How to Cook Burmese Mohinga

Technical difficulties have been the bane of my existence since I started Livestreaming my cooking 3 years ago (I was one of the global pioneers of using Hangouts-on-Air for food broadcasts, btw).

Anyhow, after a prolonged absence due largely to internet-related issues, I did my first broadcast in 7 months yesterday, on what is arguably Burma’s most famous dish – Mohinga, or Monhinga. Lag times and uneven audio aside, it went well.

4-min highlights with instructions –

The full length broadcast with detailed instructions –

As mentioned in the broadcast, this was a collaboration with Soe Thein, a talented Burmese medical student based in the USA, who blogs at www.limeandcilantro.com – I was very intrigued by his posts on Google+ and reached out to him about contributing a recipe for my next show and he was very kind to oblige.

As a transplanted Southeast Asian food lover, Soe has had to learn to cook his favourite dishes from his home country, while adapting the recipes to use ingredients available to him in his new setting. This is something I can completely relate with, and I especially appreciate that his ingredients and terms are US-based. My own audience is predominantly North American and I know I confuse the hell out of you all when I get carried away talking about belacan and ikan bilis and what-not.

Preamble aside, I need to point out that thanks to some great product samples I received from the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture some months back, I ended up adapting the recipe during the broadcast to use them instead of going to the trouble of buying turmeric and ginger etc. You’ll see what I mean if you watch the video.

Here are the ingredients used in my version of the recipe, and Soe’s recipe follows below that:

I used Catfish instead of Tilapia because 1) that’s what I could find at my fish shop 2) it seems to be a more common type of fish used in Burma for this recipe.

I used Catfish instead of Tilapia because 1) that’s what I could find at my fish shop 2) it seems to be a more common type of fish used in Burma for this recipe.

Clockwise from top - fresh lemongrass (I split the difference between fresh and puree), brown onions, boiled eggs, fresh rice spaghetti (thicker than the type usually used, but it saved me time because that’s what was availale), garlic and cilantro (aka fresh coriander).

Clockwise from top – fresh lemongrass (I split the difference between fresh and puree), brown onions, boiled eggs, fresh rice spaghetti (thicker than the type usually used, but it saved me time because that’s what was available), garlic and cilantro (aka fresh coriander).

Clockwise from top right - roasted rice (before I ground it in a food processor), fried shallots, paprika and garlic oil.

Clockwise from top right – roasted rice (before I ground it in a food processor), fried shallots, paprika and garlic oil.

Fish sauce along with the Vias products courtesy of the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture’s Sydney office.

Fish sauce along with the Vias products courtesy of the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture’s Sydney office.

My Mohinga from the broadcast

My Mohinga from the broadcast

Baby Noah eats Mohinga

#babyNoah gives my Mohinga a hearty thumbs up – he ended up eating most of what was in the bowl. #DownSyndrome #hydrops #hydropsfetalis #AVSD #duodenalatresia #NICU #PICU #autism #bondilife

Posted by Jackie M. on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Soe’s ingredients list:

  • 1 medium-sized tilapia (cleaned, gutted and scaled)
  • 3 medium-sized yellow onion (chop one and thickly sliced the other 2)
  • 1 cup of toasted rice flour
  • 5 stalks of lemongrass
  • 5 slices of ginger (about 1/8” thick)
  • 5 big cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 5 quarts of water
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup of fish sauce
  • Eggs, cilantro (Coriander) and garlic oil for garnish

For full written steps on how to cook this, visit Soe’s blog post at http://www.limeandcilantro.com/2015/10/my-last-meal-on-earth-monhinga.html

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