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A bowl of seafood soup.

Mohinga | a Burmese Bouillabaisse


  • Author: Tina
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Burmese Food

Description

Mohinga is the unofficial national dish of Burma (Myanmar).  A lightly spiced fish soup that is served over rice vermicelli noodles and garnished with cilantro, sliced red onions, lime wedges and crispy toppings.  This Burmese food is easy to make a great starter dish for anyone interested learning how the Burmese chow down.


Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs cooking oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots
  • 1 Tbs minced ginger
  • 2 Tbs lemongrass paste
  • 1 Tbs turmeric
  • 2 Tbs paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz clam juice
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • soup thickener (see notes below)
  • 3 lb seafood, your choice
  • 3 Tbs fish sauce
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half
  • Vermicelli rice noodles or your favorite Asian noodle

Optional Garnishes:

  • chopped scallions
  • cilantro
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • lime wedges
  • French’s fried onions or fried jalapeños

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions and shallots until soft and translucent.
  2. Add ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, paprika and stir and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add garlic, stir and cook one more minute.
  4. Add clam juice, broth and brown sugar, stir and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add your thickener of choice (see notes below).  Simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. While your soup is simmering, prepare your hard boiled eggs if you haven’t already and cook your noodles according to package directions.  After cooking noodles, I always plunge in cold water and leave it there until ready to serve.  The noodles won’t stick together that way and you won’t have to toss them with oil.  I also store leftovers in the fridge that way.  If they dry out, they will stick together.
  7. Add seafood and cook until seafood is just cooked through.  It will turn opaque and if it’s fish, will flake easily with a fork.  Shrimp will turn pink and opaque.  Seafood cooks quickly, usually 3-5 minutes in a simmering liquid depending on how thick the portions are.  Use your best judgment.  The longer you cook seafood, the more tough and chewy it becomes.
  8. Add fish sauce at the end, stir gently.  Serve over noodles and sliced egg.  Garnish.

Notes

  • I always have jarred aromatics ready to go in the fridge.  Although I love using fresh garlic, ginger and lemongrass, some recipes can be a bit too much work for me if I don’t take some shortcuts.  I always have a small jar of minced garlic and ginger in the fridge, they keep for a long time.  I buy lemongrass in a tube as I need it, it has a shorter fridge life.
  • The Burmese use toasted rice powder to thicken their soups.  It’s the common starch they have.  To make it, roast uncooked rice on a baking sheet in the oven at about 300 degrees until golden.  Cool and pulverize in a spice grinder.  Westerners typically use either corn starch or tapioca starch mixed in with some water to form a slurry and pour that into simmering liquid.  I prefer potato flakes.  For this recipe I actually used 1 cup of dried potato flakes.
  • Clam juice is my shortcut to making seafood broth.  It’s too easy.
  • You may use your choice of seafood.  The Burmese, like most food cultures, use what’s available.  Catfish is common.  I used a frozen seafood mix I found at the grocery store.  We don’t have access to fresh seafood here.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups