Hor mok


Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Food -

“There are so many vari­a­tions and names for hor mok across dif­fer­ent re­gions in Thai­land,” says An­der­son. “In the north-east­ern re­gion of Isaan they call it mok pla and it has the ad­di­tion of dill. In the north­ern re­gions of Chi­ang Mai, a rus­tic ver­sion with river fish and so many more herbs and wild greens is called ap (the north­ern ver­sions also tend not to in­clude co­conut milk). The com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor is that it is usu­ally wrapped in ba­nana leaves – a tra­di­tion car­ried over from the days when plas­tic wasn’t avail­able. I love the ba­nana leaves – they im­part a spe­cial fra­grance through the steam­ing process that to me smells of nos­tal­gia. This ver­sion is one we make from time to time at our Chat Thai kiosk at The Ga­leries in Syd­ney to ap­pease our Thai din­ers (who can’t help but or­der it when they see it). When we do make it, it’s the first thing to sell out. If you hap­pen to have a noni fruit tree in your back­yard, use noni leaves in place of shred­ded cab­bage.” You’ll need tooth­picks or skew­ers to se­cure the ba­nana leaves. Pic­tured p108. 1 kg ba­nana leaves, cleaned

(see note)

200 gm white cab­bage, finely


12 thinly sliced or whole small

long red chill­ies

2½ cups (loosely packed)

Thai basil

2 tbsp warmed co­conut cream, and shred­ded makrut lime leaves, to serve HOR MOK PASTE

500 gm skin­less firm white fish, such as co­bia, king­fish or snap­per

20 dried long red chill­ies, coarsely cut with scis­sors, soaked (10 min­utes), drained 5 gm (1cm piece) galan­gal, thinly sliced

Peeled zest of 1 small makrut lime, coarsely chopped 10 gar­lic cloves, coarsely chopped 4 co­rian­der roots, coarsely chopped 4-5 red shal­lots, coarsely chopped

2½ tbsp wild ginger (see note), coarsely chopped 2 eggs, beaten 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce 1 tbsp soft palm sugar 250 ml (1 cup) co­conut cream 1 For hor mok paste, cut 300gm fish into 14 pieces and re­frig­er­ate un­til re­quired. Blend re­main­ing fish in a food pro­ces­sor to a coarse paste. Pound chill­ies, fol­lowed by galan­gal, zest, gar­lic, co­rian­der, shal­lots, ginger and 2 tsp salt to a very fine paste with a mor­tar and pes­tle. Com­bine with fish paste in a large bowl, add egg, fish sauce and palm sugar and enough co­conut cream to bind and mix with your hands un­til well com­bined. 2 Gen­tly mix fish pieces into paste (tak­ing care not to break the pieces). 3 Cut ba­nana leaves into 28 roughly 20cm pieces. Place two pieces of ba­nana leaf in your hand and top with 1 tbsp cab­bage and 3 tbsp fish paste (in­clud­ing a piece of fish). Ar­range pieces of chilli and 5 basil leaves on top. Leav­ing room around the edges to ex­pand dur­ing cook­ing, fold sides of leaf to en­close, and se­cure with tooth­picks. Re­peat un­til all paste has been used.

4 In batches if nec­es­sary, place parcels in a bam­boo steamer bas­ket over a saucepan or wok of boil­ing wa­ter. Re­duce heat to medium and steam un­til parcels are firm (20-25 min­utes).

5 To serve, open the top of the parcels, driz­zle with co­conut cream and top with lime leaves.

Note Ba­nana leaves are avail­able from Asian gro­cers – look for Du­casse leaves, which are softer and less likely to break. Wild ginger, also known as krachai or Chi­nese keys, is avail­able from Thai gro­cers.

Beer sug­ges­tion Re­fresh­ing cold pil­sner-style lager.

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