Tuk Kroeung Sadao or Neem Tree Salad

January 21, 2023  Cambodian Chef Avatar
Tuk Kroeung Sadao or Neem Tree Salad

Tuk Kroeung Sadao, or Neem Tree Salad, is a beloved dish among Khmer people. It’s worth noting that there are two different versions of Tuk Kroeung, and this particular one, Tuk Kroeung Pka Sadao, is made with tamarind and palm sugar instead of lime juice. The author’s parents and grandparents particularly enjoy this variation with fresh Pka Sadao. While the exact measurements may not be provided, the recipe encourages adjustments based on the size of one’s family.

The ingredients list includes grilled Tilapia, mud fish, or cat fish, lime juice, grilled garlic cloves, Thai chilies, tamarind concentrate (or ripe tamarind juice), palm sugar, roasted crushed peanuts, cooked prahok, boiling water, fish sauce, and optional fried pea eggplants. The process begins with frying the optional pea eggplants, garlic, and chilies in a pan until they turn gray or brown, imparting a unique flavor to the dish.

In a mortar and pestle, the grilled or fried ingredients are pounded into a paste. This paste is then spooned into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, a mixture of hot boiling water, cooked prahok, palm sugar, and tamarind concentrate is prepared and poured over the fish paste. Using a spoon, the ingredients are stirred to create a well-mixed fish paste mixture. Additional water can be added if necessary, and fish sauce and crushed peanuts are incorporated to adjust the flavor to one’s preference.

Tuk Kroeung Sadao is traditionally served with rice, Pka Sadao (neem tree flowers), and an assortment of green vegetables for dipping. This recipe provides a flavorful and authentic taste of Khmer cuisine, highlighting the use of unique ingredients and traditional preparation methods. The author invites readers to enjoy this cherished dish with their loved ones.


1 cup of grill Tilapia, mud fish or cat fish
1 lime juice or more up to you
5 garlic cloves grilled (dot or ang or fry)
4 Thai chilies up to you
1 to 2 tablespoon of tamarind concentrate or ripe tamarind juice
1 tablespoon of palm sugar or less up to you
2 tablespoon of roasted crush peanut
1 tablespoon of cooked prahok more or less up to you
Boil 1 cup of water
Fish sauce to taste
1/4 cup of small fresh or jar pea eggplants fried with a bit of oil (this is optional)

Directions to make Tuk Kroeung Sadao or Neem Tree Salad

  1. In a fry pan put 1 tablespoon of oil on low heat, fry pea eggplants, garlic, chilies
    until the color turn gray or brown ( do the same with the one in the jar) you can grill them also, but not the pea eggplants.
  2. In a mortar pestle pound the grill garlic, chilies or fried pea eggplants to paste then add the grill fish pound it with one hand holding a spoon stir it so all the ingredients mix well in the mortar. Pound everything to paste.
  3. Spoon the fish paste to a bowl set aside
  4. In a another bowl mix half of hot boiling water with cooked prahok, palm sugar tamarind concentrate, then pour over the fish paste, using spoon to stir and mix it well add more water if needed. Add fish sauce, crush peanut adjust the flavor to your taste.

Serve with Rice, Pka Sadao and all kind of green vegetables as dip.

Thank you and enjoy it.

Related Recipe: Fish and Pork or Tofu salad

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1

Calories Per Serving: 289

% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate ‏27g 10%
Cholesterol ‏50mg 17%
Total Fat ‏13g 17%
Saturated Fat ‏2g 10%
Dietary Fiber ‏7g 25%
Protein ‏22g 44%
Sodium ‏460mg 20%
Sugars ‏11g 22%


30 min


15 min




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