Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong
Stuart Scott

‘Mohinga’ translates as a ‘soup snack’. This noodle soup is Myanmar’s beloved national dish. It is served on the streets, in the markets, and even in fine restaurants. The Myanmar adore it as much as the Japanese love ramen and the Vietnamese love pho. This intricate, complex dish has many layers of flavours and textures, so it needs some time to create, but it is definitely worth it. Now I do understand it may be diœfficult to get banana trunk heart from your local Asian store, so you can use finely sliced raw or tinned banana blossom instead — there is no need to boil it before using.


Quantity Ingredient
100g rice vermicelli noodles
2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
100g boiled banana trunk heart, sliced, optional
4 sprigs coriander, to garnish
4 snake beans, finely sliced
chilli flakes, for sprinkling
lime wedges, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
1kg whole catfish or silver perch, cleaned
1 lemongrass stem, bruised
2 garlic cloves, bashed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons tinned chickpeas, mashed
85g toasted rice powder, (see note)
8 red asian shallots, peeled
80ml fish sauce

Spice paste

Quantity Ingredient
3 lemongrass stems, finely sliced, white part only
4 whole dried chillies, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, then drained
4 red asian shallots, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
125ml peanut oil
2 teaspoons shrimp paste
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sweet paprika


  1. To make the broth, place the whole fish in a large saucepan with the lemongrass, garlic and turmeric. Add enough cold water to cover the fish and bring to the boil. Skim off‹ any impurities, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20Œ minutes. Strain the broth and reserve it. Remove the fish meat from the bones, discarding the skin and bones.
  2. Meanwhile, make a start on your spice paste. Pound the lemongrass, whole dried chillies, shallot, garlic and ginger into a smooth paste using a large mortar and pestle, or in a food Œprocessor.
  3. Heat the peanut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the spice mixture and sauté for 20 minutes, or until slightly caramelised. Stir in the shrimp paste, turmeric and paprika. Now add the flaked fish, mixing gently until the fish is well coated. Cook over low heat for a further 5Œ minutes, to allow the flavours to infuse.
  4. Return the broth to the large saucepan. Add the fish mixture, mashed chickpeas, rice powder, shallots, fish sauce and aŒ pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir toŒ combine, then simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and stand the noodles in the water for 5 minutes. Drain well, rinse under cold water, then drain well again.
  6. Add the boiled eggs to the broth, with the banana trunk, ifΠusing.
  7. Divide the noodles among four bowls, then ladle the broth over the noodles. Garnish with the coriander, snake beans and chilli flakes and serve with lime wedges.


  • Lao people use toasted rice powder in dishes such as laap, and for dipping unripe fruit in, such as pomelo, green mango, tamarind and guava. Heat a frying pan or wok over medium heat and dry-roast 100 g uncooked glutinous rice for 8–10 minutes, until lightly browned, tossing occasionally. (For a smokier– flavour, allow the rice to turn a deeper shade of brown; to make your rice powder more perfumed, you can also dry-roast the rice with chilli, lemongrass and makrut (kaf˜fir lime leaves).) Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then pound to a powder using a large mortar and pestle. It is best used fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for several weeks.
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