Crispy fried fish with ginger and fermented soybeans (Trey Chien Chuon), is a traditional Cambodian dish. The fermented soybeans give the dish an aromatic, salty flavor, while the ginger adds a spicy, refreshing taste.
All the ingredients should be available in your local grocery store, except for the fermented soybeans, and maybe the tempura flour, which you would probably need to look for in an Asian supermarket.
The fish used for the recipe is a white, freshwater fish, which is cut into pieces and then fried until crispy and golden brown. The dish is typically served as part of a meal, along with a soup, such as Ngam Ngov (soup with pickled lime), steamed white rice, and a dipping sauce made with garlic and chili.
Recipe and notes by Linda Meas, Meas Family Homestay
Linda is also runs the social businesses Weavers Project and Taeko in Takeo, Cambodia.
Ginger: If you don’t have a julienne peeler, you can cut the ginger into fine strips using a regular kitchen knife.
Fish: In the video, I am using a freshwater fish caught locally, but you can use any kind of white fish. If you are using a smaller fish, it can be fried whole, but if you are using a larger fish, you would need to cut it into smaller pieces. I dredge the fish in very little tempura flower. You shouldn’t be able to taste the flour. The flour is just added so that the fish does not stick to the frying pan, and so that the fish pieces do not fall apart.
Fermented soy beans: Should be possible to find in Asian grocery stores or online shops. The brand I am using is called “UFC Salted Soybean”. Some soybeans are bottled in a very salty brine, and if that is the case, you might need to wash the soybeans before adding them to the dish, or the dish might get too salty.