Monday, December 14, 2015

Steamed Fish Custard--Khmer Inspired (makes 3 ramekins)

This dish is inspired by a popular custard dish called "amok" that I ate when my husband and I traveled in Cambodia. The custard usually contain fish but never coconut meat. While in Makawao (Maui) we met Hans who climbs coconut trees to harvest these tasty fruits. We brought 3 whole young coconuts from him and one of them had good soft meat. I decided to add texture to this dish by including some of the meat. You may omit the coconut meat if you do not want to include it or have access to it. I did not have access to an oven but I used what was available to me, which was an old electric wok.

partially cooked salmon belly
Partially Cooked Salmon Belly 

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, grated
1 Tbsp coconut water
A squirt of fish sauce
A large pinch of raw sugar
2 oz of salmon belly, sliced into 6 pieces, bones and scales removed
1 Tbsp of oil

Method:

Mix garlic, coconut water, fish sauce, sugar with the salmon.
Lightly saute the salmon in oil until just cooked. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Steamed Fish Custard--Khmer Inspired (makes 3 ramekins)

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1/2 pinky sized of turmeric, skin scraped off and grated
1/2 thumbnail sized of ginger, skin scraped off and grated
1/8 tsp curry powder
3 large eggs
200 mL coconut milk (about 7 oz)
A squirt or two of fish sauce
A large pinch of raw sugar
Water for boiling
1 recipe for Partially Cooked Salmon Belly (see recipe above)
1/2 cup sliced young coconut meat
1/2 small mild red pepper, de-seeded,julienned
2 young kaffir lime leaves, julienned

Method:

1) Whisk garlic, turmeric, ginger, curry powder, eggs, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar together until well blended.

garlic, turmeric, ginger, eggs, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar
2) Add enough water in a pan or wok to cover 1/3 of the ramekins.
3) Once the water starts to boil, decrease heat slightly so the water is gently boiling. Divide the salmon pieces equally into each ramekin. Pour the egg/coconut milk mixture equally into each ramekin. Scatter the coconut meat, pepper, and kaffir lime leaves on top.
4) Gently and carefully place the ramekins in the boiling water. Partially cover the pan or wok. Cook until the custard is set and the middle is slightly jiggly, approximately 15-20 minutes in gently boiling water.

my home-made kaffir lime (leaves)
and tear grass (beads) lei
(the tear grass came from
one of my hikes on Maui)