Cambodians love to eat! Once you visit this wonderful country you will soon find out that the Khmer cuisine is very diversified and interesting. Average meals typically consists of more than one dish and ideally contrast flavors, textures and temperatures within the meal. The most famous dish certainly is a classic curry with coconut milk called “Amok”. There are many variations and it seems every family in Cambodia has its own recipe. But the most traditional way is to cook it with some tasty fish and serve it in a banana leave.
Recipe for 2 Portions
We received the recipe for this delicious fish amok in Siem Reap, Cambodia – a place you should definitely visit once in your life!
First of all you have to prepare the special amok curry paste. For this step you need a mortar. In case you do not have one you can use a pot and a pestle instead. Finely chop the RED CHILI, LEMONGRASS, TURMERIC (peel it before chopping), GARLIC, SHALLOTS and FINGER ROOT. Put the chopped lemograss, garlic and turmeric in a mortar and pound it well. Once you have a nice coarse texture add the shallot, red chili and finger root. Pound again until you have a nice curry paste. Note: We advise to wear disposable gloves when peeling and cutting the turmeric. Otherwise you might end up having orange hands for quite a while.
Cut the CAULIFLOWER in small pieces and cut the ONION in slices. Heat 3 tbsp of COCONUT MILK in a pan and add the AMOK PASTE, CAULIFLOWER, ONION, SUGAR and FISH SAUCE. Fry everything until golden brown.
Cut the FISH FILET in bite-sized pieces and pick the OYSTER MUSHROOM in thin pieces. Cut the NGOR LEAF in thin slices. In case you cannot find this kind of leaf you can use broccoli leave instead. Add everything to the pan and stir well. Also add 1 tbsp COCONUT MILK, some CHICKEN POWDER and FISH SAUCE. Let the Amok simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through. Note: Instead of fish you can also use some chicken, pork or beef. Or add some potatoes to create a vegetarian Amok.
Traditionally the Amok is served in a banana leaf, but it will also be tasty on a normal plate or in a bowl. Make sure to serve it with some rice. Fresh bread also goes very well with it. If you want to you can add a spoonful of coconut cream, a few thin slices of red pepper and a sprinkling of kaffir lime leaf ribbons on top.