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Water lily stalks in Khmer cuisine

Water lily stalks hold a special place in Khmer cuisine, bringing a unique flavor and interesting texture to traditional dishes. In Cambodian cuisine, these stems are used in different ways to add a note of freshness and a vegetal touch to preparations.
Water lily stems are often used in soups, where they provide a crunchy texture and a slightly bitter flavor. They are cut into sections and added to fragrant broths, blending harmoniously with vegetables, aromatic herbs and spices. Water lily stems bring a subtle freshness to the soup while adding a note of complexity to its taste.
Another popular dish in Khmer cuisine in which water lily stems are used is “samlor korko”. It is a stew of vegetables and meat slowly simmered in a fragrant broth. Water lily stems are often included, providing a crunchy texture alongside the other tender ingredients. This creates a nice contrast in every bite and adds dimension to the dish.
Water lily stems can also be used in stir-fries, where their firm, crunchy texture is enhanced. They can be cut into thin strips and added to vegetable, seafood or meat stir-fries. Water lily stalks add a crisp texture to these dishes, complementing the variety of textures present in Khmer cuisine.
In addition to their use in cooked dishes, water lily stems can be used as an ingredient in fresh and crunchy salads. They can be cut into julienne or small pieces, then mixed with other vegetables, aromatic herbs and a light dressing. This creates a lively and colorful salad, where the lily pads add a unique touch and an interesting taste experience.
Water lily stems are versatile ingredients in Khmer cuisine, providing a combination of flavors and textures that enrich traditional dishes. Their use testifies to the culinary ingenuity of the Cambodian people and their ability to take advantage of available natural resources. Whether in a soup, stew, stir-fry or salad, lily pads add a special dimension to Khmer cuisine, inviting diners to experience new taste sensations and connect with Cambodia’s bountiful nature.


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