The national dish of Burma, called mohingha, is a curried fish soup with rice vermicelli and lots of adorning condiments. The flavours of this recipe are similar, but we've used fresh rice noodles and a thicker curry sauce. Feel free to use as many or as few of the condiments as you like.
- 2 duck eggs, at room temperature (see note)
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) peanut oil
- 4 red shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 800 gm thin fresh rice noodles
- 1 tsp shrimp paste (see note)
- 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, scored
- 60 ml (¼ cup) sesame oil
- 1½ onions, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 20 gm (4cm piece) ginger, cut into julienne
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 3 tsp finely chopped fresh turmeric
- 1 tsp each sweet paprika and ground chilli
- 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk
- 2 fresh curry leaf sprigs
- 2 tbsp tamarind purée (see note), or to taste
- 2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
- 1½ tbsp caster sugar, or to taste
- 2 firm white fish fillets, such as coral trout or barramundi (about 225gm each), skin on
- 1For fish curry, preheat oven to 180C. Wrap shrimp paste in foil and roast until fragrant (5-10 minutes), then set aside. Meanwhile, blanch tomatoes until skins split, then refresh, drain, peel, finely chop and set aside. Heat sesame oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass and sauté until softened (10 minutes), add fenugreek, turmeric, spices, shrimp paste and sauté until fragrant (1-2 minutes), then add coconut milk, curry leaves, tamarind, fish sauce, sugar and tomato and stir occasionally until flavours meld (10-20 minutes). Add fish and cook over low heat, breaking up slightly with a wooden spoon, until cooked through (4-6 minutes). Add lime juice, adjusting seasoning to suit your taste, keep warm.
- 2Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, add duck eggs and cook until medium-boiled (10-12 minutes). Cool under running water, peel and halve.
- 3Meanwhile, heat peanut oil in a saucepan over medium heat, fry shallot and garlic separately until golden (3-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on absorbent paper.
- 4Place noodles in a heatproof bowl, cover completely with boiling water and stand until heated through (1-2 minutes), then drain and serve with fish curry, fried garlic and shallot, duck eggs, coriander, chillies, mustard greens, lime wedges and chilli powder to the side.
Note Duck eggs are available from Chinese butchers. Pickled mustard greens, shrimp paste and tamarind purée are available from Asian grocers.