Fish Soup Recipe from Cambodia

This Cambodian fish soup recipe, also known as Amok in Cambodia, is a delicious soup made with cod and coconut cream. The soup gets much of its flavor from the fresh herbs in this recipe, including fresh cilantro and fresh mint. The best way to serve this fish soup (for looks and for taste) is with a beautiful, hearty dollop of coconut cream on top. MMM! Enjoy! 

Okay, I know. “Fish soup” isn’t the most appealing thing in the world to call this recipe. In fact, I really wanted to call this fish soup its true, authentic name in Cambodian, which is “Amok”. Unfortunately, the people of the interwebs aren’t searching for “amok” on Google, but they are searching for “fish soup.” So, here we are. A very un-pretty name for an actually very delicious meal! 

What is Amok? 

This Cambodian Amok is a very popular dish in Cambodia. Many times it is cooking in a bowl made of banana leaves, and the fish is steamed until the liquid that surrounds it turns the fish into a custard. This can be enjoyed with fish, as it is here, or with chicken or other seafood. 

Amok is one of the most popular dishes in all of Cambodia. Each Cambodian grandmother has their own special way to make this dish, each of which doesn’t live up to anyone else’s grandma.

Every restaurant in Cambodia also serves this dish. Not only is it a delicious, widely popular meal, but it’s also easy to make at home.

Fish Soup with Coconut Milk

This fish soup, or amok, is made with coconut milk. That means that it is dairy free and perfect for pescatarians! It is also Whole30 compliant. Wowwee! Delicious AND healthy. What a perfect meal 😉 

Which Fish is Best to Use? 

Good question! I really liked making this fish soup with cod, mostly because it’s a fish that is familiar to me. Cod is easy to find and easy to cook.

If you’d prefer, you can also make this soup with catfish or snapper. Any fresh water fish that is a bit on the tougher side will work. 

How Long will this Fish Soup Last in the Fridge? 

I tend to be a bit conservative in my recommendations of how long fish will keep in the fridge. A safe bet is that your fish soup will last about 3-4 days in the fridge as long as it is covered and kept cool.

In order to heat up the leftovers, you can microwave them, but my ultimate suggestion is to heat them up on the stove again! 

What Ingredients are in this Fish Soup Recipe? 

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon zest
  • Lime zest
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Coconut milk 
  • Fish sauce 
  • Brown sugar
  • Cod, or another freshwater fish  

How to Make this Fish Soup

Salt and pepper the cod 

Coat the bottom of a sauce pan in olive oil 

Add the zests, garlic, mint, cilantro, and turmeric and cook until fragrant

Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar and allow to cook for 10 minutes

Add cod and allow to cook for another 10 or so minutes, until cod is cooked all the way through. 

Serve with coconut cream. 

Enjoy! 

Pinterest graphic for amok

How does this Fish Soup Recipe compare to Authentic Amok? 

To be fair, this fish soup recipe is very similar to amok from Cambodia, but it’s not completely the same. First off, amok is made in banana leaf bowls, and when you steam it, the liquid in the fish soup recipe is meant to turn into a custard consistency. This recipe does not truly ever reach that custardy consistency, and instead stays pretty liquid-y!

In Cambodia, this recipe is also made with some ingredients that are more difficult to find in western grocery stores, so I made replacements wherever possible. For example, I replaced the lemongrass in this recipe with lemon and lime zest! 

Well, that’s about everything you need to know about making this amok or fish soup recipe from Cambodia! If you really liked this recipe and want to try more fish recipes from The Foreign Fork, you can also check out these recipes for: 

And, as always, if you make this recipe, don’t forget to take a photo and post it on Facebook and Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork! Thanks for stopping by and I will see you soon! 

Cambodian Fish Soup Recipe

Cambodian fish soup, also known as Amok in Cambodia, is a delicious soup made with cod and coconut cream. The soup gets much of its flavor from the fresh herbs in this recipe, including fresh cilantro and fresh mint. The best way to serve this fish soup (for looks and for taste) is with a beautiful, hearty dollop of coconut cream on top. MMM! Enjoy!

Course Soup
Cuisine cambodian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 Handfuls of mint and cilantro together chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • ½ tsp powdered turmeric
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lb cod cut into cubes

Instructions

  1. Salt and pepper your cod
  2. Coat the bottom of a large sauce pan in olive oil
  3. Add the zests, garlic, mint, cilantro, and turmeric and cook, stirring until fragrant
  4. Add coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar and allow to cook for 10 minutes
  5. Add cod and allow to cook for another 10 or so minutes, until cod is cooked all the way through.
  6. Serve with coconut cream.
  7. Enjoy! Leave a review on this post letting me know what you think!

Recipe Notes

Traditional Amok is steamed in banana leaves. It sometimes takes the texture of custard. This amok has similar ingredients to traditional Cambodian amok, but has a different cooking style and, therefore, a different texture. In my opinion, this version is best served over rice.

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Qutab (Azerbaijan): A Savory, Herb-Filled Crepe

Stack of Qutab crepes

Qutab is a savory crepe from Azerbaijan. The only qualifier to this dish is that the crepe must be filled with herbs. After that, creativity is welcome! Try different meats, cheeses, herbs, or spreads and discover your favorite Qutab combination.

Lookin’ for a little snack? A great appetizer? A light lunch that pairs perfectly with delicious soup? Look no further, my (wo)man! I gotchu covered right here.

These little snackers remind me of crepes, but crunchier. The batter is made of all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oil and boiling water. It crisps up nicely to make a deliciously textured crust.

Overhead view of qutab on wooden board

Making the Crepe

When making the pancake portion of the Qutab, use a medium pan, and make sure to re-grease it with each new circle of dough added. Place the dough in the pan, and immediately begin filling the crepe with your desired filling. Leave the crepe to cook for about 30 seconds to one minute, until it starts to brown. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dough over to create a half moon shape. Continue cooking the Qutab until both outer sides have browned.

Stack of Qutab with herbs and yogurt dip

Filling Your Qutab

The freedom is yours from there! As long as the Qutab are filled with herbs, they’re considered a traditional Azerbaijani recipe.

I chose to fill my Qutab with mint, dill, cilantro, and chives, but you can also choose from sage, oregano, or any other herbs that catch your eye. Be sure to use a base of spinach! If you’d like meat in your crepe, ground lamb makes a great choice. Mix in paneer or feta for a cheesy addition, or add spreads to the cooked crepe, like pumpkin or molasses.

Get creative in the kitchen and see where it takes you! If you come up with a mind-blowing combo, share it with me!! If you liked this Qutab, I’m sure you’ll also live this Boolawnee from Afghanistan or this Zucchini Slice from Australia!

Qutab (Azerbaijan)

Qutab is a savory crepe from Azerbaijan. The only qualifier to this dish is that the crepe must be filled with herbs. After that, creativity is welcome! Try different meats, cheeses, herbs, or spreads and discover your favorite Qutab combination.

Ingredients

Crepe Dough

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1.5-2 cups boiling water as needed

Filling

  • 2 cups spinach 1 bunch
  • ½ cup feta
  • 3 stalks chives
  • 2 tbsp mint
  • 2 tbsp dill
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • ¼ white onion
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • ¼-½ cup pumpkin depending on preference
  • 1/4 cup onion chopped

Instructions

Make the Dough

  1. Mix both types of flour together and add the salt. 

  2. Boil the water on the stove. Slowly pour the water into flour until you have a ball of dough that is wet and holds itself together but is not sticky. 

  3. Allow the dough to cool, then add the oil and knead the dough until soft. Cover and leave to rest for about half an hour.

Filling and Assembly

  1. In a medium pan, sauté the chopped onion and the chives together. 

  2. Once translucent, add the spinach and the lemon juice and sauté until wilted. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the filling ingredients except for the pumpkin. Stir to combine.

  3. Separate dough into quarters. Flour a surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle, flouring as necessary. 

  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Drizzle the skillet with oil and lay the circle of dough on the skillet. 

  5. Spread pumpkin puree on one half of the dough and then layer 2 tbsp of filling on the dough. Fold the dough in half and press the edges together. 

  6. Cook until the dough becomes crispy and browned, then flip and cook the other side. Repeat until ingredients are gone. 

  7. Serve with plain yogurt as a dipping sauce on the side.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Dolma (Azerbaijan): A New Champion

Dolma with yogurt sauce

Dolma is an Azerbaijani dish made by stuffing grape leaves with lamb meat, rice, onion, and herbs like mint, dill, and cilantro! They are perfect served alone or with a delicious and authentic garlic yogurt dipping sauce. These dolma are almost guaranteed to be a family favorite!

I never thought that this day would come.

The second dish of Azerbaijan has arrived and… dare I say it?

This recipe might be the brand new winner of the title “Best Recipe Yet.”

Yeah, you heard me right. This dolma is, I’m pretty sure, the best recipe to have EVER been featured on The Foreign Fork.

Some Background

Mama Foreign Fork has an obsession with grape leaves. When my mom was growing up, her favorite neighbor was an older woman from Lebanon. On the weekends, the neighbor used to cook for my mom and share her favorite delicious Lebanese dishes, the best of which, my mother claims, were the grape leaves.

As I grew up, Mama Foreign Fork tried to encourage her reluctant and stubborn daughter (ahem, myself) to like grape leaves, but to no avail. As a child, I always thought they looked and tasted disgusting. I hadn’t tried grape leaves in a few years, so when I saw dolma on a list of Azerbaijani recipes, I knew I wanted to make them for my mother. But I was also fairly confident that I wasn’t going to like the recipe much myself. In fact, I put off making the dolma for quite a while because I didn’t want to spend so much time making a dish that I was going to “hate.”

But, as usually happens when I’m unsure about making a recipe for The Foreign Fork, I was proved wrong. Again.

Dolma horizontal

UMMM TRY THESE NOW

These dolma are Superb. Spectacular. Magnificent. Life-Changing. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Someone give me a better adjective!

My cousins came to visit from Georgia, so I made these grape leaves as an appetizer for them to try. My recipe made 71 dolma… by the time 6 adults finished feasting, a mere 5 dolma remained. Now THAT, my dudes, is a recipe that I consider a success.

Dolma Variations

For those of you that are wondering how I ate these dolma while on the Whole30, I want to make it clear that I made these (and straight up devoured them) before my Whole30 actually began. HOWEVER. I have some good suggestions for ways to make these guys actually Whole30 compliant! Instead of rice, you can combine the meat and onions with artichokes, pine nuts, or matchstick carrots. Each will create a different but still delicious flavor for your dolma.

Want to see check out the recipe that reigned supreme as Best Recipe Yet for 11 whole countries?? Click here to see my Kabuli Pulao Recipe from Afghanistan!  Want to try these dolma out for yourself? Make sure to share a photo of your creations on Facebook or Instagram and tag @theforeignfork or hashtag #theforeignfork!

Dolma with yogurt sauce
5 from 1 vote
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Dolma (Azerbaijan)

Dolma is an Azerbaijani dish made by stuffing grape leaves with lamb meat, rice, onion, and herbs like mint, dill, and cilantro! They are perfect served alone or with a delicious and authentic garlic yogurt dipping sauce. These dolma are almost guaranteed to be a family favorite!

Ingredients

Stuffing

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion grated
  • ½ cup medium-grain white rice (such as basmati)
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Assembly

  • About 75 medium sized grape leaves jarred or canned
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • Plain Yogurt or Garlicky yogurt sauce to serve

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the stuffing ingredients. Mix with your hand until well combined.

  2. If using canned leaves, put batches of them in a colander, rinse well under cold water to remove the salt, and drain. If the canned leaves feel too thick, blanch them in boiling water for about a minute, then drain. Otherwise, do not blanch. Cut off the stems.
  3. Arrange some of the damaged leaves flat on the bottom of the saucepan. If you don’t have damaged leaves, line the bottom of the saucepan with unused whole leaves to cover.

  4. Hold a leaf shiny side down on the palm of your hand. Place about 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling at the stem end of the leaf. Fold the top down, then the sides over the filling and roll up tightly to shape it into a 1-inch round bundle.

  5.  Arrange the stuffed leaves, seam side down, on the bottom of the pan. Continue until all the leaves and filling are used, arranging the stuffed bundles snugly together in the pan, making several layers.

  6. Dot the top with butter and pour in water to cover the dolma halfway. Place a small lid or a small ovenproof plate on top of the stuffed leaves to keep them tight and to prevent them from opening. Cover and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the leaves are tender, the filling is cooked, and there is little liquid left (if the liquid is completely absorbed at some point during cooking, add more water and continue to simmer).
  8. Serve immediately with bread and plain yogurt or garlicky yogurt sauce to spoon onto the dolma to taste.
  9. Garlicky Yogurt Sauce: To make garlicky yogurt sauce, in a bowl, combine 1 cup or more plain yogurt with 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed with a garlic press.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from AZ Cookbook 

Chickpea Stew Recipe from Algeria

Algerian Chickpea Stew

The Chickpea Stew Recipe (also called Hummus bi’l-Kammun in Algeria) was so darn easy to make! The entire process of cooking the soup takes about 20 minutes of your time and very little effort to throw together. Topping the soup with shredded mint leaves provides a fresh aftertaste that complements the harissa sauce beautifully!

I’m still new to my journey of cooking one meal from every country in the world, and I am so excited to be making a soup today!! (Edit: I’ve now cooked so many delicious soups from around the world, which can be found here).

It’s been a while since I’ve made soup, and I can still smell this chickpea stew on the stovetop as I’m writing this. It made for one happy blogger today!

This stew is so quick and easy to put together, and it tastes fantastic! As cold weather gets closer, I can only imagine that I’ll be having this soup simmering on the stove often.

The step that takes the longest with this recipe is shelling the chickpeas. It’s an easy task, but taking the shelling off of three cans of chickpeas is, I admit, time consuming.

The good thing is, though, that I sat down at my kitchen table and did this while I was watching a movie (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society if I’m being exact) on Netflix I highly recommended this combination of activities for 20 minutes of destressing, if I do say so myself.

What is Chickpea Stew?

You may have seen chickpea stew made in many different ways before. For example, Allison Roman has a pretty popular recipe for chickpea stew out there in the universe.

This version of chickpea stew, also called Hummu bi’l-Kammun, originated in Algeria. It’s made by taking fresh chickpeas and blending them into a paste.

This paste is then combined with liquid to thicken into a beautiful, smooth soup. You can then top your soup with fresh mint leaves or a drizzle of olive oil and it is pure perfection!

The best part about this recipe is that it comes together so easily, and takes very little skill (kind of like my Split Pea Soup in an Instant Pot recipe!) Simply blend and simmer. 20 minutes later, you look like a spectacular chef.

What Ingredients are in Chickpea Stew?

Canned chickpeas
Olive oil
Garlic
Cumin
Paprika
Harissa
Tomato Paste
Water
Mint Leaves
Salt and Pepper

Spices simmering for Chickpea Stew

How to Make this Recipe

Open the chickpea cans and drain.

Squeeze each chickpea lightly to remove the casing from each bean and discard the skins. Put aside 1/2 of these shelled chickpeas.

Put the shelled chickpeas (except for the reserved 1/2 cup) in a blender and blend them. They will turn out crumbly and appear a little dry. 

Heat oil in a saucepan. Sauté garlic in the oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Then add cumin, paprika, harissa (if desired), tomato paste, salt and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes. 

Add the four cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil. 

Add the pureed chickpeas from the blender into the boiling water and let cook for about 15 minutes or until the soup is hot.

Pour the rest of the reserved, whole chickpeas into the soup and sprinkle with fresh mint. 

Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!

How Long Does Chickpea Stew Last?

Cooked chickpeas can generally last for about 5 days in the fridge. That’s about how long I would recommend keeping this soup around for.

As long as your soup is in an airtight container in the fridge, it should last for 5 or so days.

If you want to freeze your soup, you are welcome to do so (frozen soup is the best!!). The best option for doing this is to, again, put your soup in an airtight container. You can store the soup in the fridge for up to 6 months.

When you want to eat your soup, make sure to take it out of the fridge about 12 hours before you want to eat it to allow ample time to thaw.

Are Chickpeas and Garbanzo Beans the Same Thing?

This is a great question, and something that I had wondered for almost all of my life.

Yes, chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing! Generically speaking, the legume is often called garbanzo beans in latin cooking, and chickpeas in Middle Eastern cooking.

Whatever you call it, the legume is the same. Whether your can says garbanzo beans or chickpeas, you can use it to make this recipe!

With each new country comes new delicious discoveries and new recipes I’m adding to my rotation of regular meals. Make sure to try this Algerian Chickpea Stew, because I have a feeling you might feel the same way.  

Thanks so much for reading this post! If you liked this recipe, you might also like these other recipes I picked out just for you!

Algerian Chickpea Stew
4 from 1 vote
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Chickpea Stew

This Chickpea stew comes together in 20 minutes! It's made from pureed chickpeas and is delicious when topped with fresh mint.

Course Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine algeria
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 15 oz cans chickpeas drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds freshly ground
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp harissa optional
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Open the chickpea cans and drain.
  2. Squeeze each chickpea lightly to remove the casing from each bean and discard the skins. Put aside 1/2 of these shelled chickpeas.
  3. Put the shelled chickpeas (except for the reserved 1/2 cup) in a blender and blend them. They will turn out crumbly and appear a little dry.
  4. Heat oil in a saucepan. Sauté garlic in the oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Then add cumin, paprika, harissa (if desired), tomato paste, salt and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the four cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the pureed chickpeas from the blender into the boiling water and let cook for about 15 minutes or until the soup is hot.

  7. Pour the rest of the reserved, whole chickpeas into the soup and sprinkle with fresh mint. 

  8. Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Qofte (Albanian Meatballs): A Surprising Blend of Flavors

3 qofte on a wooden cutting board

Qofte are meatballs made with either lamb, chicken, or beef meat. Many people fry their qofte, but I chose to bake mine in the oven. These are simple and quick to prep, and once the meatballs are prepped, they only take about 30 minutes in the oven. Make them with the fergese for a simple and delicious meal!

So I have to be honest. With the small exception of mint chocolate chip ice cream, I’m not really a big fan of consuming mint. In my opinion, mint is better suited to improve your breath than to improve the taste of your meal. HOWEVER, I added a very subtle amount of dried, flaked mint into this recipe, and I was pleasantly surprised! The flavor was juuuustttt enoughto change up the flavor of a normal meatball, but not strong enough to be overpowering.

Mint with WHAT??

Raw beef qofte

I paired the mint with some paprika, and really, I think it’s this flavor combination that sends these meatballs over the edge. I wouldn’t normally think of pairing mint and paprika together, but they really do complement each other well. When I think of paprika, I think of warmth and roundedness, but when I think of mint, words like “piercing” and “cool” jump to mind. Putting both spices in the same dish really balanced out the flavors and left us with a pretty desirable taste.

Frying vs Baking

Last week during Afghanistan, there was a lot of fried food. Don’t get me wrong, I love fried food just as much as the next girl. But in the spirit of health, I decided to change this recipe up a bit from it’s norm. Instead of soaking the meatballs in vegetable oil, I baked them in the oven, and they still turned out really delicious! But hey, if you want to fry these guys up, no judgement from me. In fact, let me know in the comments below how they taste!

Qofte (Albanian Meatballs with Feta Cheese)

Qofte are meatballs from Albania usually made with beef, chicken, or lamb. Usually they are fried, but I chose to bake my batch in the oven. This recipe features a unique blend of mint and paprika. 

Course Main Course
Servings 12 meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef (or lamb, or chicken)
  • 1 3/4 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped feta cheese
  • 1/2 white onion grated
  • salt
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed, dried mint leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp ground paprika

If frying

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • oil for deep frying

Yogurt Dipping Sauce (Optional)

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2-3/4 tbsp chopped garlic, depending on preference

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.

  3. Form into 12 meatballs in an oval shape. 

  4. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes in the oven. 

  5. Serve with yogurt sauce if desired. 

If frying:

  1. Roll meatballs in flour to coat. Fry in oil heated to 350 degrees. Drain on paper towel. 

Recipe Notes

Recipe Copyright Alexandria Drzazgowski, The Foreign Fork. For personal or educational use only.