RECIPES

Fish amok

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Amok is a celebratory dish from Cambodia that is traditionally cooked in a banana or palm leaf, but you can use any heatproof bowl that fits inside your steamer. It has a mousse-like texture and is usually served with steamed rice.

Ingredients

For the kroeung curry paste

For the amok

  • 150ml/5fl oz coconut milk
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 300g/10½oz cod or other white fish, cut into 3cm/1¼in cubes
  • small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 large palm or banana leaves (optional – see the recipe tip)

For the morning glory

To serve

  • 2 lime or Noni leaves, finely sliced, to garnish
  • 1 fresh bird’s-eye chilli, stalk removed and finely sliced, to garnish
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes, toasted, to garnish
  • jasmine rice, to serve
  • 2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped, to serve

Method

  1. For the kroeung curry paste, put all the ingredients in a large pestle and mortar and pound until a smooth paste is formed. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the paste, stirring almost constantly for 10 minutes, or until darkened in colour. Tip out into a bowl and leave to cool a little.

  2. For the amok, stir the coconut milk into the curry paste. Beat the eggs into the curry paste mixture. Stir in the fish and gently fold in the coriander.

  3. If using the banana or palm leaves to create traditional ‘dishes’, do this now following the information in the tips section. Alternatively, spoon the amok into a heatproof dish and place in a steamer for about 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the amok has set.

  4. For the morning glory, heat the oil in a large wok, add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add the morning glory and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, adding a splash of water if needed to help cook through and stop burning. Take off the heat and stir through the soy sauce.

  5. To serve, garnish the amok with the lime leaves, bird's-eye chilli and coconut. Serve the amok dishes (or divide into four if you cooked it in one bowl) with the morning glory, rice and red chillies.

Recipe Tips

If using banana or palm leaves to create ‘dishes’, do this by dividing each leaf in half and cutting out a circle from each half using a pan lid as a guide. Bring a wide saucepan of water to the boil and add the leaves for 1 minute, or until softened. Remove and leave to cool. Create a dish shape from the banana leaf by pinning up the sides of the circle using four toothpicks. Alternatively, use baking paper or heavy duty kitchen foil to create dishes.

If you don’t like too much heat, remove the seeds and white membranes from the chillies.