Nom Banh Chok: How To Make Cambodian Khmer Noodles

A classic Cambodian breakfast or afternoon snack, num banh chok is so popular and well-loved that it is often simply called “Khmer noodles.” Num banh chok, also known as number banh chok samlar Khmer in its purest form, is the perfect dish to eat in warm weather: rice noodles filled with cool fish gravy and crisp raw vegetables such as cucumbers, banana blossom, water lily stems and fresh herbs such as basil and mint.

Nom Banh Chok: Cambodian Khmer Noodles

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Snacks / Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Cambodian

This food consists of noodles laboriously crushed with rice, topped with lemongrass, rhizome, turmeric root, and other Cambodian ingredients. It is served with banana blossoms, cucumber, and freshly forged wild greens. The whole preparation and cooking time is one hour. This recipe is suitable for six servings. 

Num banh chok, is the perfect dish to eat in warm weather. Photo credits:

Nom Banh Chok: Cambodian Khmer Noodles Ingredients

  • 2 whole mudfish, catfish or tilapia
  • 3 whole chicken bones
  • 1 cup kroeung paste
  • 12 rhizomes or finger roots
  • 1 tbsp fermented mudfish (pahok)
  • 1/2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of chicken mix
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of roasted peanut optional
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 4 liters of water
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 1 package fine rice vermicelli noodle

Nom Banh Chok: Cambodian Khmer Noodles Instructions

Step 1: Bring 4 liters of water to a boil in a large pot, along with a lemongrass stalk. Once boiling, add the chicken bone and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is finished.

Step 2: Clean the mudfish or any freshwater fish that you want to use for this recipe and place it in the boiling water. Don’t throw away the head of the fish, as it provides the most flavor for the broth. Let the chicken and the fish simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3: When the chicken and the fish are cooked, cut them, and de-bone them both. Keep fish meat and chicken meat separate.

Step 4: Chop the rhizomes into thin slices, then crush them with a mortar and pestle with the roasted peanuts, the bird’s eye chili pepper, and garlic. This mixture will guide the next step.

Step 5: Pound the chicken and the rhizomes mixture together to infuse the flavors. Pound until the chicken is completely crushed, then add the fish meat to the remaining mixture.

Step 6: Once everything has been crushed into a coarse mixture, place it in a large bowl. Add the knorr chicken mixture, fish sauce, salt, sugar, and coconut milk to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes to infuse all the flavor.

Step 7: For the somlar praheur, put 1 tablespoon of prahok liquid in a large pot with the broth and let it boil. Add prahok to any other flavoring ingredients to reduce its strong scent. Add the chicken and fish mixture once it is cooked. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, adjust the broth to taste with salt and sugar.

Step 8:  For the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodle and let them cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside a bowl of ice water.

Step 9: Once the noodles are cooked, pour out the water and place the noodle in a bowl filled with ice water. Start taking a handful of noodles and form them into serving portions, arrange them nicely in a bowl.

Step 10: To eat, take 1 serving of the rice noodle and place it in a pot. Add whatever fresh vegetables or wild greens you want, and top with some somlar praheur.

Image source:


Num banh chok is the name of the noodles that are laboriously handmade from fermented rice in heavy stone mills. Still, it is also the name of the dishes made with these delicious noodles. For more international recipes, click here.

Featured images:,