For a change, no pictures or portrait, but a cooking class with some famous Cambodian recipes. During my stay in Battambang, I enjoyed taking a cooking course at Nary Kitchen, and the food we cooked was delicious!
The Khmer cuisine is based on rice, pork and chicken as well as fish, shrimp, frogs or clams. They also use coconuts, bananas, mangoes, limes, palm sugar, lemongrass, garlic, shallots and chili in their dishes.
So in this article I want to share the Amok fish recipe I learned.
If everything goes well, it should look like this at the picture above.
After going through the market to buy the ingredients, we start cooking the Amok fish!
Fish Amok is a classic Khmer dish that you can find in almost every restaurant here. It is usually steamed and served in a banana leaf with a little coconut cream on top.
But careful: it is a little bit spicy.
Ingredients (for 2 persons)
- 200g fish filet (Snake fish in Cambodia)
- 15-20g sliced lemongrass
- 1 Kaffir-lime leaf
- 1cm3 fresh galangal (you can replace by ginger if needed)
- 1cm3 fresh turmeric (you can use ¼ tsp of turmeric powder)
- 1-2cm3 fresh “finger“ root (chinese ginger)
- 1-2 red-sun dried paprika (you can use 1 or 2 tsp paprika powder)
- 6-8 tbsp coconut milk
- ½ tsp chicken stock powder (knorr…)
- 1-2 gloves garlic
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- a pinch of salt, pepper
- 1 tsp boneless Prahok (Khmer fish paste), but use shrimp paste to substitute
- 1 Slek-Nhor (NONI leaf), but use spinach or kale to substitute
- piece of banana leaves to make a bowl (use soup bowl if needed)
- a pinch of corn flour (maïzena)
How to make the lemongrass-paste
- Rinse the soak red-sun dried paprika to re-soften for 1min
- Thinly slice fresh stalk lemongrass
- Slice small pieces of: Kaffir-lime leaf, galangal, turmeric, finger-root and garlic. Then set aside
- Put everything in a mortar (mixer is okay :D): the sliced lemongrass, Kaffir-lime leaf, galangal, turmeric, finger root, peeled garlic, soaked paprika, shrimp paste and then pound it for 10-15 min until it becomes a very fine paste. That is the lemongrass paste. Then set aside.
- Finally slice the fish and put it in a bowl. Add chicken stock powder, salt, sugar, 1 tbsp lemongrass-paste, 3-4 tbsp coconut milk, and mix and stir with a spoon until the flavor infuse (marinated fish). Then set aside.
- Fold 2 pieces of banana leaves to make a bowl. See the below video for that. Fold over with toothpicks to pin in at the four corners.
- Strip off the stem of Slek-Nhor. Then tear small pieces and put in the banana bowl and add all the marinated fish into. Steam it for 15-20min. Once it is steamed, sprinkle 1tbsp coconut cream over and then garnish a few small sliced Kaffir-lime leaf with a few long red fresh sweet chili on top.
How to make the coconut cream
For 4-5 tbsp of coconut milk, add a pinch of corn flour over a low flame until it becomes thicker.
That’s it! You have your Amok fish. Enjoy!