Monday, July 12, 2010


Cambodian Amok Trei (Coconut Fish Curry Parcels)

I made this dish for Andy, my mom and me on Thursday, July 8. Amok trei is the national dish of Cambodia. It was quite tasty; the sauce was really flavorful. It was fairly easy to prepare. The hardest part was making the parcels because the cabbage leaves kept tearing. I couldn't find banana leaves, and I suspect that they would have been better to work with.

Amok Trei

-1 garlic clove, chopped
-1 red onion, chopped
-1/2 tsp. ground ginger (or galangal, if you can find it)
-2 T. chopped lemon grass
-1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
-1 tsp. paprika
-2 T. fish sauce
-1 T. sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt
-14 oz. coconut milk
-1 lb. catfish
-8 large dark green cabbage leaves (or banana leaves, if you can find them)

1) Place garlic, onion, ginger, lemon grass, turmeric, paprika, fish sauce and sugar in a food processor and process until well blended.
2) Add the coconut milk and process again until mixed thoroughly.
3) Transfer to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring. Cook gently for 10 minutes until thickened.

4) If using cabbage, cover with boiling water and set aside to soften. If using banana leaves, cut into 8x8" squares.
5) Place fish in a bowl, season with salt and pour 2/3 of the hot coconut sauce over it and mix well. Set remaining sauce aside.
6) Place 1/8 of fish mixture in the center of each leaf. Fold edges over to form secure parcels.
7) Steam for one hour.
8) Five minutes before the end of cooking, reheat remaining sauce
9) To serve, make a small opening down the center of each parcel and spoon the remaining coconut sauce into the opening. Serve immediately with rice.

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