Dislocated Recipes for Success: Cambodian Fish Amok

Fish Amok is the national dish of Cambodia ~ an aromatic fish curry that is steamed in banana leaf baskets, leaving the fish falling-apart-tender.

Cambodian cooking is less spicy than Vietnamese or Thai. Because of this I add more chillies than traditionally so.

Timing: 50 minutes Serves:2


250g firm white River fish (like barramundi, halibut)

2 sheets banana leaves

3 sticks lemongrass chopped

100g galangal finely shredded or grated

100g turmeric (fresh if possible)

1 red onion

2 red chillies

2 kaffir lime leaves

3 garlic cloves

2 eggs

100g peanuts

250g coconut cream

2 star anise

1 teaspoon salt

Prahok (Cambodian fish paste) or fish sauce to taste about 1 tablespoon

Noni leaf if you can find it or substitute kaffir lime leaf

more Chillies finely sliced for serving

More coconut cream for serving

Red capsicum, julienned and

Kaffir lime leaves julienned for serving


Make a banana leaf basket. Hold it together with toothpicks. (There’s a YouTube on this, cunningly done with staples but, more traditionally done with toothpicks).

Chop lemongrass, turmeric, and galangal finely

Add to chopped red chilli and red onion, garlic & kaffir lime. Add peanuts and coconut cream and a teaspoon of sugar

Mix in blender until very smooth.

Chop ‘noni’ leaf and fish.

Heat pan, add oil and then kreung (the lemongrass paste)

Add Prahok (fish paste) or fish sauce

Add star anise to pan. Season with salt & add a spoonful of coconut milk. Add the fish. Stir and let simmer.

Beat egg and add to pan.

Add ‘noni’ (or kaffir lime leaf), julienned finely.

Add mixture to banana leaf bowl.

Cover with more beaten egg.

Steam for around 10 minutes or until just firm. It should be a little like a custard in firmness.

Put a tablespoon of coconut cream on top before serving and decorate with red capsicum, (lots of) chillies and kaffir lime leaves

Serve with brown or white rice.


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