This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook!

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This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook! www.compassandfork.comCambodian fish amok is the national dish of Cambodia and with very good reason. Deliciously creamy and mild when compared to neighboring Thailand’s curries.

Concerned about sourcing ingredients for such an exotic cuisine?

You shouldn’t be. If you enjoy Thai or Vietnamese food, then you will surely enjoy Cambodian food.

Cambodia is squeezed in between Thailand and Vietnam so there is a large influence on Cambodian cuisine from both those countries. Throw in China, India and France, who colonized the country and you have a real pot-pouri of styles, ingredients and influences. So, when it comes to food in Cambodia, it is quite eclectic.

Read on for some more insights about fabulous Cambodian cuisine and ingredients. And further on is the recipe for Cambodian fish amok.

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If You Love Thai or Vietnamese Food You Will Also Love Cambodian Food

This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook! www.compassandfork.com
Traditional Cambodian Dancing

Don’t be put off cooking Cambodian food because you are concerned about sourcing ingredients or because it is a cuisine you don’t hear much about. It is true that there is not much known about Cambodian cuisine but there are reasons for that. Here are two of them:

  • Cambodia does not attract the hordes of tourists that flock to Thailand and to a lesser extent Vietnam. Unfortunately, it has not been that long since the country escaped the clutches of the Pol Pot regime and it is still recovering from those horrific days. But the people are wonderful, generous in spirit and very welcoming to guests in their country. Because of the lack of tourists to the country, the word just does not seep out about the wonderful cuisine to the same extent as its neighbors.
  • Another unfortunate fact of life in Cambodia, is it is almost impossible for a common Cambodian to attain a passport. The cost is prohibitive and it basically disqualifies 99% of Cambodians the opportunity to travel outside their borders. Great cooks don’t have the opportunity to export their wonderful cuisine to the rest of the world. So, you have to visit to try it!
This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook! www.compassandfork.com
Ready to catch the fish for Cambodian fish amok

Cambodian Ingredients for a Fish Amok Recipe

As for ingredients, do you like Thai food? If so, the ingredients are very similar – if you cook Thai you can cook Cambodian cuisine.

Ingredients like lemongrass, garlic, turmeric, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaf, fish sauce, palm sugar and shrimp paste are all very common and they are available now in most supermarkets. But you will also see a greater use of eggs and European vegetables than in Thailand thanks to the French influence.

If you have the opportunity, take a cooking class in Cambodia.  They are available in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh.  Fish Amok will likely be on of the dishes you learn to cook in the class.  But in the meantime, you can use this Cambodian Fish Amok recipe to try it at home.

A Cambodian Fish Amok Recipe Showcases the Great Flavors of South East Asia

This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook! www.compassandfork.com
Fisherman on Tonle Sap Lake

As you would expect with such a large coastline, seafood is very popular and Cambodian fish amok is the most popular of all seafood dishes. Fishing is common on the coastlines, and on Tonle Sap Lake and River. You can read more about Tonle Sap and the village along the lake in Angkor Wat, Part 2.

We had the great pleasure of enjoying a sunset cruise in Kampot, a highlight of our trip. Watching the fishermen prepare their boats for their night’s work was fascinating. After our relaxing river cruise, we enjoyed Cambodian fish amok for dinner. What a superb meal! So, that meal was the inspiration for presenting this Cambodian amok recipe to you.

Serve Cambodian Fish Amok in the traditional way with steamed rice.

And if you ever have the chance of going to Cambodia, jump on it. It is cheaper than Thailand and Vietnam. And there is way less commercialization. Go before that happens. The people there would truly appreciate it and you will be blown away by the people, the sights like Angkor Wat and the cuisine of course.

Some More Dishes to Add a Little Spice to Your Life

Do you enjoy warming dishes, like this one? If so, you might like these recipes:

Ema Datshi, a cheese chili dish and the national dish of Bhutan.

Chicken Green Curry, where Thai Green Curry Paste forms the basis of the dish and is a great staple to have in your freezer.

Thai Fish Cakes, where Thai Red Curry Paste. You can find more, great Thai dishes here.

Looking for some Asian-inspired summer salads? Try a Chicken Larb from Laos or a Green Papaya Salad from Vietnam.

Cambodian Fish Amok Recipe www,www.compassandfork.com
This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook www.www.compassandfork.com
This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook! www.compassandfork.com
This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook!
Print Recipe
Print Recipe
Enjoy the sensation of making your own curry paste. Honestly it is worth it. And then add wonderful ingredients, most from the supermarket or Chinese grocer, to make Cambodian fish amok, the national dish of Cambodia.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4people 45minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4people 45minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place the sliced lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, red chilies, garlic and shallots and pound them until well combined. Then add turmeric and shrimp paste and pound again until smooth.This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook! www.compassandfork.com
  2. Heat the oil in a pan or wok over low heat. Add the curry paste and stir until fragrant. Add half the coconut cream and stir to incorporate the paste. Simmer until the coconut cream starts to separate. Add the fish and cook for 1 minute after the coconut cream re-boils. Then add the remaining coconut cream and chicken stock.
  3. Cook on a low heat until the fish is cooked. Meanwhile combine the eggs and fish sauce. Add the egg mixture to the fish curry along with the spinach, palm sugar and a good grind of salt and pepper. Cook for a further 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  4. Serve with steamed rice and garnish with the red bell pepper and kaffir lime leaves.
Recipe Notes
If you like Thai or Vietnamese food, you will love Cambodian cuisine and This Cambodian Fish Amok Will Make You Cook! www.compassandfork.com
Enjoy Cambodian fish amok with rice

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14 Responses

  1. Debi at Life Currents
    | Reply

    What a fabulous new way to eat fish! I love this recipe – so full of flavor and color!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      That is a good summary of Cambodian food. Full of flavor and color. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Vicky @ Avocado Pesto
    | Reply

    I spent 3 weeks backpacking around Cambodia back in 2013 and loved it. Such a beautiful country that has been through so much. Fish amok was my FAVORITE dish there but I have yet to recreate it at home. Wish I could get my hands on some fresh kaffir lime leaves! Those seem to be hardest to find. Pinning!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      If you are in the USA, you can order fresh Kaffir lime leaves on Amazon. And you might try your local Whole Foods if you live near one, In other parts of the world – Australia, UK, try the grocery store.

  3. Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
    | Reply

    This sounds delicious- I love Thai food, and this looks similar. I just wish I had an easier way to get those ingredients!!

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Not sure where you live- You can order most of them online if you are in the USA (try Amazon) or try your local Whole Foods if you have one. An asian or Indian grocery will also sell some of them.

  4. Platter Talk
    | Reply

    Very interesting recipe and an important one in Cambodian cuisine. Thanks for this most interesting and educational post. I need to try this out.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      It is a lovely dish and is rightly the national dish. Thanks for your kind comment.

  5. Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers
    | Reply

    I’m loving the name and all the flavours in this dish. Thank you also for sharing with YWF.

    • Editor
      | Reply

      One of the things we love about SE Asian cooking is the attitude of the ingredients. So vibrant.

  6. jayne
    | Reply

    Loved Cambodian when I was there and loved Fish amok! I think this one is going on my meal list this week. lovely pics, makes me want to go back

    • Editor
      | Reply

      Jayne, such a great place and people were kind and friendly. Please make the recipe to bring back fond memories.

  7. Anne
    | Reply

    How big of a “piece” of galangal do you recommend?

    • Editor
      | Reply

      A piece about 1 inch long is fine. Thanks I have updated the recipe with that information.

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