Roasted Pickle-Fish with Ground Pork

Roasted Pickle-Fish with Ground Pork (Pahok Kop) ប្រហុកកប់ is a classic Cambodian dish.

It has been 6 years since I started cooking on my own but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve craved classic Cambodian dish such as this one and Steamed Fish Eggs with Ground Pork (Pa’ork Pong Trey) ផ្អកពងត្រី. My parent enjoy fishing during their past time. When a nice big stripe bass is caught she would clean and preserve the fish eggs to make Steam Fish Eggs with Ground Pork, like a custard. Fresh and cooked vegetables are then dipped into the custard. I will have to check with my Mother if she has any preserved fish eggs this season. Until then I will try to calm my cravings with this delicious Roasted​ Pickle-Fish with Ground Pork. The authentic version use Krosang as the sour agent. I don’t have that so I substitute it with tamarind base powder. If you don’t have holy basil, you can use Thai Basil instead. Dip it with your favorite fresh or cooked vegetables. My tomatoes and Japanese eggplants are loaded in the garden so this was another great opportunity for me to enjoy them.

Ingredients
10 banana leaves
½ ground pork
½ lb oyster mushrooms
5 tablespoons lemongrass paste (kroeung)
1 tablespoon ground pahok
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon tamarind base
a handful of holy basil leaves
5 toothpicks (to hold parcels)
assorted fresh vegetables to serve

Method:
Prepare banana leaves by washing each of them in hot water. This will make it stronger. Use a paper towel or kitchen towel to wipe it clean. Set aside.

Wash mushrooms and squeeze out excess water. Shred them into pieces with your fingers and set aside.

In a motar & pestal (or a large bowl) combine ground pork, kroeung, sugar, salt, and tamarind base. Lightly pound so the ingredients are all mixed together. Add shredded mushrooms and basil leaves. Use a spoon/fork to fold it into the mixture.

Lay two sheets of banana leaves together. Scoop up mixture and place it in the center. Fold the side like a parcel and secure with toothpick. Repeat this step to make a total of five parcels.

Place on a hot grill and grill until the banana leaves starts to burns. Serve with your favorite fresh or cooked vegetables along with steamed rice.

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