Our Cambodian num pang with meatballs recipe will make you the best summer baguette sandwich. Num pang is Cambodia’s less-famous but equally delicious cousin to Vietnam’s bánh mì. A popular Cambodian street food snack, French-style baguettes are filled with juicy fragrant pork meatballs, a quick pickle of carrot and daikon, salad, and fresh herbs.
This Cambodian num pang with meatballs recipe makes a popular street food snack in Cambodia, particularly here in Siem Reap. Cambodia’s lesser-known num pang is typically compared to the globally-renowned Vietnamese banh mi, and in some ways they’re a bit ‘same same but different’ when it comes to fillings and flavours.
If you made and enjoyed our juicy pork meatballs recipe or our num pang pâté recipe which makes a baguette filled with a thick spread of rustic French country-style pâté, generous layers of cold cuts, crunchy cucumber, fresh aromatic herbs, and creamy French mayonnaise, then you’re going to love this Cambodian num pang with meatballs recipe.
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Num Pang with Meatballs Recipe for the Best Summer Baguette Sandwich
This Cambodian num pang with meatballs recipe makes a very popular street food snack in Cambodia’s northern city of Siem Reap, especially right now. I’ve been seeing meatballs sold everywhere on the city streets lately – squeezed into baguettes, skewered on sticks, and swimming in chilli sauce in takeaway cups.
While nearly every street food cook will cram the baguette with a quick pickle of daikon and carrot, fragrant herbs, and salad, the meatballs vary dramatically from one street food cook to another, so you’ll find as many rustic, moist, homemade meatballs as you will dry, rubbery, factory-made meatballs. Which is why you really need to make your own…
If you don’t know ‘num pang’, in Khmer it means ‘bread’ and the most common bread eaten in Cambodia is the French-style baguette. Ask for num pang and it will be assumed you want a baguette. Num pang also refers to a baguette sandwich, so if you ordered breakfast num pang at your hotel (remember those?!) for sunrise at Angkor Wat, don’t assume room service (remember that?) knows what you want.
You might end up with plain old empty baguettes and some small takeaway packs of butter and jam, or you could end up with delicious baguette sandwiches filled with salad, pickles, and herbs, along with barbecue pork, pork belly, cold cuts, pâté, tinned fish, sandwich meat (Spam), or pork meatballs. Order your num pang the day before and specify what you want, or just let the chef do his/her thing. I have just a few tips to making this Cambodian num pang with meatballs recipe.
Tips to Making this Cambodian Num Pang with Meatballs Recipe
I only have a few tips to making this Cambodian num pang with meatballs recipe. As we said in our recipe notes for our Cambodian num pang pate recipe, a great num pang is really the sum of its parts, so you’ll need good quality French baguettes or demi-baguettes (which we can’t always get here ironically), fresh aromatic herbs, crunchy salad veggies, and a quality creamy mayonnaise (our favourite store-bought mayo here if we’re not making our own).
Follow our recipe for the juicy Cambodian pork meatballs (link above and in the recipe), for moist meatballs that are flavoured and fragrant with the quintessential Cambodian kroeung, a spice and herb paste that is the basis of so many Cambodian dishes, and you’ve got the basis for a delicious num pang right now.
We have a link in the recipe below for your quick pickle of carrots and daikon, which is used as an accompaniment to so many dishes in the region. Follow it once and you’ll never have to look at a recipe again.
Do heat up your baguettes. They’re extra delish when they’re warm. Spread your creamy French mayonnaise on thickly. This is not a time for light mayo. And do make some of our homemade Sriracha sauce, if you haven’t already, and squirt plenty of that on. Slices of bird’s eye chillies are optional, but we do love the extra bite.
Cambodian Num Pang with Meatballs Recipe
- Make the juicy Cambodian pork meatballs according to our recipe and let them cool a little.
- Prepared the quick pickle of carrots and daikon using our recipe, then set that aside and prep the salad ingredients and fresh fragrant herbs.
- Heat your oven to 180˚C and pop the demi-baguettes in for a minute or so until they’re warm.
- Slice the baguette lengthways but don’t cut all the way through.
- Spread the creamy mayonnaise thickly on the bottom half of the baguette.
- Layer with lettuce, cucumber slices, slices or carrots or a layer of quick pickle of carrots and daikon.
- Squeeze in five pork meatballs per baguette, squirt on some homemade Sriracha, then add a layer of fresh fragrant herbs such as coriander, mint and basil, and (optional) a sprinkle of some finely sliced birds eye chillies.
- Eat while the baguettes are still warm and enjoy!
Please do let us know if you make our Cambodian num pang with meatballs recipe in the comments below as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.