- 1 kg banana leaves, cleaned (see note)
- 200 gm white cabbage, finely shredded
- 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
- 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
- 1For 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.
- 2Gently mix fish pieces into paste (taking care not to break the pieces).
- 3Cut 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.
- 4In 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).
- 5To serve, open the top of the parcels, drizzle with coconut cream and top with lime leaves.
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.
*Drink suggestion: Refreshing cold pilsner-style lager. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.