One of the worse fates that I’ll be consigning to this website is that I will never be able to review all of the multitudinous variations of Cambodian rice flour desserts. When you eat one type, four new ones return to take its place. It’s like battling a saccharine Hydra made from pudding.
At the moment, akauw are a favorite: simple steamed balls of sticky rice flour, coconut milk and a little palm sugar topped with shredded coconut and toasted sesame seeds (occasionally, crushed peanuts), served at room temperature. When they’re good, they tread a fine line between cake-y and rubbery. Either way, they are offensively more-ish.
My regular aisle-way vendor at the Russian Market ( Psar Tuol Tom Poung) who presented them in photogenic banana leaf cups hit the provinces over the Pchum Benh religious holiday and returned to Phnom Penh with a surplus of Styrofoam clamshells. Damn you, modernity.
1000 riel (US$0.25) for a punnet
Location: In the aisles of Russian Market, just north of the food court. If she is around, the easiest way to find this vendor is to walk along the northern edge of the market and enter through the entrance with the rice sellers near it. Then head due south. Otherwise, akauw vendors can be found at most of the larger markets.