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Authentic Cambodian Noodles - Siem Reap

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

The process of making rice noodles in Cambodia.

In rural Cambodia, Num banh chok or rice vermicelli noodle is still not automated, and most processes are done by hand with a stone mill.

They are then sold at the local market.

Vendors would come early in the morning to purchase the noodle, which is then sold to the local residents.

The rice noodle making process is long and arduous, although appreciated by every household in rural Cambodia.

Rice is first boiled until soft and then grounded into a wet dough with a heavy stone mill.

Once all the rice is ground, the wet dough is placed into a large cloth bag.

Heavy mill parts are placed on top to squeeze out excess water.

This is the beginning of the fermentation process.

It is now ready to be placed in a deep rock mortar to be pounded with a pestle-worked with leg power.

As the dough is beaten on all sides, it gives off a strong sour, and yeasty scent.

After approximately fifteen minutes, the dough is transformed from a rock-hard, floury ball to a smooth, elastic dough. This final dough form will then be beaten until stiff peaks can be formed, and is then placed into a metal noodle mould or cylindrical dispenser made with holes at one end.

The dough is squeezed through the holes, from which it falls in strips into boiling water.

To ensure that the noodles do not clump together, an assistant stirs and lifts them from the boiling water into a pail of cold water, where they become less starchy.

The noodles are then placed on a tray and folded neatly, portioned for serving.

The whole family joins in when making noddles.

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