Mohinga (Burmese Catfish Curry Soup)
April 12, 2020
Mohinga is the traditional soup of Burma. It gets its flavor from a slowly poached catfish fillet that is broken down in the soup and then sauteed in a fresh curry paste.
Mohinga is best served with fresh chickpea pe kyaw crackers.
- 2 pounds catfish filets
- 1 pound rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 cup chicken stock
- fish paste
- 2 cubes chicken boullion
- 4 lemongrass stalks
- 10 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
- 2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 ounces ginger
- 1.5 cups fish sauce
- vegetable oil
- 1 cup rice flour, toasted
- Stock Pot
- Immersion Blender
- Separate the green and white parts of the lemongrass stalks.
- In the stock pot, combine the chicken stock, 1 cup of water, 1 cube of boullion, the fish paste, and a half cup of fish sauce. Bring to a low boil and add the green parts of the lemongrass stalks and half of the ginger as a small cube. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder and lower the heat to a low simmer.
- Add the catfish filets to the stock pot and poach in the cooking liquid for about 10 minutes. After that time, remove the fish with a slotted spoon or spatula and continue to simmer the stock pot.
- In the saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of corn oil and add the onion, garlic, remaining ginger, white parts of the lemongrass and stir until the onion is translucent and fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of fish sauce, and use an immersion blender to process the contents of the saucepan into a coarse curry paste.
- Return the saucepan to the stove and heat on medium heat and add a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of paprika, and some salt and black pepper to taste. Add the chicken boullion cube and stir to break up.
- Add the catfish filets to the curry paste in the saucepan and stir gently to break the catfish filets up into small chunks. Remove from the heat.
- Remove the whole lemongrass stalks and ginger pieces from the stock pot, and stir in 1 cup of toasted rice flour.
- Add the contents of the saucepan to the stock pot and stir to combine. Continue to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes and serve.
- Optionally you can add 4 sliced hard boiled eggs to the soup at this point to thicken the soup.
- Cook the rice vermicelli noodles according to their directions.
- Serve in soup bowls, with a small amount of the vermicelli noodles topped with the fish curry and soup. Garnish with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, chili powder flakes, sliced red onion, and Pe Kyaw.
Written by Will Chiong who lives and works in New York building useful things.