Lok Lak

This is on every menu in Cambodia. I first had it at the atmospheric Foreign Correspondent’s Club in Phnom Penh with a few Angkor beers and the breeze from the Tonle Sap River. The idea is to wrap a mouthful of beef and vegetables in the lettuce and dunk it in the dipping sauce. It is often served with rice or chips but I find that it is enough without.

Marinade ingredients

200g beef steak, diced, or ready-diced beef suitable for pan frying

3 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs oyster sauce

1 tbs tomato ketchup

1 tbs vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbs sugar

Several twists of black pepper

Dipping sauce ingredients

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs sugar

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 birdseye chilli, sliced

Other ingredients

Few leaves of green lettuce

1 tomato, sliced

½ red onion, halved and finely sliced

Few slices of cucumber

1 spring onion, finely sliced


1. Blend the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the beef, toss well. Cover and refrigerate for around 1 hour

2. Blend the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl

3. Arrange the lettuce, tomatoes and onions on a serving plate

4. Heat a glug of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add the beef and marinade and pan fry until the beef is cooked and the marinade has reduced

5. Arrange the cooked beef over the vegetables. Garnish with the spring onion.

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