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The Hirshon Cambodian Amok – អាមុកគ្រឿងសមុទ្រ

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 3 tbsp galangal, sliced into coins and each given a good whack with the side of a chef’s knife
  • 3 tbsp fresh turmeric root, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 stems of lemongrass, white part only, pounded and sliced into very thin rings
  • 2 red Asian shallots, sliced
  • 7 kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded
  • zest of 1/2 lime
  • 4 Thai bird’s eye chilies, sliced
  • 150 g (5 oz) young slok gno leaves (Morinda Citrifolia) leaves (substitute: Thai holy basil or regular basil plus some ground star anise)
  • 2 dried red chiles de arbol, soaked, drained and chopped into a paste
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp Cambodian chili paste (use Vietnamese or Chinese chili paste if unavailable)
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (I prefer Red Boat or Three Crabs brand)
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (light brown sugar can be substituted)
  • 375 ml coconut cream (not coconut milk and not pre-sweetened coconut cream used for drinks. Use coconut milk if that’s all you can find)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 pound (100 g) snapper, or other firm white fish fillet, cut into small pieces
  • 8 raw prawns, about 150 g, peeled and deveined
  • 2 baby squid, about 125 g, cleaned and sliced, tentacles discarded, and the hoods thinly sliced into rings
  • Scallops, 125 g (COMBINED seafood totals 400 g or 14 ounces)
  • Spinach leaves
  • Jasmine rice, to serve
  • Additional Kaffir lime leaves for garnish


  1. For the kroeung paste: Use a large pestle and mortar or a food processor to pound or process all of the ingredients to a smooth paste. This makes a lot more than you need for this recipe, but it keeps well in the fridge.
  2. For the amok paste: Combine all the amok paste ingredients with two 2 tablespoons of the kroeung paste in a mixing bowl with a pinch of sea salt and mix well.
  3. For the fish: Bring water to a rapid boil in a steamer, wok or large saucepan that will hold a steamer basket. Now, stir in the coconut cream and eggs into the amok paste until well combined. Fold all the seafood through. Line two or three 300 ml heatproof molds with the spinach leaves.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, and reserving the spicy seafood liquid, scoop the seafood into the molds, over the leaves. Don’t fold the leaves over the seafood. Transfer the moulds to a steamer basket or bamboo steamer and set over the pan of boiling water.
  5. Pour the spicy seafood liquid into the molds, reserving about 4 tablespoons. Steam over high heat for 15 minutes.
  6. After this time, the mixture will have risen a little in the molds, so use a fork to pierce a hole in each amok to deflate it slightly. Drizzle the reserved spicy seafood liquid over each amok and steam for a further 30 minutes, or until the mixture is set and has a light, souffle-type texture.
  7. To finish, drizzle a tablespoon of coconut cream over each amok and garnish with the lime leaves. Serve in the molds and with the rice.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours