Cambodian Fish Amok en papillote

January 31, 2016
Cambodian Fish Amok en papillote, a beautiful seafood dish from Cambodia. Its burst with flavours of spice, herbs and tubers.

Fish Amok

I was going through some old photos in my hard drive, looking for some old photos that I could ' and re-use', that I came across some of our holidays photos in Siem Reap.
That was 5 years ago...

It was a memorable, especially for my other half, it was his childhood dream to step foot, soaked in ambience and sceneries... to be able to be there in person, standing in front of one of the famous historical monuments/buildings/ architectures in Siem Reap.
Click the photo to read my old post :D

Always... whenever I flicked through family albums, kids' albums... I get glassy eyed. Wouldn't you?

yeah... I know... I am becoming an old bag :(

Fish Amok

One of the dish that stay fresh in mind, every time I think of our holidays in Siem Reap, close my eyes and I could almost taste its coconut creaminess mixed with Asian fresh herbs and tubers... is

Fish Amok!!!

I just have to have Fish Amok again!!!!
In Siem Reap, fish amok were cooked as one would cook fish curry... saute the spices till fragrant, add coconut milk, add fish etc... etc... etc. Firmer flesh fish were used hence you wouldn't find bits and pieces of fish in your 'amok'.

Most fish sold here in Perth...aren't as 'firm'. The best fish to use for this dish and cooked the authentic Cambodian way of cooking, would be Hiramasa. Unfortunate for me, Hiramasa is a seasonal fish and they don't come any cheaper since few years ago....'sigh' I love Hiramasa :(.

The next best thing to Hiramasa would be barramundi (ikan siakap to my Malaysian readers).
Instead of cooking the Cambodian way of cooking Amok!
I steamed the fish pieces and serve individually....sharing is not caring when it comes to Fish Amok!!!

I want it all to myself *insert evil laugh here*

Fish Amok

Cambodian Fish Amok en Papillote


    4 pieces of Barramundi (or any white flesh fish)
    10g dried chillies (washed and soak)
    90g shallots
    5g fresh turmeric
    20g fresh lemongrass
    2g kaffir lime leaves
    15 g galangal
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    1 tablespoon belacan (shrimp paste) granules
    200 ml coconut milk (extra for drizzle)
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    50g palm sugar
    some thai basil leaves to garnish
    salt to taste 

  1. Cut banana leaves to enclose fish pieces. 
  2. Cut slightly bigger greaseproof paper to enclose the parcel. 
  3. Set aside. 
  4. In a food processor, blend the spices - chillies, shallots, turmeric, lemongrass, belacan granules, galangal into a smooth paste. 
  5. Transfer the paste into a non-stick frying pan and cook over medium heat until fragrant. 
  6. Add coconut milk, salt to taste, lemon juice, fish sauce and palm sugar.
  7. Add kaffir lime leaves.
  8. Set aside to cool. 
  9. Prepare steamer. 
  10. Clean and pat dry fish pieces. 
  11. Place banana leaf over greaseproof paper. 
  12. Top up with fish, spread the spice over. 
  13. Enclose, fold and secure with stapler (to make sure the steam will not escape!). 
  14. Steam over HIGH heat for 12 minutes. 
  15. With extra care, open the parcel, drizzle coconut milk and garnish with Thai basil leaves. 
  16. Serve immediately.


  1. Coconut milk yesss... first time seeing this dish. Very interesting!!

  2. Wow, this fish dish, looks very rich, neither heard of these fish nor cooking fish in coconut milk, glad to come to your blog, and your photos are gorgeous :)

  3. I love when bloggers tell a story about the food! This recipe just looks and sounds delicious! I live in far south Texas near the Gulf of Mexico, so we get amazing fresh fish... I will pin this for later!

  4. This looks the story behind it too! :)


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