Taking a cookery course offers a great way to learn more about Cambodian cuisine. Classes typically last around three hours, starting with a visit to a local market to buy ingredients, after which you get into the kitchen and start cooking under the guidance of a trained chef, finishing off by eating the meal you’ve just prepared.
Asana Cambodian House asana-cambodia.com. Learn to create your own Khmer-style cocktails at the lovely little Asana bar, with an introduction to the use of local herbs and spices, and to sombai, a classic Cambodian tipple made with infused rice wine. $15.
Beyond Unique Escapes beyonduniqueescapes.com. Cooking classes (twice daily) with a difference, held just outside town and swapping the usual market visit for a walk through a rural village to see local food production at first hand and the chance to meet a village family and learn about Khmer cooking in a Cambodian home – after which you head to Beyond’s purpose-built cooking pavilion in the village to have a go yourself. $22 half-day, $35 full day.
Cooks in Tuk-tuks therivergarden.info. Classes at this lovely hotel start with the obligatory market visit, before cooking up a lunchtime feast with the produce you’ve purchased. $25.
Royal Khmer Cuisine Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkorraffles.com/siemreap. The most exclusive (and spectacularly expensive) course in town, held at this grand hotel. After a market visit with the chef, you’ll learn about ingredients and how to combine them, before cooking a number of dishes that are served at lunch with a complimentary glass of wine. A cookbook, certificate and Raffles apron complete the day. $100.
Le Tigre de Papier The original Siem Reap cooking class, running since 2003 at this Pub Street restaurant. Classes include a market visit to buy ingredients for a three-course meal that you prepare and eat; proceeds help support students at nearby Sala Bai Hotel School. $14.