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Fish Amok

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Serves | Prep Time | Cook Time 20

Why I Love This Recipe

Fish amok is a classic Khmer dish in Cambodia. It is typically served steamed and served in a banana leaf with a little coconut cream on top.

Ingredients You'll Need

Curry Paste

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large shallot bulb, finely chopped
3 stalks lemongrass, ends trimmed, inner tender stalk only, finely chopped
½ inch piece galangal, peeled and finely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon tumeric powder
1 teaspoon light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili paste – like Sambal Oelek

Fish Amok

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon shrimp paste (optional) – substitute anchovy paste if you can’t find shrimp paste
1 cup coconut milk, well shaken
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¾ pound firm, mild white fish – like halibut, mahi mahi, or true cod, skin removed
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, cut into ½-inch thick ribbons
1 egg
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Julianned red bell pepper
Kaffir lime leaf ribbons – thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves


Curry Paste

1. Make this curry paste with a mortar and pestle or use a food processor. The mortar and pestle will give the curry a deeper flavor.

2. Place the first 5 ingredients in a mortar and pestle and pound to a paste. Alternatively, place first 5 ingredients in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and pound or process until all spices are well incorporated.

Fish Amok

1. Thinly slice the fish into ½-inch thick bite size pieces and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the shrimp paste, coconut milk, sugar and salt, whisking to combine. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes, whisking occasionally.

4. Add the fish and spinach leaves, gently folding the fish into the curry sauce with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Let the amok simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through. Turn the heat off.

5. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of the curry sauce from the pan. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and gently fold it into the curry.

Serve the amok in a bowl with a spoonful of coconut cream (the thick cream that rises to the top of the remaining coconut milk), a few julienned red pepper pieces and a sprinkling of kaffir lime leaf ribbons.

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