Cambodian beef lok lak recipe


Lok lak is a Cambodian beef stir fry served with onions, cucumbers and tomatoes, and dipped in a sauce containing lime juice, salt and pepper.

Chicken can be used as an alternative and for vegetarians use tofu.

It is commonly served with rice, a fried egg and a separate plate of lettuce leaves. The lettuce leaves are used to wrap the beef inside and then dip into the sauce.

Lettuce served with Cambodian beef lok lak
Lettuce are commonly served with Cambodian beef lok lak along with a fried egg

We took a cooking course in Siem Reap with our friend Jess and had to fight over the end result as this recipe was sufficient to feed only 2 greedy boys.

Cooking class in Siem Reap
In Siem Reap we took a cooking class with our friend Jess

Ingredients for beef lok lak

  • 300g beef cut thin slice
  • 60g of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of black ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Ingredients for serving the beef lok lak

  • 1 fried egg (optional)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber peeled and finely sliced
  • half an onion peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 spring onion finely chopped
  • 100g of iceberg lettuce

Ingredients for beef lok lak dipping sauce

  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons of black ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of water
Our cooking class in Siem Reap
Cooking class in Siem Reap

How to make beef lok lak

  1. In a large bowl, mix the beef with 60g of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of black ground pepper and the 2 chopped garlic cloves. Let it rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
  2. In the meantime, combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl then cover with cling film and keep refrigerated until serving.
  3. Decorate 2 serving plates with the ingredients for serving: sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumber, chopped spring onion and in a separate plate place the lettuce. If serving a fried egg, prepare this and serve in each plate as well with a serving of rice as well.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on high heat then add the marinated beef and stir fry it for around 4-5 minutes: until it is cooked.
  5. Divide the beef between the two serving plates.
Cambodian beef lok lak served on a plate
Stefan proudly showing off his freshly made Cambodian beef lok lak at our cooking course in Siem Reap

You can read more about our experiences discovering food in Cambodia and watch our Cambodia travel video.


Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born. Find out more about Nomadic Boys.

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