Grilled Fish with Pickle Fish Sauce

November 7, 2022  Cambodian Chef Avatar
Grilled Fish with Pickle Fish Sauce

Grilled Fish with Pickle Fish Sauce, known as Tirk Kreoung Pahok, stands out as a delicious dish in Khmer ethnic cuisine. This culinary delight often marks joyous meals for many, featuring hot and spicy grilled fish paired with a flavorful pickle fish sauce, accompanied by a plate of crisp, fresh raw vegetables and, of course, plenty of rice.

To embark on the culinary journey of preparing this dish, gather the following ingredients: 1 lb (450 grams) of catfish fillet, basa, or any white meat fish; minced garlic; fresh or frozen minced lemongrass; chopped hot chili peppers (optional); vegetable oil; water; sugar; fresh lime or lemon juice; creamy-style pickle fish (Pahok); chopped sweet basil leaves; and crushed unsalted roasted peanuts. Begin by grilling or boiling the fish, breaking up the cooked fish meat into a large bowl with a fork.

For the sauce, use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic, lemongrass, and hot chili peppers together, setting the mixture aside. Heat a small saucepan, adding oil, the prepared lemongrass mixture, and fish, stirring well. Introduce water, sugar, lime juice, and creamy pickle fish to the pan, stirring until the sauce bubbles. Add sweet basil leaves, stir, and remove from heat. Top the dish with crushed peanuts before serving.

Grilled Fish with Pickle Fish Sauce is best enjoyed hot, served with rice and a side of fresh raw vegetables such as cabbage, cucumber, or green banana, accompanied by boiled pka snor and mint. This culinary creation promises a symphony of flavors, blending the smokiness of the grilled fish with the zesty and spicy notes of the pickle fish sauce, creating a meal that captures the essence of Khmer cuisine.


1 lb (450 gram) of fillet of catfish, basa or any white meat fish
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of fresh or frozen fresh or frozen minced lemon grass
3 chopped hot chili pepper or to your taste (option)
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 cup of creamy style pickle fish (pahok)
A handful of chopped sweet basil leaves
1/2 cup of unsalted roasted peanut, crushed

Directions to make Grilled Fish with Pickle Fish Sauce

  1. Grilled or boiled fish. When fish cooked, put fish in a large bowl and use a fork to break up fish meat.
  2. Using mortal and pestles to pounded on garlic, lemon grass and hot chili pepper together, set a side.
  3. Heat up a small sauce-pan.
  4. When sauce-pan is hot, add oil, prepared lemon grass mixture and fish, stirs well.
  5. Add water, sugar, lime juice and creamy picklefish, stirs well and simmering till sauce bubbling, add sweet basil leaves, stirs and remove from heat. Top with peanut before serve.
  6. Serve hot with rice along with fresh raw vegetables; cabbage, cucumber or my favorite green banana, boiled pka snor and mints.

Enjoy it

Related Recipe: Pickle Fish Dipping Sauce

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2

Calories Per Serving: 684

% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate ‏30g 11%
Cholesterol ‏146mg 49%
Total Fat ‏45g 58%
Saturated Fat ‏10g 50%
Dietary Fiber ‏2g 7%
Protein ‏43g 86%
Sodium ‏771mg 34%
Sugars ‏9g 18%


30 min


15 min




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