#8: Cambodia – Fish Amok

My fish amok. Looks good, right? WRONG.

This post just makes me sad. And here’s why. I LOVED this dish when I made it as part of a cooking class in Cambodia in February of 2020. The only silver lining I have is that when I tried to recreate it, following the written instructions I received from the class, I didn’t have anyone over for dinner. The moral of the story here is…if an ingredient quantity seems like it may not be right, trust your gut. Always. But more on that to come.

Koh Ker, Cambodia. February 2021

Everyone always talks about the beauty of Angkor Wat when it comes to Cambodia and while that is truly a magical place, some of the lesser known temples and monuments further afield from Siem Reap are just as fantastic. Take Koh Ker, for instance. I had read up a bit on this in advance of my trip but the photos I’d seen didn’t hold a candle to the real thing. These temples with the trees growing through and around them were simply stunning. I probably have a hundred photos from this day trip alone…well worth the 2 hour drive from Siem Reap.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I like to take cooking classes during my travels. I’ve probably taken half a dozen to date and they’ve not only been educational but I’ve also met some really fun travelers while doing so. Since most of my international travel to date has been solo, I highly recommend looking into activities like this to meet people AND eat amazing food.

So now to the sad part of this story…how I completely botched fish amok at home. The recipe itself is pretty simple. I even found the proper yellow turmeric curry paste. But there was a major typo in the instructions. In hindsight all of these months later, I really should have just recognized what the recipe meant to say, but I trudged forward and I blame sleep deprivation. 🙂 Because who would think 2 TB of salt would make sense in a curry dish? I mean I love salt but seriously. Yeah, thinking that was 2 tsp or honestly even less. The end result was completely inedible. So I think I may have to try and make this again and consult other recipes in the interim to make it right.

This all goes to show that my instincts here probably would have saved the day, and I’m going to try to rely on them more in the future as I go along with this project. And it shows that I’m not going to knock every dish out of the park. And sometimes I may just royally screw it up. But that’s life and my ability to laugh at these royal f-ups is what makes this so interesting.

Overall Level of Effort: 2

Skill Level: Beginner

Would Make Again? Yes, but with a different recipe and on more sleep. 🙂

Additional notes: Asian food is some of my favorite dishes to eat and make in the world. So screwing this one up really hurt but I plan to try again at some point.

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