A couple of years ago we visited Cambodia. We bought a motorbike and explored Cambodia before crossing the border to Vietnam. In Cambodia, I did my first cooking class. In fact, I did two on the same day. Dwayne and I both did the Cambodian cooking classes and really enjoyed them. One dish we made at both classes was the fish amok.
At each class, they were made slightly different and I have used ideas from both and come up with my own take on Cambodian Fish Amok. I don’t like to blow my own trumpet but Dwayne said it was his favourite! LOL, he says that all the time…. but what surprised me is that he barely remembers the fish amok we had in Cambodia and so he, therefore, believes mine to be so much better than what we had there. Needless to say, I think it turned out pretty good otherwise I would not be passing on my creation to you guys… I would hide it away with all my other failures!
In the class we made baskets, with a banana leaf, to steam the fish in. I didn’t get a chance to buy any banana leaves so I used a couple of ramekins I have on board instead. I also had to use a make-shift steamer because I don’t currently have one. I managed with what I had on board and our lunch, which we ate while anchored off Koh Kradan in Thailand was delicious.
Cambodian Fish Amok
Ingredients (for two)
2 stalks of lemongrass, white part only, hard outer lay removed
3 large cloves of garlic
2 small Asian shallots or half a small-medium red onion
5cm x 1cm length of turmeric
3cm x 2cm piece of galangal
2cm x 2cm piece of ginger
1 large double kaffir lime leaf
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
200ml coconut cream (reserve 4 tbs)
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
pinch of salt
about 50 g of thinly sliced kale (or noni (amok) leaf if you have it)
1/2 tsp of corn flour (or use rice flour like I did if you don’t have it)
Slice fish and set aside in refrigerator until needed.
Thinly slice the kaffir lime leaf add to a mortar and with the pestle grind it until it is well crushed.
Then add to the mortar thinly sliced lemongrass, crushed garlic, finely diced shallots, thinly sliced ginger and galangal. And continue to crush and grind making it into a paste.
Add the chilli flakes and shrimp paste and continue to crush and grind until you have a fine paste.
Mix the paste with the fish, coconut cream, sugar, salt, chicken stock and thinly sliced kale.
Let the mix marinate for 20 minutes and then put it into ramekins or banana leaf baskets.
Steam for 25 min and then remove from steamer.
Gently heat the reserved coconut cream with the cornflour until it thickens a little. Pour a little of the coconut cream on to the fish amok and garnish with thinly sliced red chilli and thinly sliced kaffir leaf.
Serve with rice.
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