On the long white beaches of Sihanoukville, yoke-basket women trudge across the hot, blinding sand, their silhouettes etched against the shimmering sea. These woman shield their faces from the tropical sun with palm hats and their limbs with long-sleeve blouses and pants. They look as if they have just walked out of the rice paddies. Scintillating aromas of grilled squids waft from their swaying baskets. They are the humble purveyors of the tastiest morsels in Cambodia.
The squids they sell have been caught fresh just off shore that morning. By noon, these women are trudging along the beach barbecuing little kebabs for beach-goers. You don’t even have to move from your relaxing spot on the beach when the hunger pangs hit as there is always a Squid vendor close at hand.
The squids are simple but very tasty. There is no preparation to speak of, the women simply skewer them whole—tentacles, arms, beak, and gut, full with the sea’s brininess—on bamboo sticks. They baste them with a sweet-spicy-sour sauce, and grill them over coals. Served with a side of a salt, pepper and lemon mix that you dip the squid into.
Sihanoukville is definitely a stellar seafood destination. Other places might have greater varieties of seafood, even at lower prices, but I’ve found no vendors, anywhere, like the Sihanoukville vendors. I would go back to Sihanoukville just for the tasty squid!!