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Best Cambodian Fish Curry Recipe: served in a coconut


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Brian Kennett

Amateur Chef and Boozy Traveling Foodie Extraordinaire

Cambodian fish curry in a coconut: cracking recipe

Cambodian Fish Curry Recipe: This recipe is really nice and presents itself so well, as I think you’ll agree with the picture. A little painful to make though, yep a tad fiddly and some ingredients may be a little tough to find if not in Asia, but give it a shot. It is seriously dressed to impress and tastes absolutely and seriously sublime. Not dissimilar from my Fish Amok curry I learned in Cambodia (remember that?) this is my Cambodian fish curry in a coconut.

Cambodian fish curry recipe in a coconut

Cambodian Fish Curry Overview:

Fish amok or amok trei is a Khmer steamed fish curry with a mousse-like consistency, considered one of Cambodia’s national dishes. Believed to have originated in the Khmer Empire, it features main ingredients such as goby fish, snakehead fish or catfish, yellow or green kroeung (a Cambodian spice paste), coconut cream or coconut milk, and eggs. The dish is prepared by steaming, often in banana leaves, imparting a unique flavor and texture.

I’ll do my usual and try to make it as easy as possible to follow, by breaking it into sections to create the outcome of Cambodian fish curry in a coconut;

Step I – The marinade

  • 1 cup of coconut milk – pour it into a large bowl;
  • 3 firm white fish fillets sliced into bite-sized pieces, place in the bowl with the coconut milk; and
  • 1 or 2 big octopus legs, sliced into thin pieces – if you have a meat tenderiser hammer give the pieces a quick bash and also place in the bowl.

Step II – The curry paste – you can do this with pestle and mortar (traditional) or blitz it all in a blender

  • 4 stalks of lemon grass, peel off a layer or two, top and tail, and slice finely;
  • 5 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped;
  • 2 inches of young ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces;
  • 1 inch of galangal peeled and cut into small pieces;
  • 2 tablespoons of Turmeric;
  • 2 chili padi finely sliced;
  • 1 red onion finely chopped;
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar, or brown sugar;
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce; and
  • A good pinch of sea salt and white pepper.

Blitz all of this in the blender until it turns to a smooth paste and stir that into the coconut marinade. Stir it through and beat 3 eggs into the mixture.

Step III – the coconuts

  • 5 young Thai coconuts, remove the lids, and pour the milk into a jug – a very refreshing drink on the side as you cook.

Now comes plating time for Cambodian fish curry in a coconut. Spoon in the curry mixture in each coconut, up to about half an inch from the top of the coconut. Make sure all have equal portions of the fish and the octopus. You don’t want any dinner-time arguments.

Now you need to take a big bamboo steamer, place it in a wok, and pour water in. You don’t want the water above the ‘grills’ of the steamer though. Steaming is required, not bathing. Place the coconuts on the steamer and then take a big roll of silver foil and make a tent above the coconuts for the steam to circulate as the water starts to boil.

Bash on the heat and once it starts to boil let it go for about 30-40 minutes, until the fish is cooked and the liquid starts to set a bit because of the eggs. You can always let it go for another 10 minutes if needs be. Out they come – nearly finished for your Cambodian fish curry in a coconut.

Step IV – Plating

  • Place the coconuts on a serving platter; and
  • Take a small rounded bowl and pack it with plain cooked white rice, like building sand castles, quickly turn it onto the platter and remove slowly – hey presto a little white rice sand castle.

Finish off the coconuts with;

  • A little drizzle of coconut cream;
  • Some finely sliced Kaffir lime leaves; and
  • Some finely sliced Jalapeño peppers.

Conclusion of our Best Cambiodian Fish Curry Recipe

Looks all sort of restaurant-like. Tastes the same too. Pretty impressed with this one folks – hope you are too. Here it is – Cambodian fish curry in a coconut. If like me you are not a lover of fish or octopus, simply replace the fish with Minced Pork or Minced Beef – in fact, I did do this when I made this dish. I made one Cambodian fish curry in a coconut with beef and four with fish and octopus. Just apportion some of the marinade and curry mix into two separate bowls. Hey presto. Enjoy!!!

People also asked about Best Cambodian Fish Curry Recipe

1.What is the traditional Cambodian fish used in fish curry?Goby fish, snakehead fish, or catfish are commonly used in traditional Cambodian fish curry.
2.Can I substitute coconut milk with coconut cream?Yes, you can substitute coconut milk with coconut cream for a richer flavor in Cambodian fish curry.
3.Are there vegetarian versions of Cambodian fish curry?Yes, some recipes use tofu or vegetables as substitutes for fish in vegetarian Cambodian fish curry.
4.What is kroeung, and why is it essential?Kroeung is a Cambodian spice paste, crucial for its aromatic and flavorful elements in fish curry.
5.Can I use frozen fish for Cambodian fish curry?Yes, frozen fish can be used, but ensure it’s thawed properly before incorporating it into the curry.
6.Are there regional variations in fish curry recipes?Yes, different regions in Cambodia may have variations in ingredients and spice levels for fish curry.
7.How long does it take to prepare Cambodian fish curry?Preparation time varies, but it typically takes around 30 to 45 minutes to make Cambodian fish curry.
8.Can I use any type of banana leaves for steaming?While traditional recipes often use banana leaves, any food-safe leaves suitable for steaming can be used.
9.What are common side dishes served with fish curry?Steamed rice, noodles, or crusty bread are popular accompaniments to Cambodian fish curry.
10.Is Cambodian fish curry gluten-free?Yes, most Cambodian fish curry recipes are gluten-free, but it’s essential to check individual ingredient labels.

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