Amok Trey: How to Make Cambodian Coconut Fish Curry

Amok Trey is a traditional dish of Cambodian cuisine, also known as amok trei or fish amok. It involves fish being coated in coconut milk with kroeung and steamed in banana leaves.

During the Water Festival, which marks the Tonle Sap River’s reversal, it is often eaten. The addition of the noni tree leaves and the use of fingerroot is an integral part of the dish.

Fish amok is commonly known as the national dish of Cambodia. Despite this fact, it is not a dish that is widely eaten by the people of Cambodia and consumed by tourists much more frequently. Cambodian fish amok is not a new innovation from Cambodia but actually comes from Thai fish hor mok.

AMOK TREY

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Main dish
  • Cuisine: Cambodian

Amok trey is the national dish of Cambodia, a fragrant and spicy coconut fish curry that is tenderly steamed in banana leaves. The dish’s taste resembles a mild Thai red curry. The whole preparation and cooking time is around 1 hour. This recipe serves at least four people. 

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Amok Trey

Amok Trey is best paired with rice or bread. Photo credits to: http://www.nutmegsseven.co.uk/blog/2014/06/amok-trey-cambodian-fish-curry-steamedhtml.

Amok Trey Ingredients

  • 3 stalks of lemongrass, thinly sliced (use only the bottom)
  • 10 cm of the stalk
  • 1 tbsp of galangal
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 6 leaves of kaffir lime thinly sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 350 g of carp fillet snakehead fish is the traditional choice
  • 200 mL of coconut milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp of shrimp paste
  • 2 tsp of chili pepper
  • ½ of a cayenne pepper seed, removed and thinly sliced for garnishing
  • 8 in. leaves of Chinese cabbage
  • 4 tbsp of shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of oil

Amok Trey Instructions

Step 1: In a mortar, pound into a fine paste the lemongrass, kaffir leaves of lime, galangal, turmeric, garlic, and salt. This is known as the kroeung.

Step 2: Place the easiest-to-grind ingredients in the first place when using a food processor. The fluid that forms will help process the other ingredients that are more difficult to combine and add a few teaspoons of water to make mixing simpler.

Step 3: Add the shrimp paste and dried chili. Keep pounding until well balanced. Put aside.

Step 4: Take a large banana leaf and cut 4 square pieces of 30 cm each if you want to serve the Amok traditionally. Place all the sheets together and cut diagonally off the tips of the edge.

Step 5: In order to prevent the mixture from leaking while steaming, each dish container will need two squares. Place two squares together and fold up about 3 cm in the long sides to fold to make a corner.

Step 6: Screw all folded pieces together with a small toothpick. For all sides of the leaves, repeat this until you get a square pan.

Step 7: Heat the vegetable oil in a wok. Add the chopped garlic and shallot, and stir until it is fragrant.

Step 8:  Add the kroeung and coconut cream with 3 tablespoons. Then add the sugar of the palm, fish sauce, salt, paste of chicken, and fish.

Step 9: Cook for about a minute, add the remaining cream of coconut, and stir until it thickens and boils. Remove and set aside from the water.

Step 10: At the bottom of each serving bowl, put the leaves. Pour over the mixture of cooked fish and add the yolk of the egg.

Step 11: Pour the remaining cream of coconut, and add the thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves and cayenne pepper to the bowl. Put the Amok mixture together, and steam 7-10 minutes in a steamer.

Amok Trey Additional Information

  • Some famous recipes use chicken instead of fish.
  • This dish is best served with rice or bread.
  • This dish serves about four people.
  • Total prep/cook time is around 1 hour.

About Amok Trey Recipe

Due to the difficulty and time needed to make authentic amok trey, the vast majority of restaurants in Cambodia serve an inauthentic version of amok trey to tourists.

The way restaurants sometimes serve inauthentic fish amok is to bake the dish instead of steaming it.

There is some Chinese influence in this dish, as you can see by some of the ingredients, like Chinese cabbage, but Cambodian cuisine remains very unique.

Conclusion

Amok trey is a unique dish that considers multiple influences and is representative of Cambodian food. This fish dish is unique in many ways.

For more international recipes, click here.

Featured Image: https://worldfood.guide/dish/amok_trey// Image 1, https://www.dw.com/en/amok-trey-cambodia/a-37834756 / Image 2

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