Cambodian fish amok recipe

Cambodian fish amok is a traditional Cambodian curry made lemongrass, chilli, coconut milk and amok “ngor” leaves, served in banana leaf.

The freshwater Trei fish is traditionally used. But a common supermarket fish like halibut or cod can be used instead.

Trei fish for sale near Phnom Penh's night market
Trei fish for sale near the night market in Phnom Penh

Beef or chicken can be used instead and it can be adapted for vegetarians by using tofu.

The Amok “ngor” leaves are unique to Cambodia but kale or spinach leaves can be used as an alternative.

Traditionally Amok is served in banana leaves, which can be purchased from a good Asian supermarket. But baking paper can be used instead.

Some of the ingredients for Cambodian fish amok
Some of the ingredients for Cambodian fish amok in our cooking class in Siem Reap

 

Ingredients for Cambodian fish amok paste

  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 3 stalks of lemongrass, the ends removed and the stalks finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of galangal, peeled and finely chopped (or ginger as an alternative)
  • 2 Kaffir leaves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 red chillies deseeded and chopped
  • juice from 1 lime
Stefan with freshly made Cambodian fish amok
Stefan with freshly made Cambodian fish amok in our cooking class in Siem Reap

Ingredients for Cambodian fish amok

  • 300g of white fish like halibut or cod, skin removed and chopped into small 1 inch pieces
  • 100g of oyster mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 200g of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 amok “ngor” leaves or use kale or spinach leaves as an alternative
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Kaffir leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 2 banana leaves to serve (or baking paper)
Stefan showing off freshly made Cambodian fish amok
Stefan showing off freshly made Cambodian fish amok in our cooking class in Siem Reap

How to make Cambodian fish amok

  1. In a pestle and mortar (or food processor) combine the ingredients for the Amok paste and pound until they form a fine paste.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan on medium heat and add the chopped onions and chillies and cook for 2 minutes, medium heat, uncovered, occasionally stirring.
  3. Mix in the Amok paste, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 200g coconut milk, 2 sliced Kaffir leaves, 1 tablespoon of sugar and teaspoon of salt.
  4. Mix in the chopped fish pieces, oyster mushrooms and kale/spinach leaves, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 3-4 minutes – until the fish is cooked and remove from heat.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of the Amok sauce from the pan, then pour and mix in this egg mixture into the Amok.
  6. Serve the Amok in a bowl covered with banana leaves or baking paper and with steamed rice.
Cambodian fish amok
Cambodian fish amok – freshly made after our cooking class in Siem Reap

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

About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspire you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

To find out more about us

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