Cambodian Kampot Crab Recipe

Kampot, on the Southern coast of Cambodia is famous for its pepper as well as its incredible seafood. Kampot pepper's citrus heat perfectly compliments the sweet crab meat in the classic dish 'chhar kdam merec', or Kampot pepper crab.

If you’re keen to try an authentic taste of Cambodia but not lucky enough to be sat by the harbour in Kampot watching the fishing boats and the setting sun, try making your own Kampot crab at home using Kampot black peppercorns. This Kampot crab recipe could either be a starter, served as a sharing platter, or it could be the main dish served with rice and green vegetables.

Ingredients Serves: 2

  • 1.5kg boiled or steamed whole crab (ask the fishmonger to clean the crab and crack it)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 40 kampot black peppercorns (plus a little extra to garnish)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tsp Squid brand fish sauce
  • Fresh coriander (to garnish)
  • Rice and green vegetable (to serve)




  1. Break the claws off the crab and halve the body using a heavy cleaver.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok and fry the crab pieces for 2 minutes.
  3. Finely grind the kampot black pepper in a mortar and pestle and add to the pan with the minced garlic. Lower the heat.
  4. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, palm sugar and a ladle of water. Cover the wok with a lid and steam for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir the crab, coating evenly in the sauce.
  6. Present the crab on a sharing plate, drizzle over the remaining sauce and garnish with a little more kampot black pepper and some roughly chopped coriander.
  7. Serve with rice and green vegetables.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2019

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