- Posted July 20, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What are you watching?
A Special Food In Cambodia
Okays, Prahok (ប្រហុក) is a crushed, salted and fermented fish paste (usually of mud fish) that is used in Cambodian cuisine as a seasoning or a condiment. It originated as a way of preserving fish during the longer months when fresh fish was not available in abundant supply. Because of its saltiness and strong flavor, it was used as an addition to many meals in Cambodian cuisine, such as soups. Prahok has a strong and distinct smell, earning the nickname Cambodian Cheese. Prahok is usually eaten with rice in the countryside or poorer regions.
Because it is easily stored and preserved, Prahok is sometimes distributed as a donation to victims of flood or drought by charities and other organizations. It can be eaten cooked or fried, but is usually not eaten raw because of health issues (raw Prahok cannot be stored long due to its going bad if not eaten in a short period) and the unpleasant smell it makes.
Although a uniquely Khmer food, a condiment similar to Prahok, Garum, was used in ancient Rome. Garum was also made from fermented fish and used as a seasoning. There are other versions of similar foods such as Pissalat from France.