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Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor

1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
| +855 63 963 888
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Try amok trei (fish amok), Cambodia's national dish Siem Reap  Cambodia

Try amok trei (fish amok), Cambodia's national dish

It's thought that amok trei (fish amok) is a Royal Khmer Cuisine dish that dates back to the Khmer Empire that later travelled to Thailand where it is known as hor mok. When prepared properly, the freshwater Tonle Sap snakehead fish is marinated in a yellow kroeung (a lemongrass-based curry paste) and fresh coconut cream, then massaged and left to rest, before being poured into in a banana leaf basket lined with a noni leaf or two (important), and steamed. Once ready, it's drizzled with a little coconut cream and served. The result is a rich souffle-like dish, more correctly known as a mousseline. If it's not steamed, it's not amok, it's just a curry. These days, much to the horror of older Cambodians, it's often served in tourist restaurants simply as a curry and the fish is replaced with chicken, beef and even tofu, to please tourists. Locals do not consider this to be amok. The best in Siem Reap is at the Sugar Palm restaurant, however, my husband and I made the amok trei pictured above at the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor cooking class.