Khmer picnic food or bok Kapi

January 21, 2023  Cambodian Chef Avatar
Khmer picnic food or bok Kapi

Khmer picnic food, also known as bok Kapi, is a popular dish in Cambodia and other Asian countries. It is cherished for its simplicity, deliciousness, and ease of preparation at home. The dish is traditionally served with a variety of accompaniments, including cucumber, long beans, Thai eggplant, and most notably, young green tamarind and green mango.

To prepare bok Kapi, the first step involves grilling or baking Kapi (fermented shrimp paste) wrapped in foil until it turns brown. Dried fish is warmed in the oven before use. Additionally, dried shrimps are soaked, washed, and drained. The recipe also calls for garlic, shallots, Thai red chilies, and optionally, roasted peanuts. The seasoning components include sugar, lime juice, and MSG, with quantities adjusted according to personal taste preference.

The cooking process begins by heating oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Garlic, shallots, and chilies are added and fried until they reach a browned but not burnt state. These ingredients are then removed from the pan and allowed to cool for a short period. In a mortar and pestle, dried shrimp and fish are pounded into a paste. Garlic, shallots, chilies, and optionally, peanuts, are added to the mixture and pounded further until a homogeneous paste is achieved. The grilled Kapi is then incorporated and thoroughly pounded, with occasional stirring to ensure the flavors meld together. Finally, the seasoning elements of MSG, sugar, and lime juice are added and adjusted to taste.

In Cambodia, farmers often prepare bok Kapi to enjoy alongside cold rice and an abundance of fresh vegetables while working in the fields. This dish offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures, making it a beloved choice for picnics and gatherings in Cambodian culture.


2 tablespoon of Kapi wrap in foil grill or bake until brown
1 cup of dried fish, warm in the oven first
4 clove garlics
4 clove of shallots
1/4 cup of dried shrimps soaked wash drain set aside
4 Thai red chilies
Sugar, lime juice, msg up to you
1 tablespoon of roasted peanut (optional, I don’t care about it)
2 tablespoon of oil for frying

Directions to make Khmer picnic food or bok Kapi

  1. In a fry pan add oil turn the heat to medium low
  2. Add garlic, shallots, and chilies fry until brown (don’t burn) take out cool for a bit
  3. In a mortar pestle pound the dried shrimp, dried fish to paste
  4. Then add garlics, shallots, and chilies, (if you use peanut put it now) to the mixture
  5. Pound to paste, then add grill Kapi pound it really good use a spoon to stir it while you pound it so the flavor come together
  6. Add msg, sugar or lime juice up to you taste and adjust the flavor.

The farmers in Cambodia make bok Kapi to eat with cold rice and lot of veggies for dip while working on the field.

Please enjoy

Related Recipe: Homemade Orange Chicken Recipe

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2

Calories Per Serving: 459

% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate ‏68g 25%
Cholesterol ‏6mg 2%
Total Fat ‏16g 21%
Saturated Fat ‏2g 10%
Dietary Fiber ‏1g 4%
Protein ‏5g 10%
Sodium ‏5661mg 246%
Sugars ‏12g 24%


30 min


30 min




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