The national dish of Cambodia, Fish Amok is a fragrant and flavoursome curry with a delicate balance of mild spices. This recipe is simple, elegant and delicious. It’s well worth a visit to an Asian supermarket to get the right ingredients to make this recipe.
For the Kroeung (Cambodian curry paste)
4 lemongrass stems
5 cm piece of Kaempferia galangal (Sand Ginger)
5 kaffir lime leaves
4 thai shallots or 2 banana shallots
1 tsp ground turmeric
For the chilli paste
5 dried chillies
300ml of water
For the Amok
500g of white fish
300ml of coconut milk
2 eggs, beaten
4 handfuls of fresh spinach
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 TBSP of shrimp paste
4 banana leaves
1 TBSP of Fish sauce
Peel back the first layer from the lemongrass stems, take of the ends of and chop the white part into chunks.
Peel the galangal, garlic and ginger.
Remove the stem from the middle of the kaffir leaves and then put all of the ingredients into a food processor, including the turmeric.
Blend into a paste, adding a little when needed.
Soak the dried chillies in warm water until they are soft, and then chop or blend them into a paste.
In a large bowl, mix the shrimp paste, 4 tablespoons of the kroeung curry paste, 1 tablespoon of the chilli paste, fish sauce, the eggs and the coconut milk. Mix well.
Cut the fish into 4cm cubes and add to the bowl and stir well to coat the fish.
Wash the banana leaves under warm water until soft.
Form a basket with the leaves, using cocktail sticks to secure, then add a handful of fresh spinach at the bottom of each.
Spoon the fish mixture between the 4 baskets and then steam for 10 minutes.
Spoon a little more coconut milk into each basket and steam for another 10 minutes.
Serve with steamed rice.