I love all types of curry – with or without coconut milk, curry soup dish or dry curry dish, and Hor Mok is one of my favorite curry dishes.
ห่อหมก Hor Mok is Western-style fish mousse flavored with curry paste and thickened with coconut cream as opposed to cream. Also, instead of being formed into quenelles and poached, the curried fish mixture is steamed in banana leaf cups or in clay pots.
“Hor Mok” is not Thai in origin, but has been adapted to fit into the framework of Thai cuisine in such a way that we now have a dish that is decidedly and uniquely Thai in terms of flavor profile even though the influences of the Indian, the Moor, and the Portuguese are undeniable. – explained McDang, well-known Thai Chef in shesimmers.com.
Last weekend I went to an old Thai restaurant in Thonglor street. They prepared Hor Mok in Kanom Krok clay plates, and call it ห่อหมกขนมครก ‘Hor Mok Kanom Krok’.
- 2½ tablespoons store-bought red curry paste, cold
- 500 g boneless, skinless white-fleshed meat, cubed (cold)
- 1 egg, cold
- 2 cups coconut cream, cold
- 1-2 teaspoons palm sugar
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 cup Thai sweet basil leaves
- 1 cup coconut cream (for topping)
- 2 teaspoons rice flour (for topping)
- 5 kaffir lime leaves, finely julienned (half for garnish)
- 2 large red chili peppers, deseeded and julienned (for garnish)
- Prepared banana leaf cups for the fish custard (ramekins or any container that will hold the mousse during steaming will be a fine substitute)
- Place half of the fish cubes, the egg, curry paste, palm sugar and fish sauce into the work bowl of a food processor. Turn on the food processor and let it rip (remember that everything has to be cold).
- Once the fish starts to ball up, add the cold coconut cream while the machine is still running. This will create a creamy mousse and the consistency can be controlled by the amount of cream you add – it’s just a personal preference.
- Taste the mousse. It should be salty, slightly sweet and creamy. If you prefer not to taste it raw, fry a dollop of the mixture in a non-stick pan, then taste. Adjust seasoning according to your preference.
- Add half the julienned kaffir lime leaves to the mixture and blend further.
- Distribute the Thai sweet basil leaves evenly along the bottom of each banana leaf cup. Place the remaining fish cubes on top of the sweet basil, then fill each cup with the prepared mousse.
- Heat one cup of coconut cream with the rice flour in a saucepan until it thickens. Spoon over the contents of each cup and garnish with the rest of the kaffir lime leaves and the julienned red chili peppers.
- Place cups in the steamer and steam until done (usually ten minutes).
- Serve either hot or at room temperature with rice.
Have you tried Hor Mok before?