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Monday, May 20, 2013

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry)

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 1

A few weeks after making Amok Trey (Cambodian Steamed Fish Curry) (Twice!), I decided to switch it up a bit by adding shrimp and clams to the fish, swapping out the wild betel leaves for Thai basil leaves, and adding Thai red curry paste.

You can opt to use all of the modifications, or just one, but it's nice to vary the recipe a bit just to keep it interesting. If you're feeling lazy and don't want to slice and dice, you can skip adding all the aromatics and just do a big spoonful of Thai red curry paste instead.

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 2

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry)
Adapted from my recipe for Amok Trey (Cambodian Steamed Fish Curry).

For a 1-quart bowl, about two servings as a meal or four servings as a side dish, you'll need:
Banana leaves, washed in warm water to soften
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 shallots, thinly sliced and roughly minced
1 lemongrass stalk, finely minced
2-inch knob ginger or galangal, finely minced

2 tsp Mam Ruoc (Vietnamese Fermented Shrimp Paste) or Prahok (Cambodian Fermented Fish Paste) or Mam Nem (Vietnamese Fermented Anchovy Sauce)
2 tsp chile garlic sambal, reserve 2 more tsp for garnishing
1 tblsp Thai Red Curry Paste
1 14-oz can coconut milk, reserve 2 tblsp for garnishing
2 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
2 kaffir lime leaves, chiffonaded, plus 2 leaves saved for garnishing
2 eggs
1 4-oz whitefish filet, diced
1 4-oz salmon filet, diced
6 shrimp, peeled, deveined, and sliced in half
1/2 cup clams, diced
6 Thai basil leaves, roughly torn

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 3

You'll need a section of banana leaf that's big enough to fold over once and line whatever bowl you'll be using to steam the amok talae. Wash the banana leaves thoroughly, wiping with a paper towel to remove dirt. Let the banana leaf soak in warm water to become more pliable.

Meanwhile, dice the fish. I buy 4-oz packs of frozen sole and salmon from Albertson's for $1, which work great for this since I only needed a little bit of fish. I also added in some razor clams that my parents had dug on the Oregon coast, but any kind of clams or other seafood will do. Peel and devein the shrimp, and slice in half. Set the seafood aside.

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 4

Mince or grate 3 cloves garlic, 3 shallots, 1 lemongrass stalk, and a 2-inch knob of ginger.

In a pan on medium-high heat, drizzle a bit of oil and saute the aromatics until the shallots have softened. Add 2 tsp fermented shrimp paste, 2 tsp chile sambal, and 1 tblsp Thai red curry paste.

Stir to make sure the ingredients have mixed thoroughly.

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 5

Add a 14-oz can of coconut milk, reserving a few tablespoons for garnishing and 2 tsp fish sauce. Turn off the heat and snip 2 kaffir lime leaves into the mixture. Beat and add 2 eggs, stirring the mixture again.

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 6

Add the seafood, Thai basil leaves, and chiffonaded lime leaves to the curry mixture. Stir to combine.

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 7

Remove the banana leaves from the warm water and shape them into containers if you can. I lined several bowls with the leaves instead. The curry will fill either a 1-quart container or several smaller bowls.

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 8

Steam for 45 minutes to set. I used an electric steamer, but you could steam it on the stove top too.

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 9

Drizzle the reserved coconut milk and chile sambal to garnish. Snip a few more kaffir lime leaves too.

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 10

The steamed curry has a light mousse-like texture.

Amok Talae (Cambodian Steamed Seafood Curry) 11

Serve with plain jasmine rice.


Some other curries you might like:
Amok Trey (Cambodian Steamed Fish Curry)
Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)
Gaeng Kiaw Waan (Thai Green Curry with Thai Eggplants)
Malaysian Mango Chicken Curry
Thai Red Curry with Roast Duck, Bamboo Shoots, Eggplant, and Pumpkin

1 year ago today,
2 years ago today,
3 years ago today, Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup).
4 years ago today, Angel Face rose.
5 years ago today, Ca Bong Lau Nuong Mo Hanh (Vietnamese Roast Catfish with Scallion Oil).
6 years ago today, Tra Atiso (Vietnamese Artichoke Tea) and Roasted Artichokes with Chili Aioli.


  1. Thai basil is what I need to start growing. This dish would come together in a snap! Looks fab.

  2. Nadege,

    I love basil, but it doesn't last long for me. I'm not planting any herbs until fall though, when the weather cools down.


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