Amok trei

After visiting Ta Prohm, it’s time for us to take a lunch break before continuing our visit in the Angkor Archaeological Park outside Siem Reap, Cambodia. Instead of taking longer time to drive to Siem Reap for lunch and back, our tour guide Vanna suggested that we should go to a restaurant located not far from Ta Prohm called the Khmer Village Restaurant. By the time we arrived at the restaurant, it was already 1:30 pm or so, so some of the lunch crowd had already left, but the restaurant was still quite full. Given its location pretty much inside the Angkor Archaeological Park, you could tell that it catered mostly to the visitors of the Park.

We wanted to try another traditional Khmer dish while we were there, and one dish I read that is a popular dish in Khmer cuisine is amok. Amok is a curry dish with coconut milk-based gravy that is cooked in banana leaves. It can be served with various kinds of meats, but the popular one in Cambodia is with fish, called amok trei. I wasn’t sure what kind of fish was used for ours, but I’m guessing it’s likely from fresh water fish like most things in Cambodia. When the dish was served and we tasted it, like some other dishes we had in Cambodia, we could taste something new and unique to Khmer cuisine, but at the same time it seemed familiar as parts of the dish were similar to dishes we have in Indonesian cuisine. I think it was somewhat like in between gulai (the gravy was not as thick and strong flavored) or opor (it wasn’t as soupy). It also resembled a Thai curry dish — not surprising given the regional influence of these cultures on each other.

The photo below was the amok trei dish that we had just before we tried it out. It wasn’t served in banana leaves container, but it had all the flavors that you would expect.

Amok trei

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