Amok Trey: I’ll try anything once!

A fish soufflé? Sounds pretty disgusting, but when travelling it’s always good to try some of the local cuisine – however fearful you may be!

Amok Trey
Amok Trey

Amok Trey (or Fish Amok) is a traditional dish of Cambodian cuisine. It is fish coated in a thick coconut milk with kroeung, either steamed or baked in a cup made from banana leaves. It is often eaten during the Water Festival, which celebrates the reversal of the Tonle Sap River, although as far as tourists are concerned it is one of the main Khmer dishes to try when visiting the country.

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On the streets of Cambodia you get to see this dish in all its glory. It comes compactly wrapped in banana leaves with the steamed fish packaged inside. You would never have guessed that those leaves are so strong as to withstand the heat of the contents!

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As you can imagine, with Amok Trey being known as one of the traditional dishes of Cambodia, larger restaurants serve it in more particular portions (with the prices to match). In my time in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh I have came across a few restaurants and cafés selling the delicacy, and in Kep I also saw some for sale, but I presume the fish would have been replaced with the famous crab that you get there, so it would in fact be known as Crab Amok. I didn’t try it, though.

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