Mom’s Mohingha

This recipe is featured in the post Comfort Food Pt. 1: Mom’s Mohingha.

Here is a version of my Mom’s recipe for mohingha, with a few modifications:

INGREDIENTS, about 6-8 servings:

3 large catfish fillets, approx. 1-1/2 lbs.
1 6″ piece of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
4 heads of garlic, peeled
2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
1 medium onion cut into wedges
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
thai fish sauce
chili powder
corn meal mixed with water
1 bunch scallions, washed and sliced
1 bunch cilantro, picked and roughly chopped
4 hard boiled eggs
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
rice vermicelli


Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add salt and cook rice vermicelli as directed on the package. Drain, and toss with some vegetable oil to keep from sticking. Set aside.

Bring 4 quarts of water and half of the ginger to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the catfish fillets. Lightly poach the fillets until they are just cooked. Remove the fish and the ginger from the poaching liquid. Reserve all three separately.

Using a fork, break up the cooked fillets. Mince 6 cloves of garlic. Combine the remaining garlic, the poached ginger, and the remaining raw ginger in a blender. Blend into a paste, adding water as needed to loosen the mixture.

In a large dutch oven, saute the diced onions and minced garlic until the onions are transparent. Add the fish meat and season the mixture with fish sauce, chili powder, and paprika. Cook for another 5 minutes until all the flavors have blended. Add the poaching liquid, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the onion wedges. Lower to a simmer, and stir in the corn meal paste. Season with finely ground black pepper and salt. Simmer gently until the corn meal has thickened and the fish fillets have broken up. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for one minute.

Serve over rice noodles, garnished with scallions, cilantro, onions, hard boiled eggs, and lemon juice.

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