Another year has flown by and again I have not made the time to blog. However I will now look forward not backwards and I have given my beloved blog a lot of thought. I have so many ideas and things that I would love to share therefore a new and improved blog will be coming soon as I move over to Wordpress. Watch this space!!!
While that is in the works, I am bringing my blog back and to kick things off, I’ll be sharing a recipe originating from my roots. I was born in Cambodia and growing up our family meals were very much traditional Cambodian cooking. This recipe is for ‘Fish Amok’ a well-known dish in Cambodia and arguably Cambodia’s national dish. This is an old favourite which I remember only having on special occasions, most likely due to the effort involved. I tried googling the recipe multiple times and I have had a few unsuccessful attempts as they never compared to the way my mum made it.
So when my mum was recently in Melbourne I was lucky to have her dictate the recipe to me while I eagerly wrote down as much detail as I could allowing me to recreate the dish. I have made it twice so far and although it is still not quite the same as I remember, each time it improves so I am happy with that. So here it is, please enjoy.
(serves 4 with 1 -2 other dishes because you never only have one dish when sitting down to a Cambodian meal!)
- - Mortar and pestle
- - Blender/grinder (optional)
- - Bowl for marinating the fish
- - Steamer
- - Bowl for steaming
- - 500g firm white fish fillets cut into 1 inch pieces
- - 150g button mushrooms quartered (optional)
- - One bunch of spinach leaves (or other leafy green such as silverbeet)
- - Banana leaves made into a bowl (this is optional however is a traditional option)
- - The creamy part of one tin of coconut cream
- - 2 eggs
- - 1 tsp salt
- - 2 tsps sugar
- - 1Tbspn fish sauce
- - 2 Tbspns khroeung (3-4 stalks of lemongrass, 3 garlic cloves, 1tspn tumeric)
- - 5 shallots
- - 1 inch galangal
- - 5 kaffir lime leaves (thinly sliced)
- - 2 red chillis (more if you prefer spicy)
- - ½ tsp paprika
- - ½ red capsicum thinly sliced to garnish
- Make the khroeung (a common base for many Cambodian dishes) by thinly slicing the lemongrass and then blending into a paste with the garlic cloves and tumeric. This can also be done in a mortar and pestle, however for best results blend in batches followed by pounding in the mortar and pestle, remove the khroeung for the next step.
- Pound the shallots, galangal and 4 of the kaffir lime leaves until it forms a paste. Add the chillis, khroeung, salt and pound together until well combined. This takes around 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine the khroeung, sugar, fish sauce, paprika, eggs and creamy part of the coconut cream until well mixed.
- Add the fish and mushrooms and stir altogether for approximately 15 minutes to ensure that it is well combined.
- In the steaming bowl place banana leaves if using to cover the bottom. This is for decorative and fragrant purposes only. Then place the leafy greens in the base of the bowl. Spoon the fish mixture into the bowl.
- Once the water has boiled in the steamer, steam for approximately 15 minutes taking care not to overcook the fish.
- Garnish with a few tablespoons of coconut cream, red capsicum and kaffir lime leaves.
- Serve with rice and enjoy!!!