After returning from the restaurant with an upset stomach two days in a row, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own tom-yum soup to eat at home.
Even the foods are corrupt in Cambodia. Have you tried acid-boiled corn in Phnom Penh lately? Yes, they add a tinge of sulfuric acid from a cannibalized car or motorcycle battery to the boil to hasten the cooking process, thereby saving fuel and improving on the otherwise razor-thin margins.
The other day I went to a relatively upscale restaurant and had duck meat that didn’t taste like duck at all. Fortunately, the mystery meat didn’t make me sick.
But it’s not all bad. In Cambodia you actually have time to enjoy your food. As for food safety, you just have to know to dine strategically.
For $2.80 I bought a tom-yum soup kit from Lucky Supermarket which includes all the ingredients– chicken, vegetables, herbs, and condiments– needed to make enough soup to serve three to four people. You just add a little salt, sugar, fish sauce and MSG to taste.
It turned out way better than the stuff they serve at the some of the restaurants, in my own opinion at least. Fresh ingredients make all the difference. And best of all, it doesn’t give me a stomachache.