duck-embryo

Pong tia koon is the Cambodian version of balut. It’s simply a fertilized duck embryo which adds a lot to the eww factor for a lot of people. We were in Siem Reap and saw a street vendor selling it – that’s the only way to eat pong tia koon! :)

eating balut cambodia

I’ve eaten balut in the Philippines before. On the streets of Manila, eating fertilized duck embryo is just a simple matter – you crack open the balut, suck out the juices and get a twist of salt to go with the egg. It’s just that simple.

cambodian balut

However, the process of eating pong tia koon is quite complex in Cambodia. Cambodians have a wide variety of condiments to add to the fertilized duck embryo before it’s ready to eat. There’s almost a ritualized feel to it. It’s balut, Khmer style! smirk

eating pong tia koon

The egg is cracked into a plate, with the embryo and juices flowing freely. Fine salt and black pepper powder is added to it. Fresh lime is cut while a mixture of garlic slices and chilli is liberally poured into the plate and Cambodian mint (laksa leaves) sprinkled before it’s suitable to be served.

cambodia balut

It’s delicious! I found the Khmer style of serving balut to be extremely tasty! I ordered 3 pong tia koon and it left me wanting more. It’s just 1,000 KHR (0.25 USD) per egg. The mixture of spices goes very well with the egg and also the tiny duck inside. I told Ling it just tastes like chicken soup and got her to eat some so she’s experienced eating balut before. :)

pong tia koon

The Cambodian pong tia koon is a lot more intense in some ways than balut in the Philippines – they keep the duck longer (19 days compared to 17 days) so you can see a mature chick inside. It’s fully recognizable as a baby duck!

balut developed chick

There’s a head staring back at you with huge eyes, a long neck, webbed feet. You can even see the rib cage of the baby duck! It’s delicious though – the sweet, sour and spicy condiments make this a truly delicious dish that you’ll crave for instead of something to eat just to experience. :)

mi char vendor

This is one of the common street food in Cambodia. You can see it being sold from mobile stalls on the street in the evenings at the Old Market in Siem Reap. Mi Char is basically the Cambodian version of maggi goreng! smirk

mi char

There’s actually two versions – one that’s made from a loh shi fun type of noodle and the more popular one made from instant noodles. The brand they use is Red Bear Chicken Flavored Instant Noodles. I noticed that all the mi char places in Siem Reap use the same type and flavor.

red bear instant noodles

It costs 4,000 KHR (Cambodian Riel) for each plate. That’s about 1 USD (RM 3) since everyone there uses a conversion rate of 1 USD = 4,000 KHR. USD is the default currency but you get small change back in Cambodian Riel.

mi char cambodia

Anyway, the mi char seller will cook one packet of Red Bear chicken flavored instant noodles and then fry it with some shredded cabbage and other vegetables. They’ll also put in the flavor sachet at this point.

fried egg

The 4,000 KHR dish comes with a fried egg! I was wondering if we kena conned e.g. got charged tourist prices, but everyone who came, even locals, were paying 1 USD for that, so it’s all good. Heh.

mee char

It’s a simple but delicious dish! The noodles are doused with chilli sauce before serving. We ate it sitting by the river watching the sun set in Siem Reap. :)

cambodian new year

Sur sdei chhnam thmei! It’s the Khmer New Year here in Cambodia – there was festivities throughout the night yesterday. 14th of April is the start of the Cambodian New Year but we’re not here for that – we arrived one day earlier to celebrate Ling’s birthday! :)

happy honeymoon

I chose a boutique resort slightly outside Siem Reap for the privacy and I love the hotel! It has the famed Khmer hospitality, the place is beautiful and they decorated the room with flowers and leaves spelling “Happy Honeymoon” (which is the first time I’ve seen leaves used like this).

ling hb

We’ve been exploring the temples and chilling at the resort for her birthday weekend. We just came back from Angkor Wat yesterday.

I was in Philea Resort in Malacca during my birthday a week ago, I gave her a trip as a birthday present too. <3

villa kiara

Siem Reap is a wonderful place – it’s infested with tourists (smirk) but we’re having a wonderful time here – had a some interesting food adventures too! I’ll update again when we’re back! Hope you’re all having a fantabulous weekend! :D

Posted: 12:22 pm Siem Reap time (GMT/UTC +7) on Virak Wanabat, second day of the Cambodian New Year

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