Bai Sach Chrouk — which means rice and pork in Khmer — is one of the most popular breakfast items in Cambodian food, along with noodle soups. Thousands of street stalls and restaurants serve Bai Sach Chrouk during the morning rush hour, with long queues of hungry Cambodians and foreigners alike lining up at some of the more popular locations in Phnom Penh. This archetypal Cambodian breakfast dish typically comes served with a helping of pickled carrots and daikon radish, a sweet-and-sour dipping sauce, a bowl of pork broth, and a sweaty glass of iced coffee.
Whether you’ve had Bai Sach Chrouk on your trip to Cambodia, or are simply looking for a new recipe to invigorate your breakfast menu, there’s no need to go to The Kingdom of Wonder to taste this dish. Bai Sach Chrouk is Cambodia’s answer to the American bacon and eggs, and just like its Western counterpart, it’s fantastically easy to prepare. In our recipe below, we will share the simple, straightforward instructions for preparing the Cambodian street food classic, Bai Sach Chrouk, at home.
Pork and Rice Recpie (Bai Sach Chrouk)
- Butcher knife
- Cutting board
- 2 pounds pork
- 1½ tablespoons oyster sauce
- ½ tablespoon MSG
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 5 cloves garlic
- 4 eggs large
- ½ teaspoon MSG
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
Prepare the pork
- Cut the pork into roughly 1/3-inch thick, 2-3 inch wide/long slices and place into a container.
- Clean the garlic cloves, then crush them with the flat side of a butcher knife.
- Cut the crushed garlic cloves into thin slices and add to the container with pork.
- Add oyster sauce, MSG, sugar, salt, cooking oil, and ground red pepper to the container with pork, then mix everything together.
- Let the pork marinate for at least 30 minutes, though the longer you keep it in the marinade the richer will be the taste.
- Turn on the grill and heat until the temperature reading shows 300F. Then, apply a thin coat of cooking oil on the grill surface.
- Lay the marinated pork slices evenly on top of the grill and cover.
- Flip the pork a single time, allowing about 5 minutes of cooking per side. The pork will be sufficiently cooked through once it reaches an internal temperature of 150F/65C. At this point, you can remove it from the grill and set aside on a cutting board.
- Once the pork has cooled a bit, slice it into thin strips.
Prepare the omelet
- In a bowl, combine 4 large eggs, MSG, sugar, and fish sauce, then beat with a whisk (or fork) until the mixture is frothy.
- Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat, then add a tablespoon of cooking oil.
- Allow the oil to cover the pan's surface evenly and let it heat for about 15 seconds.
- Add the omelet mixture to the frying pan.
- Fry for about 2 minutes (until you see the edges of the omelet solidifying), then flip over to the other side and fry for 2 more minutes.
- Remove the omelet from the frying pan, place it onto cutting board, and let it cool off for about 3 minutes.
- Cut the omelet into thin strips.
- Serve the omelet and pork strips over a bed of white rice, with pickled vegetables and Cambodian dipping sauce.
What cut of pork to use in Bai Sach Chrouk?
In Bai Sach Chrouk, you can use any cut of pork that doesn’t come with a bone. For example, we typically use pork loin roast to make this Bai Sach Chrouk recipe at home. However, if you crave a fattier, juicier cut, you can opt for a pork shoulder cut instead. You could even make Bai Sach Chrouk with pork chops, as long as they are sliced thin enough.
What do I serve with Bai Sach Chrouk?
With Bai Sach Chrouk, you should serve white steamed rice, pickled vegetables of your choice, and some sort of a spicy dipping sauce. In Cambodia, street food stalls and restaurants alike will serve Bai Sach Chrouk over a bed of white rice, with pickled carrots and daikon radish, and the quintessential Cambodian fish sauce-based dipping sauce — Teuk Trei Koh Kong. Many restaurants will also bring you a small bowl of pork or chicken broth along with the pork and rice.
What sauce to use with Bai Sach Chrouk?
The best sauce to use with Bai Sach Chrouk is the Cambodian, fish sauce-based dipping sauce, known locally as Tuek Trei Koh Kong. This dipping sauce offers a mouthwatering balance of citrusy tartness, sweetness, piquancy, and heat, all of which pair incredibly well with the smokey, barbecued pork in Bai Sach Chrouk. Alternatively, you can try Bai Sach Chrouk with a side of green mango salad.
Can I fry Bai Sach Chrouk?
Yes, you can fry Bai Sach Chrouk. This easy recipe can be made under virtually any conditions, so as long as you’ve got a frying pan and a source of heat, you’re all set. To fry Bai Sach Chrouk, follow the same instructions we listed in the Bai Sach Chrouk recipe above. However, instead of grilling, simply fry the thin strips of pork over medium heat with a bit of cooking oil. Once the internal temperature of the pork gets to 150F/65F, you can take remove the pork from the heat.
What do Cambodians eat for breakfast?
For breakfast, Cambodians typically eat either Bai Sach Chrouk (grilled pork with rice), Kuy Teav (noodle soup), Nom Banh Chok (Khmer Noodles) or rice soup with pickled vegetables, salted fish and salted eggs. Of course, many there are many other breakfast dishes on the Cambodian menu, but the three aforementioned dishes are the morning staples, and are sold extensively throughout the country’s street food stalls and restaurants.
What is the most popular street food in Cambodia?
Bai Sach Chrouk (along with grilled beef skewers) is the most popular street food in Cambodia. You can find both Bai Sach Chrouk and the beef sticks virtually anywhere, from tiny village marketplaces to the boulevards of downtown Phnom Penh. You can find out how to cook the Cambodian beef skewers by reading our recipe here.
Is Cambodian food spicy?
No, Cambodian food is not spicy — not by default, anyway. Unlike the heat-infused Thai cuisine, Cambodian dishes are relatively mild. That said, virtually every Cambodian dish is served with sauces and condiments that can add enough fire to make a Thai cook blush. This degree of customizability makes it easy for folks unfamiliar with spicy dishes to experiment and achieve their own, comfortable level of heat.