A basket of goodies at the New Market in Siem Reap. Shallots, limes, ginger, green mangoes, tamarinds and tamarind pulp. Chillies and onions. This is the second post on the New Market in Siem Reap, Cambodia - you can go here to read my first post on the market, and hear the history of the New Market.
The hotel that we were staying at in Siem Reap had lousy coffee and worse tea. So while I was at the market, I bought some lemon grass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves and limes. Borrowing a blunt knife from the hotel, each afternoon I hacked pieces into the bottom of our tea cups and filled them with boiling water. It was great. We refilled and refilled and refilled our cups as we dozed, showered, did some hand washing and booked another foot massage. The tea was wonderful.
The market was quite amazing, as I mentioned in my last travel post, and surprisingly full of motorbikes in the narrow paths between stalls. You can see it is hazardous walking around. You almost need a motorbike or huge cart in front of you to be safe!
The amount of chillies in the market attests to the spiciness of local food. And the limes and herbs to the wonderful lightness and freshness of their dishes.
And the locally plentiful pea eggplants so wonderfully bitter in curries.
Speaking of bitter and acidic, tamarind abounds. It is only in the last week that I found out that you can eat tamarind out of the shell. I never knew, otherwise I would have bought some and tried it.
Where would you be without chilli sauce?
The amount of food is overwhelming. The amount of each item was amazing. For example, here is just one garlic stall.
You can buy it unpeeled or peeled. Here is a lady who peels the garlic. She is so happy! I wanted to sit down with her and peel the garlic if that’s what it takes to get an attitude like hers!
It is not all vegetables. All sorts of tropical fruit can be found. These are rambutan which grow only in SE Asia, and you can read more about them at Appetite for China.
And then, worn out from negotiating motorbikes and negotiating prices, the savvy market shopper stops for a meal cooked on site.
The market is huge. In two hours we only saw less than half. Along with the tea ingredients, we brought some French pastries and green mango with chilli salt.
- Here is a good collection of photos of Cambodian herbs and vegetables.