Nga soke lone hin

Nga soke lone hin

Fish kofta curry

The Complete Asian Cookbook
Alan Benson

My grandmother taught me how to make this delicious fish curry. There is no use pretending it is a quick and easy recipe, but it is the tastiest way of serving fish. For a more delicate dish, poach the fish koftas in simmering water and serve as a fish soup with boiled rice.

Fish koftas


Quantity Ingredient
1kg skinless, boneless firm white fish fillets, such as jewfish or cod
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice, strained
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves or dill, finely chopped
2 slices white bread, soaked in hot water and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon anchovy paste, (optional)


Quantity Ingredient
60ml sesame oil
3 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1-2 teaspoons chilli powder, (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika, (optional)
1 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. To make the kofta, finely mince the fish fillets in a food processor, taking care to remove the bones first. Place in a large bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients. Use your hands to mix together thoroughly and shape into small balls, with a 3 cm diameter — you should make about 24 balls in total.
  2. To make the curry, heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft and golden. Add the turmeric, then remove from the heat and add the tomato, salt and the chilli powder and paprika, if using. (In Burmese cooking the amount of chilli used would be enough to give a red colour to the sauce, but the paprika is suggested here as a substitute for a portion of it, with chilli used to suit individual tastes.)
  3. Wrap the dried shrimp paste in a piece of foil and roast under a preheated griller for 5 minutes, turning halfway through. Unwrap, dissolve in 375 ml hot water and add to the pan, stirring until the tomato is soft and pulpy. If the sauce starts to dry out, add a little hot water — there should be enough sauce to almost cover the fish koftas. Gently put the fish koftas in the sauce and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time, until cooked through. Do not stir until the fish is cooked and firm, or the koftas might break. Stir in the coriander and lemon juice and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve with white rice and balachaung.
The Complete Asian Cookbook
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