Cambodian Style Grilled Fish 

tamarind fish

tamarind fish


Fish forms the largest component of an average Cambodian person’s protein intake. Grilled whole catfish is a popular takeaway food, and found at markets and stalls throughout the country. This version of Cambodian style grilled fish uses fillets of firm fish and the sauce is made up of tamarind, palm sugar and sautéed shallots.


Cambodian grilled fish

Cambodian grilled fish


Serves 2

350g yellowtail or other firm white fish, cut into portions (skin on)

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 tsp garlic, minced

2 tsp fish sauce

2 tbsp canola oil

For the Sauce

1 tbsp black tamarind, soaked in just enough boiling water to cover

2 tbsp palm sugar

30-40 ml water

1 tsp garlic, finely minced

½ red chillli, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely sliced


cambodian fish 


  1. Coat the fish in ginger, garlic and fish sauce. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes. In the meanwhile, strain the tamarind seeds and discard them.
  2. In a nonstick pan on medium heat add the palm sugar. It will start to melt. After 30 seconds add the water and swirl the pan to dissolve the sugar. Allow the mixture to bubble.
  3. Add the tamarind paste, chilli and garlic and cook down for a minute, stirring. Add the shallots and remove from the heat after 30 seconds.
  4. Heat a pan to medium-high and add oil. Fry the fish skin side down first for a minute and a half, depending on thickness. Flip over and cook until done. Do not allow fish to dry out.
  5. Serve hot, topped with tamarind shallot sauce and sticky rice.


Cambodian style fish



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