Mohinga soup

Mohinga

  • serves 4
  • A little effort

Mohinga is a rice noodle and fish soup and is one of the national dishes of Myanmar. This recipe is taken from the book From China To Vietnam by Luke Nguyen (£25, Hardie Grant).

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Ingredients

  • peanut (groundnut) oil 125 ml
  • shrimp paste 2 tsp
  • ground turmeric 1 tsp
  • sweet paprika 1 tsp
  • tinned chickpeas 3 tbsp, mashed
  • toasted rice powder 85g (see note)
  • red Asian shallots 8, peeled
  • fish sauce 80ml
  • vermicelli noodles 100g
  • hard-boiled eggs 2, halved
  • coriander sprigs 4, to garnish
  • snake beans or green or beans 8, finely sliced
  • chilli flakes for sprinkling
  • lime wedges to serve
  • catfish or silver perch or gurnard about 1kg whole, cleaned and gutted
  • lemongrass 1 stem, bruised
  • garlic 2 cloves, bashed
  • ground turmeric 1 tsp
  • lemongrass 3 stems, finely sliced
  • whole dried chillies 4, then drained
  • red Asian shallots 4, diced
  • garlic 4 cloves, diced
  • ginger 2 cm piece, peeled and finely sliced

Method

  • Step 1

    To make the broth, put the whole fish in a large pan with the lemongrass, garlic and turmeric. Add enough cold water to cover the fish and bring to the boil. Skim off any impurities, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth and reserve it. Remove the fish meat from the bones, discarding the skin and bones.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, make the spice paste. Pound the lemongrass, whole dried chillies, shallot, garlic and ginger into a smooth paste using a large mortar and pestle, or in a food processor.

  • Step 3

    Heat the peanut oil in a pan over low heat.Add the spice mixture and fry for 20 minutes, or until slightly caramelised. Stir in the shrimp paste, turmeric and paprika. Now add the flaked fish, mixing gently until the fish is well coated. Cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes, to allow the flavours to infuse.

  • Step 4

    Return the broth to the large saucepan.Add the fish mixture, mashed chickpeas, rice powder, shallots, fish sauce and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine, then simmer for 30 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and stand the noodles in the water for 5 minutes. Drain well, rinse under cold water, then drain well again.

  • Step 6

    Divide the noodles among four bowls and add a boiled egg half to each bowl. Ladle the broth over the noodles. Garnish with the coriander, snake beans and chilli flakes and serve with lime wedges.

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