A bowl of Cambodian soup

Samlor prahal (Cambodian soup)

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Luu Meng, head chef of Malis restaurant in Phnom Penh, shares his Cambodian soup recipe – "it puts you in a good mood, and is a traditional hangover cure!"


Try this recipe for Samlor prahal, then read our article to discover 10 things we love about Cambodian cuisine.

If you can’t get hold of coconut blossom, then tinned banana blossom will work well in its place.



  • neutral oil 1 tbsp
  • shallot 1 long, thinly sliced
  • white Kampot peppercorns ground to make 1 tbsp
  • dried shrimp 15g
  • chicken or fish stock 1.5 litres
  • lemongrass 50g, bashed
  • winter melon or courgette 240g, chopped
  • coconut blossom 320g, cut into chunks
  • river fish fillets (such as bream, pike or brown trout) 320g, cut into chunks
  • palm sugar or soft dark brown sugar 10g
  • fish sauce 2 tbsp
  • toasted rice powder 20g
  • fresh herbs (such as om, wild asparagus, coriander or Vietnamese mint) 80g


  • Step 1

    Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the shallot, white pepper and dried shrimp for 5 minutes until crisp.

  • Step 2

    Pour in the stock, add the lemongrass and half the winter melon or courgette and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Add the coconut blossom and simmer again for 15 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Remove the lemongrass once the melon has broken down but the sweetness has gone into the soup. Add the fish to the pan with the remaining melon and simmer for 5 minutes until the fish is just cooked through.

  • Step 5

    Add the palm sugar, fish sauce, rice powder, some salt and the herbs to finish.

Check out our best fish soup recipes

Spicy Fish Soup Recipe

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 254
  • Fat 7g
  • Saturates 1.3g
  • Carbs 15.4g
  • Sugars 4.5g
  • Fibre 5.2g
  • Protein 30g
  • Salt 5.4g