amok trey
Amok Trei
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Amok trei is fish coated in thick coconut milk, steamed or baked in a basket made from banana leaves, often eaten during the Cambodian Water Festival.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Cambodian
Servings: 8 people
Author: Mike Benayoun
  • 1 lb white fish (sea bass, cod or snapper), cut in ¼ inch thick strips.
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 (15 oz) can coconut cream
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 cups nhor (noni leaves) or spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rice flour
For the paste (kroeung)
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped galangal
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass stalk
  • Zest of ½ kaffir lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon fingerroot rhizome
  • 2 shallots , peeled and chopped
For the garnish
  • 3 tablespoons thinly julienned kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 red hot pepper (or bell peppers), thinly julienned
For the banana cups
  1. Make the kroeung by pounding all the paste ingredients in a mortar and pestle, working from the driest ingredient to the wettest.
  2. Clean the banana leaves with a wet cloth, then place them over a flame so they become soft and do not crack when folded.
  3. Cut 10-inch circles. Fold a square shape in the middle of the circle to form the bottom of the cup.
  4. Put two sides of the square at a time and attach them together with a toothpicks. Continue until all four sides of the banana leaf cup are held together.
  5. Line the banana cups with the noni or spinach leaves, then set aside.
  6. In a pan, mix ½ cup of coconut cream with the rice flour and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  7. Fill a wok with 2 inches of water and bring to the boil.
  8. In a large bowl, mix the remaining coconut cream, kroeung spice paste, palm sugar and fish sauce.
  9. Add the beaten egg, and the fish, and stir. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
  10. Place the banana cups in a bamboo steamer. Spoon the fish mixture into each banana cup.
  11. Place the steamer on top of the wok, cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Add boiling water to the wok if necessary.
  12. Remove the bamboo steamer. Top each of the banana cups with a tablespoon of the coconut and rice flour mixture, and garnish with the julienned chili and kaffir lime leaves.
  13. Return the bamboo steamer to the wok and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Serve with steamed white rice.