Mohinga (Burmese fish soup)
- April 2020
- Serves 6
- Hands on time 30 min, simmering time 45 min
For delicious. reader Thuzar Kyi, this Burmese fish soup is the dish that reminds her most of her mother.
She says: ”When it comes to home-cooked comfort food, mohinga tops my list. It’s considered the national dish of Myanmar and every Burmese cook has a recipe for it passed down from their mother. In Burma, mohinga is traditionally made with catfish, which wasn’t easy to get in the UK in the 1980s. My mother’s alternative was tinned mackerel, and that’s how I prefer my mohinga.”
- 21.5g (5.5g saturated)
- 68.5g (5.2g sugars)
- 1 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
- 2 tbsp ground rice or rice flour
- 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 whole dried red chillies, finely chopped, or 2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, grated
- 4 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 2 x 110g tins mackerel fillets in brine (undrained)
- 4 tbsp fish sauce, plus extra to serve
- 8 small shallots, peeled
- 400g rice vermicelli noodles
- 100g fresh coriander, chopped
- 3 duck eggs or 6 hen’s eggs, hard-boiled and sliced or halved
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 3 limes, cut into wedges
- Ready-made deep-fried crispy onions for sprinkling (check these are gluten free, if they need to be)
- Chilli flakes to taste
You’ll also need…
- Large pestle and mortar or mini food processor
- Toast the gram flour over a low heat in a dry frying pan, stirring often, until it turns golden – keep watch of it so it doesn’t burn. Set aside, then toast the ground rice or rice flour in the same way.
- In a large pestle and mortar, pound the lemongrass, chillies,,onion, garlic and ginger to a paste (or use a mini food processor).
- Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan over a medium heat. Add the turmeric, paprika and the lemongrass/chilli paste, then fry for 5-7 minutes until the onion in the paste starts to caramelise.
- Stir in the mackerel (with the brine), then cook for 5 minutes more, ensuring all the mackerel is coated with the paste.
- Add the toasted gram and rice flours and keep stirring until the paste thickens.
- Pour in 1.5 litres water and add the fish sauce. Bring the soup up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the whole shallots and a pinch of pepper to the soup, then simmer gently for 30 minutes more (see Make Ahead).
- Meanwhile, put the vermicelli in a separate large heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water from the kettle. Leave to soak for 7 minutes (or until the noodles are soft), then drain.
- To serve, divide the vermicelli noodles among 6 bowls. Ladle over the fish soup (leaving behind the whole shallots), then garnish with coriander, halved eggs, red onion, fresh lime wedges, extra fish sauce, crispy onions and chilli flakes.
Make to the end of step 7 up to a few hours before serving, then gently reheat and complete the recipe.
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