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.
(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.)
Words and recipe by Yolaine Corban, inspired by Ty Sengmany.
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- 300 g Thai glutinous rice
- 400 g firm fish fillet (such as john dory, snapper, salmon), cut into 3-centimetre pieces
- 150 g raw prawns, shelled and deveined
- 150 g raw scallops, shelled
- 1 zucchini, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
- 1-2 tbsp Nuoc Mam Cham
- 2 sprigs dill, foliage only
- 5 kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- 70 g Coconut - Cream BUY
- 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, roughly chopped
- 1.5 tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
- 200 g Coconut - Milk BUY
- 1 egg
- 1 Litre water
- 1-2 red chilli, julienned
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 sec/speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl and repeat.
Add curry paste, coconut milk, 1 tablespoon nuoc mam cham and egg, then blend 15 sec/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.
Pour 1L 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 min/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 3-5 min/Varoma/speed 3.
Serve parcels immediately, slightly opened, and garnished with fresh red chilli julienne with the sticky rice on the side.