Amok in Cambodia

Add something new to your recipe repertoire with this mouth watering Cambodian dish.

Cambodian food shares much in common with its neighbour Thailand, and draws its influences from the cuisines of China and France. Amok is a very popular Cambodian dish, made traditionally with fish and the essential ingredients of coconut milk and turmeric... yum!

Amok Trei

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5cm/2-inches fresh root galangal, chopped or ½ teasp ground galangal
  • 2 tbsp chopped lemongrass or 2 teasp ground lemongrass
  • ½ teasp ground turmeric
  • 1 teasp paprika
  • 2 tbsp fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ teasp salt
  • 1 x 400g/14oz  tin coconut milk
  • 450g/1lb white fish fillets
  • 4-8 banana leaves (depending on size)  or or 8 large dark green cabbage leaves


1. Place the garlic, onion, galangal, lemongrass, turmeric, paprika, fish sauce and sugar in a blender or food processor and process until well blended.

2. Add the coconut milk and process again until thoroughly mixed.

3. Transfer the coconut mixture to a medium saucepan and bring to simmering point, stirring. Continue to cook gently for about 10 minutes until thickened.

4. Meanwhile, if using cabbage greens, place them in a large saucepan, cover with boiling water and set aside to soften. If using banana leaves, cut into pieces about 20cm/8-inches square.

5. Place the fish in a bowl, season with a little salt then pour over half the hot coconut sauce and mix well. Set the remaining sauce aside.

6. Place 1/8th of the fish mixture in the centre of each leaf and fold the edges over to form secure parcels, making sure you tuck the edges under. Steam the parcels for 1 hour.

7. 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, gently reheat the remaining sauce.

8. To serve: make a small opening down the centre of each parcel and spoon the remaining coconut sauce into the opening. Serve immediately with rice.

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(Photo from Vasenka by CC License)

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