Cambodian Traditional Bamboo Soup Recipe

January 23, 2023  Cambodian Chef Avatar
Cambodian Traditional Bamboo Soup Recipe

Cambodian Traditional Bamboo Soup is a delectable dish that combines fresh bamboo shoots with catfish or Tilapia, creating a flavorful and easy-to-make soup. The recipe calls for a blend of water and chicken broth as the base, along with raw rice, prahok (a fermented fish paste), sugar, knorr chicken powder, fish sauce, and optional msg for seasoning. The soup is garnished with either chili leaves or Saoum for an added burst of flavor. The soup paste, known as Kroeung, is prepared using lemongrass, rhizome, garlic, and salt, pounded into a paste. Parboiling fresh bamboo shoots is recommended to remove any bitterness before adding them to the pot.

To prepare the Cambodian Traditional Bamboo Soup, start by boiling raw rice until it becomes soft, then add the chicken broth, Kroeung paste, and sliced bamboo shoots. Cook until the bamboo reaches a tender consistency. Next, incorporate the bite-sized pieces of catfish or Tilapia, along with prahok, sugar, chicken powder, msg (if desired), and fish sauce, allowing the flavors to meld for about two minutes. Finally, turn off the heat and garnish the soup with chili leaves or Saoum.

Although it’s ideal to use fresh bamboo for this recipe, the author acknowledges that it may not always be readily available, especially in places like Seattle. This Cambodian Traditional Bamboo Soup offers a taste of authentic Cambodian cuisine, blending the earthy flavors of bamboo shoots with the delicate richness of fish, all seasoned to perfection. It’s a delightful dish that can be savored with a side of rice and red chili for an added kick.


3 cups of water + 3 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of cat fish or Tilapia cut to bite size
1 lbs (450 gram) of fresh bamboo shoots sliced thin (if you use fresh peel the outside off)
1/4 cup of raw rice wash set aside
11/2 tablespoon of prahok (I use American measuring spoon) not rice spoon
1 to 2 teaspoon of sugar (up to you)
1 tablespoon of knorr chicken powder
Fish sauce to your taste
Msg (optional)
Handful of chili leaves for garnish or
Handful of Saoum for garnish

For Soup Paste (Kroeung)

1 stalk of lemongrass cut to small pieces
2 pieces of rhizome (like finger roots)
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of salt

In a mortar pestle pound the following ingredients together. Pound it to paste set aside

Directions to make Cambodian Traditional Bamboo Soup Recipe

  1. If you use fresh bamboo parboiled and wash with cold water because fresh bamboo taste kind of bitter
  2. In a soup pot boil the raw rice with water until the rice is soft then add chicken broth, kroeung, bamboo,
  3. Cook until the bamboo is soft
  4. Then add fish, prahok, sugar, chicken powder, msg, fish sauce to your taste continue to cook for 2 minutes until the flavor come together.
  5. Turn the heat off add chili leaves or Saoum for garnish

Serve hot with rice and red chili. It is best to find fresh bamboo for this recipe, but in Seattle we don’t have much luck with fresh bamboo or many of Khmer vegetables.


Related Recipe: Steam Rice Noodle with Egg Recipe

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2

Calories Per Serving: 348

% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate ‏32g 12%
Cholesterol ‏85mg 28%
Total Fat ‏5g 6%
Saturated Fat ‏2g 10%
Dietary Fiber ‏5g 18%
Protein ‏47g 94%
Sodium ‏1661mg 72%
Sugars ‏8g 16%


30 min


29 min




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