The main thing Katie and I were told about our travel to Cambodia was that bird flu is there, and that we should avoid eating street food chicken and should always stay upwind of live chickens. Well, we pretty much disregarded this advice, unintentionally.
Khmer cuisine is similar to other Asian cuisines in that one of the staples is rice, typically eaten with every meal. The rice in Cambodia has been the best rice we've had on this trip; naturally, we both bought to kilos to bring home. Khmer cooking also uses a plethora of delicious spices, often blended together to make kroeung which is a paste used in many dishes (Katie and I know how to make this from our cooking class).
Our first night in Siem Reap took us to one of the many restaurants lining Pub Street - 50 cent draft beers are hard to say no to. But it was here that we confirmed our love of morning glory (or water spinach). Morning glory is a green vegetable that they cook with oyster sauce and other spices and it is beyond delicious - we literally ate it at least once a day.
On our second night, however, we ventured into the night market and found a local restaurant with plastic tables next to a grill on the sidewalk. We knew what we were having the minute we saw and smelled the BBQ chicken. It wasn't until we had both devoured half of our meal that we recalled what the doctor had said...and we both agreed that if bird flu tasted as good as that chicken, we were okay with it!
It wouldn't be the last time we had street food chicken in Cambodia, as we had it at lunch with Mr. Sak, and we said the same thing. We clearly decided to take what the doctor said with a grain of salt. Sorry mom.
The good news is that everything we ate in Cambodia was delicious and didn't make us sick! And after our cooking class we are now Khmer cuisine pros.