Let’s Run Amok: Cambodian Cooking

Amok is a delicious traditional Cambodian dish an it is so full of flavor and wonderful medicinal herbs I wanted to make sure I could share it with you after my trip to Cambodia a few months back. Unlike many South East Asian cuisines, Cambodian food is not quite as spicy but is still very flavorful. It is always important to be trying new foods and spices so we can work towards finding the foods that are best for our own wellness. I hope you will try to make this delicious dish and if you travel to Cambodia, visit Beyond Unique Escapes to take one of their cooking classes.

Amok can be made vegetarian, with chicken, or with fish. I recommend making it with fish as the texture becomes much creamier with fish. This recipe is for one serving so adjust accordingly. There are a lot of ingredients and most of them are the various seasonings. Whenever possible use fresh spices. Most of these should be available at local Asian grocers but it is alright to leave anything out.


  • 1 tsp fresh or dry chili paste (deseeded)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp galanga
  • 1 stick lemongrass (about 1 inch)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 Kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 100g FishIMG_7291
  • 10g spinach, broccoli, or beet leaves
  • 1/2c coconut cream
  • 1/4c water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp chicken/vegetable stock powder

Begin by finely chopping all of your fresh seasonings (chilli, tumeric, galangal, lemongrass, lime leaf, shallot, garlic). Add to a morter and pestle and grind fine through a hammering action, not a round action. Add in your dry seasonings and combine well.


In a small pot on low heat, heat your seasonings with your oil until it is aromatic. Add half of your coconut cream and add fish when boiling. Cook for several minutes and add the remaining coconut cream and water. Cook meat thoroughly and add any additional vegetables to cook at this time. You may also consider a small amount of eggplant, sweet potato, onion, or cauliflower.


When meat and vegetables are cooked through, add remaining ingredients and allow egg to cook by stirring it in. Remove from heat and serve with rice.

Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. Join her for live classes and The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online for more learning opportunities.

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