Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Ingredients needed to make Amok:
- 750 gm white fish fillets, skinned and bones removed
- 12 banana leaves
- 2 tbsp curry paste (recipe below)
- One can (400 ml) coconut cream
- 1 tbsp palm sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 fresh red chilies, stemmed, deseeded and slivered
For the curry paste:
- One 2 cm galangal, peeled
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white part thinly sliced
- Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, finely shredded
- Coriander root, rinsed
- 4-6 Kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
Cooking instructions for Amok:
- To prepare the curry paste, toss the galangal, cilantro root as well as lemongrass stalk pieces into a mortar and bash them with a pestle until they form a smooth paste.
- Throw in the leaves, along with a dash each of spices and pound them further to mix well.
- Chop the fish fillets into 2 cm dices and set aside.
- Scrap out the paste into a bowl and whisk in half of the coconut cream until mixed well.
- Throw in the fish chunks and give it a nice stir to coat well.
- Pour in rest of the coconut milk, followed by a splash of fish sauce and sprinkle the sugar over them.
- Continue to stir clockwise for next 5 minutes until mixed thoroughly and set aside.
- To make the banana leaf containers, wipe the leaves with a damp cloth and sear them over hot flame, using a pair of tongs to hold them, until they soften.
- Carve out 25 cm circles from the banana leaves and place a couple of them together.
- Trace a square onto the middle of the top banana leaf round and place your thumb perpendicularly to the square.
- Hold up two sides and pin them together with a toothpick to secure, while tucking the fold at the same time.
- Fold the other two sides similarly by shifting the position of your thumb, and all the sides are pleated together to form a cup; make 5 more such cups similarly.
- Pour the fish mixture into this banana leave cups and add a dollop of extra coconut cream on top.
- Sprinkle few slivered red chilies over each serving and wrap the surface of each cup with a banana leaf; secure with a kitchen twine.
- Arrange 3 such containers on a flat plate and place the latter onto a rack.
- Lower this rack carefully into a steamer, cover and steam for 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
- Take them out of the steamer and remove the banana leaf covering on top.
- Serve warm alongside steamed rice.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons