Cheat’s Mohinga (Burmese Fish Noodle Soup)


Mohinga is a Burmese fish noodle soup that is often eaten for breakfast – or anytime really. It’s one of my favourite noodle soups. The traditional way requires cooking the fish, deboning it and flaking it by hand. The cheat’s way is to use canned fish (either tuna or mackerel) for the same outcome.

There are a few ingredients that may be hard to find such as banana stems and besan. Besan can be found in Asian grocery stores.

Toppings are usually boiled eggs (sliced), coriander, pea fritters, vegetable fritters and chilli.

Serves 6 (generous)

Prep time 40 mins
Cook time 30 mins

Ingredients
100g rice
100g besan
100ml neutral oil
1 onion, minced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2cm piece ginger, crushed
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp paprika powder
500g canned fish (tuna or mackerel) in brine
1 lemongrass stalk, quartered
3L water
150ml fish sauce
Salt, to taste
270g dried rice noodles (e.g. somen noodles)
Boiled eggs, to garnish
Coriander, to garnish
Lemon/lime slices, to garnish
Fritters
Vegetables (e.g. gourd, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, etc.), sliced thinly
Split peas, soaked
Rice flour and water in 3:1 ratio
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp salt
Oil for frying

Firstly, toast the rice in a large pan on medium heat, stirring slowly for about 10 minutes until it turns brown. Set aside to cool while you toast the besan powder in the pan for 10 minutes until toasted. If you have a Thermomix, you can toast the rice and besan for 10 mins / Varoma / seed 1..

Using a spice grinder or similar, grind the toasted rice. Mix with the toasted besan powder in bowl and set aside. If you have a Thermomix, you can mill for 1-2 minutes / speed 10.

In a large pot, heat the oil and sautee the onion, garlic and ginger until it starts to caramelise at the edges. Add the shrimp paste, tumeric powder and paprika powder then sautee for a few more minutes until fragrant.

Add the canned fish (including the brine water) and lemongrass. Break up the fish pieces, adding approximately 100ml of water until it becomes a thick base, simmering for a few minutes.

Add the water and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Then gradually add the reserved besan / rice powder until mixed through and let it simmer. Season with more salt if required. You want the soup to be a little bit on the salty side because you will be mixing it with the noodles.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the noodles as per packet instructions and other garnishes.

To make the fritters, combine the vegetables / split peas into a batter of rice flour and water in a 3:1 ratio. Add the tumeric and salt and fry until golden.

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