100g baby spinach
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
200ml coconut milk, plus extra for the garnish
500g skinless white fish fillets, such as cod, haddock or monkfish, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 red chilli, deseeded and julienned
4 makrut lime leaves, ribs removed and thinly sliced
rice, to serve
2 banana shallots, peeled
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed
5cm-piece fresh turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 red chillies, deseeded
5cm-piece galangal, or ginger with 2 teaspoons lemon juice

This is my favourite Cambodian fish curry dish. The traditional way to cook this dish, known as Trey Amok, is by steaming in small baskets made of fresh banana leaves. For my baked version, I put the fish curry in ramekins, but you can use any ovenproof bowls. The egg in the mixture binds the ingredients and makes the curry set nicely.


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1.Preheat the oven to 160℃ fan/180℃.
2.Blitz together the paste ingredients with 2 tablespoons water using a handheld stick blender or food processor until fine and smooth.
3.In a medium bowl, blanch the spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds.
4.Remove and pat dry with kitchen paper. Set aside.
5.Heat the oil in a wok or deep saucepan over a medium heat and fry the paste for 3 minutes until fragrant.
6.Stir in the sugar, fish sauce and tamarind, cook for 2 minutes and then stir in the coconut milk, together with 200ml water.
7.Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.
8.Divide the fish and spinach between four medium ramekins or ovenproof bowls.
9.Pour an equal amount of curry sauce into each bowl, stir well but gently, and make sure the spinach is visible in each ramekin or bowl.
10.Next, divide the beaten eggs between the bowls and mix gently.
11.Put the bowls into a large, deep oven tray and pour in cold water so it reaches halfway up the bowls.
12.Cover the tray with foil and seal around the edges to trap the steam.
13.Bake for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes.
14.Remove from the oven and set aside for 2 minutes, then pour ½ tablespoon of extra coconut milk over each bowl and garnish with the chilli and makrut lime leaves. Serve with rice.

Recipes extracted
with permission from
Bowlful by Norman
Musa (HarperCollins,
$49.99). Photography
Luke J Albert.