Fish amok is another dish that Veerasunthorn explicitly mentioned is in the movie and can be seen during the movie credits. Fish amok is considered Cambodia's national dish, and it is eaten on special occasions. It is traditionally cooked with steamed fish in banana leaves (see #11) or in a hollowed-out coconut (see #12), although beef, chicken, tofu, or seafood can also be used. In Khmer, "amok" actually means to steam. Coconut milk (see #12) and amok paste are two of the many components of this dish.
Amok kroeung (herb and spice) paste is made out of kaffir lime leaves (or kaffir lime zest), lemongrass, turmeric (powdered or fresh), and garlic. Galangal (or fresh ginger) is used for the yellow kroeung paste (which is called kroeung samlor m’chou in Khmer) but not the green kroeung paste (which is called kroeung prahoeur in Khmer). Some recipes include shallots for both the yellow kroeung paste and the green kroeung paste.
One ingredient for which there is no comparable substitute is the noni leaf, which is also known as slok nhor (also spelled as ngor). "Slok" means herb. The nhor, ngor, or noni leaf of Morinda citrifolia imparts a particular flavor to fish amok that other vegetables cannot replicate. While young ngor leaves are preferred, Swiss chard, kale, and spinach have been suggested as alternatives.
If made in the authentic traditional way, fish amok takes at least two hours to make (though time-saving techniques such as using a blender instead of a mortar and pestle for the kroeung paste as well as store-bought coconut milk or coconut cream instead of making it from scratch).
Fish amok in Cambodia comes in various hues of yellow, green, orange, and brown. The color depends on the kind of paste that is used and/or if chile is added. The texture of fish amok has been described as like a pâté, custard, soufflé, or mousse. Different recipes have various toppings, such as julienned red bell peppers, chile, a chiffonade of kaffir lime leaves, and coconut cream (or a combination of some of these ingredients). It can be served with or without rice.