This traditional Cambodian dish is a celebration of harmonious flavors, where tender pieces of fish are bathed in a fragrant coconut curry sauce, steamed to perfection in banana leaves. Originating from the lush landscapes of Cambodia, Amok Trey encapsulates the essence of Cambodian culinary tradition and the art of using locally sourced ingredients. Join us as we guide you through crafting this flavorful masterpiece, inviting you to savor the authentic taste of Cambodia’s cherished culinary heritage.
For the Fish Amok:
- 1 pound white fish fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces (such as tilapia or catfish)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste (kroeung)
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded (or use lime zest)
- Banana leaves or foil (for wrapping)
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
For the Kroeung (Cambodian Spice Paste):
- 2 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 4-5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
- 2-3 slices galangal or ginger
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 2-3 small shallots
- 4-5 dried red chili peppers (soaked in warm water)
- To make the kroeung, blend all the kroeung ingredients in a food processor or mortar and pestle until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the fish sauce, shrimp paste, red curry paste, and sugar.
- Add the kroeung paste to the bowl and mix well.
- Gradually stir in the coconut milk to create a fragrant curry sauce.
- Add the bite-sized fish pieces to the sauce and gently toss to coat them evenly. Let them marinate for about 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare banana leaves or foil by cutting them into square pieces and briefly passing them over an open flame to make them pliable.
- Place a scoop of the marinated fish and sauce mixture onto the center of each banana leaf or foil piece.
- Fold the leaves or foil to create packets, securing them with toothpicks or kitchen twine.
- Steam the Amok Trey packets for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
- Carefully open the packets, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, and serve hot with steamed rice.