Colourful Fruits, Cambodia

Cooking Class - Cambodian Fruits

Needless to say, Cambodia - as a tropical country - has a wealth of fresh fruits on daily offer.

When you go to a local market you will be astounded by the beautiful colors and aromas, and - sometimes - the somewhat strange shape of the fruits. You can also let fruits mix into a smoothie, locally known as touk kolok.

The country's tropical fruits keep a court of their own; with the durian a revered king and the mangosteen an honored queen. To complete the royal fruit family, the lemut should be named prince and milk fruit bestowed the honor of princess.

Here are a few examples of fruits available in Cambodia, including their taste (click to enlarge picture):

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Mango

    Cambodian mango's are smaller than the Thai, Malaysian or Indian ones. Washing your hands in the pulp makes them baby-soft!
    Taste: Sweet, one of the most delicious fruits in the world.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Dragonfruit

    A fantastic looking fruit, with a pinkish-purple shell, and a milky white inside with black seeds.
    Taste: Semi-sweet. Very delicate taste; much better than the watery taste of the ones in Europe.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Mangosteen

    A hard and thick avocado-coloured shell, revealing what must be one of the most delicious offerings on this planet.
    Taste: Sweet, but not too much - just right. Melts on your tongue.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Star Fruit

    Star Fruit
    This fruit acquired its name from the five pointed star shape when cut across the middle of the fruit. It has a waxy, golden yellow to green color skin.
    Taste: Slightly tangy and sweet, when fully ripe.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Lychee

    Available from street stalls and markets all over Cambodia. The pulp is white translucent. The ones wrapped in plastic are for drying.
    Taste: Sweet and juicy, with a relatively large inedible seed.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Rambutan

    The hairy sibling of the lychee, and very similar to it, but often substantially larger.
    One of the most visually striking fruits.
    Taste: Almost the same as lychees. Somewhat juicier.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Pineapple

    The word Pineapple is derived from the word pina, which was used to describe a pine cone by the Spanish.
    Taste: Sweet and juicy.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Papaya

    A melon like fruit enclosed in a thin skin that varies in color from green to orange to rose. The flesh is bright orange or pinkish.
    Papayas are a rich source of vitamin A and C.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Passionfruit

    An egg-shaped fruit that is also called a purple granadilla, the passion fruit has a brittle, wrinkled purple-brown rind enclosing flesh-covered seeds.
    Taste: Intensely aromatic, like guava.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Milk Fruit

    Milk Fruit
    Milk fruit is available only in Cambodia and Vietnam. The underbelly of the leaf is a greenish purple hue, while the top is a deep green.
    Taste: The creamy white flesh tastes juicy and sweet.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Pomelo

    The size of a decent melon. The peel is sliced off in two movements with a very sharp knife. Pinkish pulp containing many large seeds.
    Taste: Less bitter than the European variety; even a bit sweet. Nice!

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Coconut

    Most coconuts are not used for eating, but rather drinking only. Available from street hawkers and often in restaurants.
    Taste: The drink tastes great, is very refreshing, and healthy!

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Banana

    Many different varieties, but all are a lot smaller than the South-American variety. Many are used for the daily offering to Buddha.
    Taste: Sweeter than the South-American and African ones.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Durian

    Has a penetrating stench, but is somehow appreciated as a delicacy. The spike-armored shell is thick and very hard to get through.
    Taste: Most Westerners cannot really appreciate them.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Soursop

    This fruit can be round, oval or irregular heart shaped.
    Extremely juicy and seedy, and hence quite a messy fruit to eat.
    Taste: As the name suggests, sour.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Longan

    A dark-yellow to brown-red smooth skin. They are somewhat smaller than lychees. The pulp is also translucent white, but the black seed inside is larger than the lychee's one.
    Taste: Very similar to lychees.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Lemut

    Lemut (Sapodilla)
    Oval shaped fruit brought to South-East Asia from Central America by the Spaniards. The fruit is super sweet and the texture is that of an ultra fine pear.
    Taste: Sweet with a hint of cinnamon. Lovely!

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Saray

    Saray (Asian pear)
    Is it an apple or is it a pear? Khmer say it's neither. It's a Saray and that's it.
    Taste: Imagine the crispness of an apple combined with the juices of a pear, but less sweet. Very refreshing!

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Tolep

    Tolep (Persimmon)
    About the size of a small tomato, with a striking orange colour.
    Taste: Surprisingly similar to a mango. Somewhat less sweet and more neutral in taste.
    Very nice and mellow.

  • Fruits of Cambodia - Water Apple

    Water Apple
    Thin, edible skin, which looks waxy and turns pink as the fruit ripens. The flesh is divided into 4 sections, each with a single seed. The flesh is firm and white.
    Taste: Mild flavor and crisp texture.


The Cambodia Cooking Class is recommended by:

Lonely Planet Cambodia Edition 7 (2010)
Footprint Travel Guide Cambodia
Frommer's Cambodia & Laos (2010)
National Geographic Cambodia 2010
Food and Travel Magazine, UK
fah Thai magazine (Bangkok Airways)
TripAdvisor recommendations
Sarika inflight magazine Siem Reap Airways
AsiaLife Cambodia

Cambodia Cooking Class

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