Fish Amok

Traditionally cooked in a banana or palm leaf, Amok is a celebratory dish from Cambodia.

February 2020 • Jules Verne

Serves 4
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour 3 mins


For the kroeung curry paste

  • 8cm/3¼in piece galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 limes, juice and zest only
  • 7 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh bird’s-eye chillies, stalks removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp prahok or Asian fish paste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

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

For the morning glory

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large bunches (about 250g/9oz) morning glory or water spinach, cut into 4-cm/1½-in pieces
  • splash of light soy sauce

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


  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.