Fish Amok (Amok Trei): Cambodia's National Dish in Phnom Penh

Fish Amok, or Steamed Fish Curry

by Eleven One Kitchen, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Amok trei, or fish amok, is Cambodia's national dish. It's said that this dish originated within the ancient palaces of the Khmer Empire and was a royal dish reserved only for kings. While its exact origin is unknown, this luxurious and delectable curry dish is now beloved by millions across the Kingdom of Wonder.

Special thanks to Lost Plate Food Tours (, who operate fantastic food tours out of China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Portland, Oregon.

Fish amok - the national dish of Cambodia
Fish amok - the national dish of Cambodia

For a taste of quintessential Khmer cuisine, don't miss out on fish amok, one of Cambodia's most beloved dishes. This traditional delicacy features locally caught fish cooked in a rich, fragrant coconut milk curry. The curry, which is made with a blend of spices including lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric, gives the dish its signature aroma and flavor.

Bites of local Mekong River snakehead fish are marinaded with a yellow kroeung (Cambodian curry paste made from herbs) and mixed with coconut milk. The marinaded fish curry is then steamed inside of a banana leaf container, which results in a creamy and custard-like texture that is both tender and flavorful. 

fish amok, or steamed fish curry, at Eleven One Kitchen, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
fish amok, or steamed fish curry, at Eleven One Kitchen, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The fish, caught fresh in the nearby Mekong River, is cut thin so as to cook quickly and absorb as much flavor from the kroeung as possible.

Fish amok is served with white or jasmine rice, which is used to soak up every bite of the delicious and flavorsome curry sauce.

Every bite of the fish meat was so soft and tender that it nearly dissolved in my mouth upon first bite and was imbued with the delicious herbal flavors of the amok curry.

Cambodian fish amok in Phnom Penh
Cambodian fish amok in Phnom Penh


Eleven One Kitchen is located at Toul Tum Poung I, St 460, Phnom Penh 12310, Cambodia. It's a trendy indoor-outdoor restaurant focused on sustainability and clean eating. The restaurant claims to be 99% plastic free, using only bio-degradable packaging in line with their mindful philosophy.

The restaurant is located inside a beautiful garden and is a peaceful and relaxing spot to have a nice meal. Prices here may be a very slightly higher than at other local eateries, but the quality, service, ambiance, and sustainability of Eleven One Kitchen more than make up for it.