.(Option).
  • ¼ Cup crushed, roasted, unsalted peanut.(Option).


Heat up a small saucepan in medium high temperature.
When the saucepan is hot, pour cooking oil and immediately add garlic and lemon grass. Stirs.
Pour water into the saucepan, when the water boiled, stirs “pahok” in. Stirs well.
Remove from the stove before add sugar, lemon juice and chili paste.
Taste the sauce, and increase or decrease ” pahok”, or sugar to your liking. 
Top with chopped chili and peanut before serve.

Related:  Japanese Sauces

Tirk trey chu p’em
(Sweet fish sauce)

Recipe from
This recipe doesn’t use garlic, but if you prefer with garlic, add 2 cloves minced fresh garlic to the recipe.


  • ¼ Cup hot water
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 1/3 Cup fresh lime juice (approx 2 lime)
  • 1/3 Cup fish sauce
  • 3 Chopped hot chili pepper or to your taste (option)
  • 1/3 Cup roasted peanut, crushed (option)


In a small bowl, mix hot water with sugar till sugar dissolved. 
Add lime juice, fish sauce and hot chili pepper together. Mix well and set a side to cool. 
Top with crushed roasted peanut before serve. 


Tirk umpel
(Tamarind sauce)

Recipe from
Khmer ethnic sweet, sour, and spicy tamarind sauce is great for dipping meat or seafood. It is very popular sauce. My family favorite is grilled Asian catfish with tamarind sauce. 


  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons seedless tamarind pulps
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 Cloves garlic, crushed(option)
  • 2 Chopped hot pepper(option)


In a small saucepan, boiled water and tamarind for few minutes. Stirs. 
Add sugar, fish sauce, garlic and hot chili pepper. Stirs till sugar dissolved.
Removed from heat, let it cool before serve.
Note: Tamarind absorb liquid very fast like sponge, add more fish sauce as you eat. If you like sweeter, add more sugar. More fish sause if you like it saltier. 
Always taste the sauce to your liking before serve. 

Tirk salouk swai
(Mango salsa)

Recipe from
This hot and spicy Khmer Krom mango salsa is great for dips with potato, taro root and shrimp chips, with fresh raw vegetables or with grilled fish or meat. It is very easy to make and very tasty. 


  • 1 Ripe mango,peeled and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ Cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Stalk green onion,chopped
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 4 Chopped hot chili pepper or to your taste(option)


For chunky salsa; mix all ingredients together. 
For creamy salsa; put all ingredients in food processor and blended for few second.
Serve immediately or refrigerated for several hours before serve.

Spicy hot pineapple sauce with peanut

Recipe from
A wonderful dip for vegetables, chips or meat

Related:  Cambodian Desserts Recipes


  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Stalk green onion, minced
  • 1 Cup chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon kumquat juice(approx 2 komquats) or lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup unsalted roasted peanut
  • 1 Teaspoon Sambal Oelek pepper paste or to your taste(option)


Heat up a small saucepan, when it hot add vegetable oil and saute’ green onion. 
Add pineapple, water, kumquat juice, sugar, and salt. Stirs and simmering till boiled. 
Removed from stove and set a side to cool.
Put peanut, pepper paste and pineapple sauce in a blender, blended well before serve.


Tirk kreoung pahok
( Grilled fish with pickle)

Recipe from
Tirk kreoung pahok is delicious Khmer ethnic food. 
For most of us, our happy meals sometime is this simple hot spicy grilled fish with pickle fish sauce and a plate full of fresh raw vegetales, and of course plenty of rice. Yummy!!!! 🙂


  • 1 lb Fillet of catfish, basa or any white meat fish
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Cup fresh or frozen fresh or frozen minced lemon grass
  • 3 Chopped hot chili pepper or to your taste(option)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  • ½ Cup creamy style pickle fish (pahok)
  • A handfull of chopped sweet basil leaves
  • ½ Cup unsalted roasted peanut, crushed


Grilled or boiled fish. When fish cooked, put fish in a large bowl and use a fork to break up fish meat. 
Using mortal and pestles to pounded on garlic, lemon grass and hot chili pepper together, set a side. 
Heat up a small saucepan, when it hot add oil, lemon grass mixture and fish. Stirs well. 
Add water, sugar, lime juice and creamy picklefish. Stirs well.
Simmering for 10 to 15 minutes then add sweet basil leaves. Stirs. 
Top with peanut before serve.
Serve hot with rice along with fresh raw vegetables; cabbage, cucumber or my favorite green banana, boiled pka snor and mints. 


Tirk doung
(Coconut sauce)

Recipe from
Coconut sauce is delicious Khmer food. We uses coconut sauce with many Khmer foods, from desserts to main dish.


  • 2 Cups fresh coconut milk or 1 large canned coconut milk
  • ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt


In a small saucepan, mix all ingredients together and simmering till sauce thicken.