What are the famous amok curry and its amok curry spice?
Cambodia was making waves in the tourism industry and was quickly becoming a sought-after destination for many travellers. The capital city of Phnom Penh is a business hub, and the Southeast Asian country has moved on from its dark days in the late 1970s under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. The country provides fantastic hospitality, beautiful beaches, and excellent food – including the traditional amok curry powder dish.
What is amok?
The food traditions of Cambodia borrow influence from neighbouring countries, Thailand and Vietnam. You will see spicy hot pot noodles, peppers and vinegar, and the occasional fried tarantula in the rural provinces. However, the fish amok curry and its famous amok spice are what tourists and locals rave over. The slightly sweet curry with a custard-like consistency is served traditionally in a banana leaf bowl. People of all economic classes enjoy the dish for its delightful flavours of lemongrass and lime.
The amok spice is made up of a variety of different ingredients and changes from region to region and recipe to recipe. The classic combination of ingredients includes black pepper, coriander, cumin, galangal, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, paprika, and turmeric. When cooking, you would usually make a paste with the amok curry powder and cook the white fish in a pan. It is becoming common to see the dish use other meat, especially chicken. The traditional cooking method is not only to use the banana leaves as a bowl but also use them to steam the meat ready for eating. It would be uncommon to see a westerner do this; however, a Cambodian would steam the fish inside the leaves and the sauce for 20 minutes until the consistency is that of custard. Delicious.
If you are looking to try this glorious amok spice, then Leena Spices offer a preservative-free, additive-free blend.