Recipe: Coconut fish curry parcels (Amok Trei)

This is a very traditional Khmer recipe. It is also quite tasty (although I have not tried to cook it by myself). Sometimes, instead of being served in the banana leaves, it will be served inside a coconut. This recipe serves four.



  • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 5cm/2-inches fresh Root Galangal, chopped or 1/2 teasp Ground Galangal
  • 2 tbsp chopped Lemon Grass or 2 teasp Ground Lemon Grass
  • ½ teasp Ground Turmeric
  • 1 teasp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • ½ teasp salt
  • 1 x 400g/14oz tin Coconut Milk
  • 450g/1lb White Fish Fillets, e.g. (Catfish, Sole, Orange Roughy)
  • 4-8 Banana leaves (depending on size) or or 8 large Dark Green Cabbage Leaves


1. Place the garlic, onion, galangal, lemon grass, turmeric, paprika, fish sauce and sugar in a blender or food processor and process until well blended. 2. Add the coconut milk and process again until thoroughly mixed.

3. Transfer the coconut mixture to a medium saucepan and bring to simmering point, stirring. Continue to cook gently for about 10 minutes until thickened.

4. Meanwhile, if using cabbage greens, place them in a large saucepan, cover with boiling water and set aside to soften. If using banana leaves, cut into pieces about 20cm/8-inches square.

5. Place the fish in a bowl, season with a little salt then pour over half the hot coconut sauce and mix well. Set the remaining sauce aside.

6. Place 1/8th of the fish mixture in the centre of each leaf and fold the edges over to form secure parcels, making sure you tuck the edges under.

7. Steam the parcels for 1 hour.

8. 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, gently reheat the remaining sauce.

9. To serve – make a small opening down the centre of each parcel and spoon the remaining coconut sauce into the opening. Serve immediately with rice.

** Thank you



  1. When you say tin of cococut milk — and I’ve been seeing that in other recipes — is it sweet? I can buy coconut milk and unsweetened coconut milk and am wondering which to substitute. Although knowing me and the kids, I suspect any extra sweetness would not bother us! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s