Ty Sengmany is owner and head chef at De Bangkok à Osaka in Orleans, the capital of the Centre-Val de Loire region of France, and his take on the Ho Mok Pla is one of the meals I look forward to most when visiting home. Instead of mincing the fish, Ty makes the seafood shine and much prefers the chunkier texture of this version. The fragrant burst of kaffir lime leaves is a true hero in this dish and the chef’s addition of dill complements the seafood without it overpowering. Essentially a steamed complete meal, it is the perfect dish for layer cooking by steaming the rice and fish curry simultaneously.
Nuoc Mam Cham
- Soak the rice in water for 2 hours.
- In a large bowl, mix all the seafood and zucchini together with 1/2 tablespoon of the nuoc mam cham, dill and half the shredded kaffir lime leaves.
- Divide this mix into the centres of 4 individual squares of baking paper (30 x 30 centimetres).
- In a small separate bowl, stir the rice flour into the coconut cream to form a homogenous paste, set aside.
- Place lemongrass in mixing bowl and mince 3 seconds/speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl and repeat.
- Add curry paste, coconut milk, 1 tablespoon nuoc mam cham and egg, then blend 15 seconds/speed 5.
- Pour the sauce over each mound of seafood mix and top with a spoonful of coconut cream/rice flour mixture and some shredded kaffir lime leaves, firmly sealing each parcel as you go so the juices don’t run out. Place the packages seam-side up, 2 in the Varoma dish and 2 in the Varoma tray.
- Weigh 1000 grams of water into the mixing bowl. Drain the soaked rice into the simmering basket and run under cold water before inserting it into place. Set Varoma into position and steam 18 minutes/Varoma/speed 2.
- Check that the sticky rice is cooked and keep warm. Check the seafood parcels, if still undercooked, steam for a further for another 3 to 5 minutes/Varoma/speed 3.
- Serve parcels immediately, slightly opened, and garnished with fresh red chilli julienne with the sticky rice on the side.
Nuoc Mam Cham
Time 4 minutes 30 seconds in the Thermomix; 10 minutes cooling
If you wish to keep this sauce for longer than a few days, we suggest straining it within a few hours of making to prevent the garlic and chilli from becoming too intense.
- Put fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and water into the mixing bowl and cook 4 minutes/100 degrees/speed 2 without measuring cup. Set aside in a separate bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Mince garlic and chilli 3 seconds/speed 7, scrape down sides of the bowl and repeat.
- Return the fish sauce mixture to the mixing bowl along with the lime juice and combine 10 seconds/speed 3.
- Allow to cool completely and store in a glass bottle/jar in the refrigerator.
AND… For a more “authentic” look and extra flavour, you may choose to serve your Ho Mok Pla in banana-leaf boats or parcels—effect guaranteed.