Cambodian Neem Flower Salad

January 21, 2023  Cambodian Chef Avatar
Cambodian Neem Flower Salad

Cambodian Neem Flower Salad is a unique dish known for its distinctive bitter flavor. However, the level of bitterness can be adjusted to personal preference by varying the amount of Neem Flower (Sadao) used in the recipe. The salad is primarily composed of grilled tilapia or catfish, or alternatively, cooked pork belly, all cut into bite-sized pieces. Additional ingredients include bean sprouts, thinly sliced fresh pickled cucumber, and rice noodles. It’s important to use Num Banhchok noodles rather than vermicelli noodles for the authentic taste.

The dressing, known as Tuk Trey, is a crucial element in this salad. It is made by combining brown or palm sugar, tamarind concentrate, minced garlic, fish sauce, water, prahok (fermented fish paste), and optional minced Thai chilies for added heat. This mixture is heated in a saucepan until the prahok is fully cooked, then left to cool before being incorporated into the salad.

To assemble the Cambodian Neem Flower Salad, the cooked and drained rice noodles are combined in a large bowl with the bean sprouts, cucumber, and the chosen protein (fish or pork). The prepared dressing is then added to the mixture and thoroughly combined. The salad can be further customized to taste, and for those who enjoy added crunch, roasted peanuts can be used as a garnish.

This unique Cambodian dish offers a bold and diverse flavor profile, with a balance of bitterness, sweetness, and umami from the combination of ingredients. It provides a delightful culinary experience for those seeking a taste of traditional Cambodian cuisine.


2 cup of grill Tilapia or cat fish or cooked pork belly cut to bite size
1 cup of bean sprouts
1 fresh pickle cucumber sliced very thin
1/2 package of frozen Sadao ( more or less up to you)
8 oz (230 gram) of rice noodle (buy Num Banhchok noodle not Vermicelli noodle)
Cook the noodle drain set aside
3 tablespoon of roasted peanut for garnish (optional some people like it)

For the dressing (Tuk Trey)

3 tablespoon of brown sugar, or palm sugar
2 tablespoon of tamarind concentrate
3 cloves of minced garlic
3 tablespoon of fish sauce
3 tablespoon of water
1 tablespoon of prahok more or less up to you
2 to 3 Thai chilies minced (optional)

Directions to make Cambodian Neem Flower Salad

  1. In a small sauce pan combine all the ingredients and heat to a boil until the prahok is cooked.
  2. Turn the heat off let it cool before you mix with the salad.
  3. In a large bowl combine the entire noodle, bean sprouts, cucumber and Sadao fish or pork together
  4. Add sauce mix well taste adjust to what you like garnish with roasted peanut.

Please enjoy

Related Recipe: Khmer picnic food or bok Kapi

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2

Calories Per Serving: 318

% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate ‏36g 13%
Cholesterol ‏50mg 17%
Total Fat ‏10g 13%
Saturated Fat ‏2g 10%
Dietary Fiber ‏3g 11%
Protein ‏23g 46%
Sodium ‏467mg 20%
Sugars ‏1g 2%


30 min


15 min




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