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the world's largest religious monument built in the 12th century
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Trei Chien Chuon
Ginger Salmon with Salted Black Beans

Trei Chien Chuon
Fried Sweet & Sour Salmon

This is a well known and popular dish which is available in almost any restaurant in Cambodia. It is quick and easy to prepare. It is however common to see other ingredients added to this recipe depending on regions and seasons. These could include salted soya beans, cellophane noodles (mung bean noodles), cherry tomatoes and roasted shallots. So, feel free to add any of them to the recipe below. However, if salted soya beans are added, you need to adjust seasoning accordingly.

Did you know … 

We all need some fat in our diet. It protects our organs, helps moving nutrients around the body, keeps us warm and facilitates our body functions. However, as always, the key to health is moderation and balance. But beware, some fats are better than others. For example, the body tolerates unsaturated/ monounsaturated fat (i.e. olive oil, peanut oil and fish oil) better than saturated fat. And, trans fat or hydrogenated fat should be avoided – they are very bad for our health.


Trei Keh


ingredient - salted black beans - med size
Can/tin of Salted Black Beans
Bag of Dried Salted Black Beans

Serves 4

Salmon fillet1 700g (1.5 lb) – cut into 4 equal pieces
Juice of half lemon/lime
Salt ½ tsp
Oil 1 Tbsp (use olive oil if prefer)
Plain flour 2 Tbsp
Vegetable oil for frying ½ cup – or enough to be 1cm (½ in) deep in the frying pan/wok

Fish sauce mixture:
Fish sauce 2 Tbsp/30ml
Rice vinegar or cider vinegar 2 Tbsp/30ml (alternatively use 1½ Tbsp of white wine vinegar)
Sugar 2 Tbsp/25g
Water 7 Tbsp /100 ml
Tomato puree 2 tsp
Corn starch 1 tsp 

For topping:
Vegetable oil
2 Tbsp
Shallots 2 – peeled and thinly sliced
Garlic 2 cloves – peeled and finely chopped
Fresh ginger 3.5 cm (1.5 inch) – peeled and sliced into fine juliennes
Salted black beans 2 Tbsp - soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained (see photo below) - available at Asian grocery stores)
Cherry tomatoes 20 (alternatively, use 2 tomatoes, chopped into 1½ cm/½ in cubes)

For garnish
Coriander (cilantro)
a few sprigs for garnish (alternatively use spring onion leaves sliced diagonally into strips)
Red finger chilli 1, deseeded, sliced and chopped


Marinating the fish - Marinate the fish with salt, lemon/lime juice and oil for at least 15 minutes (or overnight in the fridge but remember to take it out 30 minutes before cooking to have room-temperature).

Making the fish sauce -Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, water and corn starch. Set aside.

Making the topping - In a clean wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, add the shallots, garlic, half of the ginger and tomato puree; and stir-fry until fragrant – about 10 seconds (you may need to add 1-2 teaspoons of water if it is too dry). Add in the black beans and the tomatoes and stir-fry until the tomatoes start to burst. Stir the fish sauce mixture before adding to the wok, and then stir-fry for a few minutes until it thickens. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Frying the marinated fish - Pat dry the fish with kitchen paper. Coat each salmon fillet with the flour and shake off excess. Heat the oil in a frying pan / skillet on medium high heat until very hot 2 before frying the fish3 until golden brown – about 3 minutes on each side. You may have to lower the heat slightly. When the fish is cooked, drain excess oil on kitchen paper and cover to keep warm. At this stage you can spoon the hot topping sauce over the fish, add garnishes and served immediately with steamed rice. However, to avoid the fish from getting soggy, you can cover the fried fish with aluminium/tin foil to keep warm; and only add the topping and garnishes on just before serving.


1  Whole fish such as trout, bream, snapper, tilapia, trei keh (Micronema) or trei ta-aon (Ompok hypophthalmus) can be a good substitute for salmon.  

2  To avoid sticking, heat the oil until very hot on medium high heat (not on high heat) before putting the fish in. 

3  Always fry the top side before the skin side of the salmon. This way there will be no burning bits, if any, sticking to the presenting side.