Recipe courtesy of Lakhana In

Fish Amok

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 15 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Kreung Paste:

5 kaffir lime leaves, ribs removed, thinly sliced

3 California dried red chiles, soaked in water until soft, drained, seeds discarded, chopped

3 slices galangal, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 slices kacheay (also known as lesser ginger or lesser rhizome), peeled and chopped

3 shallots, thinly sliced

2 stalks lemongrass, bottom parts only, thinly sliced

2 small pieces fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Fish Amok:

1/2 cup coconut milk, plus another 1/2 cup for garnish

1 tablespoon chili paste

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon shrimp paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 pound boneless skinless meaty white fish, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

8 banana leaves

4 handfuls baby spinach leaves, or 4 young nyo leaves

4 fresh red chiles, cut lengthwise several times from the tip to 1/4 inch from the stem end

Steamed white jasmine rice, for serving


Special equipment:
bamboo toothpicks
  1. For the kreung paste: Pound together the lime leaves, red chiles, galangal, garlic, kacheay, shallots, lemongrass and turmeric, a few ingredients at a time, using a mortar and pestle until a fine paste forms.
  2. For the fish amok: Mix together the kreung paste with the coconut milk, chili paste, fish sauce, sugar, shrimp paste, salt and egg in a large bowl. Add the fish and combine well with the kreung paste marinade. Set aside and allow the marinade to infuse the fish, about 15 minutes.
  3. Set up a steamer. Make the banana leaf (konthoang) bowls by placing 2 banana leaves on top of each other and folding into little rectangular bowls with the tapered sides folded up and held together with bamboo toothpicks. Make 4 konthoangs total. Make a bed of spinach leaves in the bottom of each konthoang. Divide the marinated fish between the bowls, and place on top of the spinach beds. Spoon 2 tablespoons of coconut milk over each serving of fish and top off with a fresh red chile. Place the filled konthoangs (amoks) in the steamer and steam until the fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Enjoy with steamed white jasmine rice!

Cook’s Note

Amok can also be made with boneless, skinless slices of chicken or peeled and deveined large shrimp.