Amok (dish)

Amok
Amok trei – Khmer fish amok
Type Curry
Place of origin Cambodia
Main ingredients Curry, banana leaves
Cookbook: Amok  Media: Amok

In South-East Asian cuisine, "mok", "amok" or "ho mok" refers to the process of steam cooking a curry in banana leaves, or to the resulting dish. Thick coconut cream and galangal are classic ingredients, added to a wide range of possible kinds of leaves and staple ingredients. Amok is a major national culinary tradition in Cambodia, and also popular in Laos and Thailand. The Thai version uses the same Thai curry paste as red curry.[1][2] Amok is thick soup cooked with fish, meat, vegetables,eggs and coconut milk. It is a common dish served at restaurants. The most common types of amok are made with fish, beef, or chicken as the main proteins. Amok can also be eaten with rice.[3][4]

The base dish or process is locally referred to as:

  • ห่อหมก  [hɔ̀ː mòk] in Thai
  • ຫມົກ [mók] in Lao
  • អាម៉ុក [aː mok] in Khmer

In Thailand, the dish consists of a base described variously as a soufflé,[5] custard,[6] or mousse[7] made from a protein (fish, chicken, or insect), vegetable or fruit and curry spices that is traditionally served in a banana leaf.[6] Coconut milk may or may not be added to the custard to help thicken it, depending on region. Homok is associated with marriage because the Thai people believe that the marriage of ingredients within the homok is representative of the love of a married couple.

A wide variety of ingredients can be used to prepare amok dishes. The main ingredient will usually give its name to the dish:

  • fish - ហហ្មុកត្រី [haː mok trəj] in Khmer; ຫມົກປາ [mók paː] in Laotian; ห่อหมกปลา [hɔ̀ː mòk plaː] in Thai
  • tofu
  • bamboo shoots - ຫມົກຫນໍ່ໄມ້ [mók nɔ̄ː mâj] in Laotian (often with minced meat inside)
  • chicken
  • eggs - ຫມົກໄຂ່ [kʰāj] (often with minced meat inside)
  • algae - as in the Laotian ຫມົກໄຄ [mók kʰáj] (with Mekong weed).

See also

  • Amok trey, a specific Khmer recipe of this dish
  • Homok, Thai version and pronunciation of almost identical dish
  • Otak-otak, similar fish dumpling, a Nyonya Peranakan cuisine common in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia
  • Pepes, similar Indonesian dish wrapped in banana leaf
  • Botok, similar Indonesian Javanese dish wrapped in banana leaf

References


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