Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Cambodian Amok Fish Recipe

Cambodian food is a charming combination of strong and vibrant flavors. Cambodians like to make sure that there is a little of the salty, the sour, the sweet and the bitter in every meal.

Khmer cuisine is gaining interest in many countries, with some people forecasting that it will become the New Thai, i.e. the next cuisine from the Southeast Asia region to enchant the world. It is, in fact, quite similar to Thai food but without the spiciness.


400 g firm white fish (ling, monkfish, even salmon works but is less traditional) Cut into bite size chunks

1/2 cup coconut cream
2 cups coconut milk
1 egg (beaten)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoon kaffir lime leaves (sliced thinly)
2-3 long red chilli peppers (seeded & thinly sliced)
300 g kale or collard greens or cabbage leaves (combined with 1 tablespoon lemongrass)

The Amok Paste:
2 dried red chilies (soaked and drained)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoon fresh galangal (chopped) (use fresh ginger as an alternative)
1 tbsp lemon grass stalk
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shrimp paste

To make the paste, blend all the paste ingredients smoothly in a food processor or with a hand blender. Combine the paste with 1 cup of coconut milk. When dissolved, stir in the remaining coconut milk, egg, fish sauce and fish.
Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC. Take off any stems from the kale and cut into large pieces and make a thin layer in the bottom of 4 ramekins. Spoon in the fish mixture and cover with another leaf. Cover each ramekin tightly in foil and place on a roasting tin. Pour in 1 inch of boiling water to the tin and carefully place in the oven. Steam for 20-25 minutes until the fish is cooked and quite solid.

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