Entrepreneur creates ingredient packages for iconic Khmer dishes

Content Image - Phnom Penh Post

Entrepreneur Vipassini pre-packaged ingredients for Khmer dishes. Photo provided

Identity is important to every nation because it binds its citizens together and sets them apart from others through a unique blend of food, traditions, culture and language.

Food, in particular, is part of a nation’s identity that attracts a lot of attention from other parts of the world if it is delicious or unique.

The main Khmer dishes that are known to other nationalities are Samlor Korko (mixed vegetable soup), Amok (steamed fish with lemongrass and coconut milk) and Prahok (salted fish paste).

However, Khmer cuisine is largely unknown in the international context and therefore not very popular in Asia compared to Chinese, Japanese or Thai cuisines, or well-known European cuisines such as French or Italian.

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With the aim of promoting Khmer food, a woman started the idea of ​​creating packages of ingredients used to cook Khmer food to promote the taste of Cambodian culture.

Sambath Amarak Vipsini, founder of Sabra Food Handicrafts, which makes products under the brand name “Kreung Hlaung Sabara”, said she originally owned a hotel called Sabara in Siem Reap province that was praised by guests for its Khmer dishes.

However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of guests dropped and he was forced to try new business ideas.

She said she decided to make a pre-packaged mix of non-meat and non-perishable ingredients for foods like amok and red curry to sell to others who can complete the dish and get an authentic Cambodian taste.

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She said that her main ingredients are all extracted from fresh spices so that customers can get the real Khmer taste from them.

‘There are only products from neighboring countries in the market, but curry and amok are never found. Therefore, I want to prepare those materials for the convenience of the people and expand the market abroad as well,’ she said.

She has been in business for six months now and has been selling her prepared ingredients in four Khmer dishes at markets, supermarkets and shops and has received a lot of support from customers.

The content packages are sold at a retail price of 6,000 riyals each to ensure they are a fair price for Cambodians. The products comply with all hygiene standards, both national and international, in which she received training from the Ministry of Industry.

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She said that since her products are new to the market, she and her team could use some marketing training to get the word out about their products to the target demographic that needs to know about them.

They are currently being sold in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap provinces and in the future, she wants to make them available nationwide. After that, she wants to expand sales abroad, especially to countries with large populations of Cambodian immigrants.


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