Amok Fish Recipe - A Delicious Cambodian and Thai Dish

Amok Fish

Amok Fish Recipe - A Delicious Cambodian and Thai Dish
Region / culture: Cambodia, Thailand | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4


Amok Fish
Amok Fish

Amok Fish is a traditional Cambodian dish that is beloved for its rich, aromatic flavors and delicate preparation. This dish is a beautiful representation of Southeast Asian cuisine, combining the sweetness of coconut milk with the earthiness of turmeric and the heat of Thai chile peppers. The recipe we're exploring today uses cod fillets as the base, marinated in a blend of spices and herbs, then gently cooked to perfection. It's a dish that promises to transport your taste buds to the heart of Cambodia, offering a culinary experience that is both exotic and comforting.


The origins of Amok Fish can be traced back to the royal kitchens of the Khmer Empire, where it was considered a luxurious dish served during special occasions. Over the centuries, it has evolved and become a staple in Cambodian cuisine, enjoyed by people from all walks of life. The traditional version of this dish is made with freshwater fish, steamed in banana leaves, and served with a thick coconut curry. Our recipe adapts this classic dish for modern kitchens while preserving the essence and flavors that make Amok Fish a timeless favorite.


How to prepare

  1. Cut the fish into 0.5 inch chunks.
  2. Season the fish with salt and pepper to taste; set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, turmeric, paprika, curry powder, ginger, garlic, chile pepper, and fish sauce. Mix well.
  4. Add the fish pieces and toss until they are well coated. Let it marinate for 15 minutes.
  5. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Heat oil and add onions.
  7. Sauté the onions until they become translucent, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the fish mixture and sauté until the fish becomes opaque, about 3 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  10. Spoon the mixture into lettuce cups and place three cups on each of the four plates.
  11. Garnish with kaffir lime leaves and serve.


  • Substitute cod with other firm white fish like tilapia or halibut.
  • Add vegetables like bell peppers or snap peas to the skillet for a more substantial dish.
  • For a vegetarian version, use firm tofu instead of fish.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Amok Fish turns out perfectly, consider these tips:

- Use fresh, high-quality fish for the best flavor and texture.

- Marinate the fish for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.

- Cook the fish gently to keep it moist and tender.

- If you can't find fresh kaffir lime leaves, use dried ones, but soak them in water for a few minutes before using.

Serving Suggestions

Amok Fish is traditionally served in banana leaves, but in this recipe, we use baby bibb lettuce leaves for a fresh, crunchy contrast. Serve with a side of jasmine rice or rice noodles to complete the meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the gentle sautéing of the marinated fish, which ensures it remains tender and flavorful. Using medium-high heat allows the fish to cook quickly without overcooking.

Ingredient Substitutions

If Thai chile pepper is too spicy, use bell pepper for a milder flavor.

- Can't find kaffir lime leaves? Use a bit of lime zest as a substitute.

- No coconut milk? Try almond milk with a teaspoon of coconut extract.

Make Ahead Tips

Marinate the fish up to an hour in advance to deepen the flavors. The rest of the dish is best prepared fresh to maintain the texture and quality of the ingredients.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Amok Fish in lettuce cups on a platter garnished with lime wedges and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or mint for a refreshing touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Amok Fish with a crisp, dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied Pinot Noir to complement the dish's rich flavors without overpowering them.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat gently in a skillet over low heat to prevent the fish from drying out.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Amok Fish contains approximately 200 calories, making it a light yet fulfilling option for those monitoring their calorie intake.


This Amok Fish recipe is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the onion and the small amount of coconut milk used. Each serving contains approximately 8 grams of carbohydrates.


The fats in this dish come mainly from the coconut milk and canola oil. However, since the quantities are moderate, each serving contains about 10 grams of fat, most of which are healthy unsaturated fats.


Cod fillets are an excellent source of lean protein. Each serving of Amok Fish provides roughly 22 grams of protein, making it a satisfying and muscle-friendly option for your meal plans.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the variety of spices, herbs, and fresh ingredients. It's particularly high in Vitamin C (from the chile peppers and lime leaves), Vitamin K, and a range of B vitamins. Minerals include selenium from the cod, along with magnesium and potassium from the other ingredients.


The primary allergens in this recipe are fish and coconut. Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should avoid this dish or find suitable substitutions.


Overall, Amok Fish is a nutritious dish that balances proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, while keeping carbohydrates and calories in check. It's an excellent choice for a healthy, flavorful meal.


Amok Fish is a flavorful, nutritious dish that showcases the best of Cambodian cuisine. With its combination of fresh ingredients, aromatic spices, and tender fish, it's a delightful meal that's sure to impress. Whether you're exploring new cuisines or simply looking for a healthy meal option, this recipe is a fantastic choice.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago when I was just a young girl, eager to learn the ways of the kitchen from my mother and grandmother. We lived in a small village in Cambodia, where the air was always filled with the tantalizing aromas of spices and herbs.

One day, a traveler passed through our village and stayed with us for a few days. He was a kind and generous man who shared stories of his travels and the different cuisines he had tasted along the way. One evening, as we sat around the fire, he began to tell us about a dish called Amok Fish that he had tried in Cambodia.

He described it as a rich and flavorful curry made with tender pieces of fish, coconut milk, and a blend of fragrant spices. My mouth watered as he spoke, and I knew that I had to learn how to make this dish for myself.

The traveler was kind enough to write down the recipe for me before he left, and I treasured that piece of paper as if it were a precious treasure. I studied it carefully, memorizing each step and ingredient, and I couldn't wait to try making it for my family.

I spent hours in the kitchen, chopping vegetables, pounding spices, and simmering the curry until it was thick and aromatic. The scent that filled our home was intoxicating, and I knew that I had done justice to the dish that had captured my heart.

When I served it to my family that evening, their eyes lit up with delight as they took their first bites. The flavors exploded in their mouths, and they couldn't stop praising my cooking skills. From that moment on, I knew that the recipe for Amok Fish would hold a special place in my heart.

Over the years, I have made this dish countless times, each time adding my own little twist to make it truly my own. I have taught my daughters and granddaughters how to make it, passing down the tradition from generation to generation.

Every time I make Amok Fish, I am transported back to that day in my youth when I first discovered the magic of this dish. The memories of that traveler and his tales of faraway lands linger in my mind, and I am grateful for the gift he gave me that day.

As I sit here now, surrounded by my family and the aroma of Amok Fish wafting through the air, I can't help but feel a sense of pride and contentment. I am a keeper of traditions, a guardian of recipes passed down through the ages, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, if you ever find yourself in need of a delicious and comforting meal, look no further than my kitchen. I will be more than happy to whip up a batch of Amok Fish for you, just like the traveler did for me all those years ago. And who knows, maybe you'll create your own memories and traditions with this dish, just as I have.


| Bibb Lettuce Recipes | Cambodian Meat Dishes | Cambodian Recipes | Coconut Milk Recipes | Cod Recipes | Kaffir Lime Leaf Recipes | Thai Chile Recipes | Thai Recipes |

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