Please Pass the Recipe

from one generation to the next

Cambodia #3: Kep Crab Market

Kep crab market

Kep crab market

Food markets are a grassroots reflection of culture so when I’m travelling, these monuments to everyday life are at the top of my must-do list. Cambodia was no exception.

Countryside food vendors, often a lone seller squatting by the roadside offer the overflow from their agricultural endeavours while villages and towns have permanent structures under which the daily markets pop up.

crabs at Kep

crabs at Kep

Wonderful photographic opportunities presented themselves at Kep on Cambodia’s southern coastline at a shoreline seafood market which predominantly sells blue crabs. The live crabs are held in wicker baskets submerged in the sea waiting to be sold. That’s what I call fresh. There was plenty of other seafood and related products at this market too, dried, barbecued and fresh, sauces, pastes and seasonings. There is no refrigeration so the fresh fish and prawns are stored in bowls ingeniously suspended over ice. The ice man makes regular deliveries.

the ice man

the ice man

Dried prawns and calamari are commonly used to add a delicious umami to local cooked specialties. Khmer cooking also sparingly uses a fermented fish paste product prahok which is similar to Thai belachan. Fish sauce, teuk trei in Cambodian, is a common seasoning. All were available at the Kep crab market.

dried seafoods

dried seafoods

At the same market I engaged with a woman armed with a domestic mortar and pestle pounding chillies, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaf and garlic into a paste, and bagging it into meal sized portions for sale, an instant start to dinner. That’s my kind of fast food. 

pounding aromatics

pounding aromatics

Kep’s market is a one stop shop, a small amount of fruit and vegetables in season are also sold here. It was rambutan season when we visited and the good humoured knife wielding sellers insist you try before you buy. It’s a great marketing tool.

rambutan seller

rambutan seller

Lunch at an adjacent restaurant was crab, of course.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

21 comments on “Cambodia #3: Kep Crab Market

  1. Linda Duffin
    December 5, 2018

    What a fabulous trip that was! Great pics and enviable markets. Makes me long to visit.

    Like

  2. Michelle
    December 5, 2018

    Wonderful, again! What a lovely trip you had.

    Like

  3. Ron
    December 2, 2018

    I love markets like this. Those crabs look very tasty and the rambutan looks very fresh and I bet they were nice and sweet.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 2, 2018

      The rambutans were really delicious Ron. I think most I’d eaten before that day had a lot of air miles attached, these were truly local

      Like

  4. Francesca
    December 1, 2018

    Great market shots Sandra. Love those pounded pastes they make through Asia, makes you want to start cooking.

    Like

  5. Sherry
    November 30, 2018

    wow how fascinating is that market. you couldn’t get fresher seafood. i remember going thru a market in china one time; dogs in cages, businessmen in suits carrying home a couple of live chooks by their feet for dinner, every kind of animal and insect …

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 30, 2018

      Lots of poultry “on the hoof.” The locals had a great attitude about buying small amounts fresh for consumption on that day, no fridges of course, so there was a constant demand and high turnover. I think they have a much more grateful and respectful attitude to food. Perhaps the memory of famine still bites

      Like

  6. Eha
    November 30, 2018

    A very neat and tidy market compared to many I have seen in the East . . . since I could eat crab most days what a delight . . .! Absolutely love the idea of being able to buy a meal-sized portion of freshly pounded spices . . . that plus the seafood and a meal ready in the time it would take one to order takeaway . . ,

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 30, 2018

      All the markets we visited in Cambodia and Vietnam were spotless. Very reassuring and emboldened me to eat food prepared on site.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Francesca
        December 1, 2018

        The markets in Cambodia weren’t like this 15 years ago, though I agree that these days, the markets are spotless throughout Asia, at least those I have seen in recent years in Northern Thailand, Vietnam and Bali.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Single Malt Monkey
    November 30, 2018

    Great shots, Sandra. Market sellers wielding knives is one way to get your attention. I couldn’t refuse.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 30, 2018

      Thanks Al, loving looking closely at my pics. Yeah, the knife worked a treat…

      Like

  8. anne54
    November 30, 2018

    How fresh are those crabs?! Were you tempted to buy and have a cook up back at the hotel?

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 30, 2018

      Doesn’t get any fresher. Not even tempted, I was loving EVERYTHING about being on holiday including no cooking

      Like

      • anne54
        December 6, 2018

        Yes, it is one of the joys ~ and a great way to eat the local food.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. chef mimi
    November 30, 2018

    Photographic opportunities indeed!!! Fabulous post and photos.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 30, 2018

      Thanks Mimi, I’m really enjoying looking through the photos I shot in the 5 weeks away

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Information

This entry was posted on November 29, 2018 by in Cooking, Food, photography, travel and tagged , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: