Taste of Siem Riep’s Cooking Featuring Cambodia’s Traditional Sugar Palm Fruit Dessert (Bobar Thnout)

A taste of favorite local Cambodian food during chef Luke Nguyen’s culinary trail across Siem Riep.


This food documentary features a traditional dessert my family loves making at home because of the unique texture and natural sweetness of the sugar palm fruit. It doesn’t compare to any other fruit. -Cat

Preparation: 5 mins
Cooking: 15 mins
Complexity: easy
Serves: 4


  • 1 cup glutinous rice soaked (1hr) and strained
  • ½ cup white tapioca pearl/sago soaked (10 mins) and strained
  • 1 tin palm fruit (200 g), drained and sliced 1 cm thick
  • 1 cup coconut milk/cream
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup palm sugar
  • 2 cup water


  1. Add water to a medium size pot and bring to boil.
  2. Add rice and cook for 15 mins over medium heat.
  3. Add palm fruit, sugar, salt and half of the coconut. Stir gently over low heat and let it simmer until the rice softens.
  4. Add sago and stir gently until the sago becomes translucent.
  5. Turn off heat and let it rest for 15 mins.
  6. Using a ladle, pour into individual bowls. Finish with 1 tbsp of remaining coconut cream on the top in each bowls.


  • Serve warm.
  • If left over, keep refrigerated for up to 2 days and reheat in pot.

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