Luke Nguyen prepares a traditional home-style Cambodian dish of tender squid paired with subtle and slightly sweet young green peppercorns. A dash of coconut milk puts the finishing touch on this simple yet delicious stir-fry.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (68 votes)


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 tsp Cambodian chilli paste 
  •  30 g kampot green peppercorns or fresh green peppercorns 
  • 200 g baby squid, cleaned, skinned, cut into 4 cm-thick pieces, including the tentacles 
  • ½ onion, cut into wedges 
  • ¼ green capsicum, finely sliced 
  • ¼ red capsicum, finely sliced 
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced, plus extra sliced chilli to garnish 
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce 
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 2 tsp liquid palm sugar or shaved palm sugar (jaggery) 
  • 1 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts 
  • 60 ml coconut cream

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Add the vegetable oil, garlic, chilli paste and peppercorns to a hot wok. Stir-fry over a medium–high heat for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add the squid, onion, capsicums and chilli and stir-fry for a further 1–2 minutes.

Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts, coconut cream and a pinch of sea salt and stir-fry for a further 1½ minutes, or until heated through.

Garnish with extra chilli slices and serve.



• To make Cambodian chilli paste, soak 200 g of seeded, large dried chillies in 500 ml of warm water for 10 minutes. Drain, and then squeeze out the excess water. Pound the chillies to a paste in a mortar. Add to a hot wok with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry over a medium heat for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Allow to cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.