Discover the Flavor of Cambodia with Hak Lok Dish

Experience the taste of Cambodia with this authentic Hak Lok recipe, a classic dish made with seafood and coconut milk.

Cambodian cuisine is a delicious blend of flavors and ingredients from neighboring countries, including Thailand and Vietnam. Known for its use of fresh herbs and spices, as well as a variety of seafood and meats, Cambodian cuisine is definitely worth exploring. One dish that you simply must try is Hak Lok, a classic dish made with seafood in a spicy and savory sauce made with coconut milk.

Hak Lok is a staple of everyday life in Cambodia and is often served with rice. If you’re looking to bring the flavors of Cambodia into your home, this recipe is a great place to start. In this post, we’ll take you through the ingredients you’ll need, the steps to make the Hak Lok sauce and cook the dish, and some serving suggestions to complete the meal.


  • Fish (preferably whole)
  • Coconut milk
  • Lemongrass
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Red chili pepper
  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • Fish sauce
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Optional ingredients:

  • Eggplant
  • Bell pepper
  • Basil leaves

If you have trouble finding kaffir lime leaves, you can substitute them with the zest of a regular lime. Fresh basil leaves can also be substituted with dried basil.


The first step in making Hak Lok is to clean and prepare the fish. Clean the fish thoroughly, removing scales, gutting and removing the head and tail if desired. Next, make the Hak Lok sauce by blending the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, red chili pepper, and kaffir lime leaves in a food processor until smooth. Then, heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and add the blended ingredients. Cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. After that, add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and salt to the pan, stirring to combine. Let the sauce simmer until it thickens, about 10-15 minutes.

Cooking the Hak Lok:

In a separate pan, heat some oil over medium heat. Then, add the prepared fish to the pan and cook until it is browned on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Pour the prepared Hak Lok sauce over the fish and add any optional ingredients, such as eggplant or bell pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is fully cooked.

Serving Suggestions:

Hak Lok is typically served over a bed of steamed rice, but you can also accompany it with some steamed or stir-fried vegetables, such as bok choy or green beans, for added nutrition and texture. Additionally, you can serve the Hak Lok with some additional condiments, such as chopped fresh herbs, lime wedges, or chili sauce, for a flavor boost.

In conclusion, the Cambodian Hak Lok recipe is a classic dish that brings together the flavors of seafood, coconut milk, and aromatic herbs and spices. Whether you’re a fan of spicy and savory food or just looking to try something new, this dish is definitely worth a try. So gather your ingredients, follow the steps outlined above, and enjoy a delicious meal that transports you to the heart of Cambodia.

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