Sunday, January 11, 2009
Hor Mok, steamed salmon curry cake
This is not a kind of cake with sweet icing on top though and it is not sweet, instead, it's spicy food made with curry paste, coconut milk and eggs. YUM
Curry cakes are usually made with fish meats and all kind of seafood. They are a solid form of curries, I would say, to eat with plain, steamed rice, but, for me, no rice is even better. There are many Thai foods I crave for, which is, again, not easy to find, especially when I live far from Thai community. The only way to satisfy my craving is to call mom for the recipe and directions.
I used to think that this kind of foods is complicated to cook because they look complicated, to me. Besides making water into ice, I had no idea how to make curry into solid form - inside a steamer not a freezer. That was out of my world. Now they are just a piece of cake...righttttttt...after going broke by numbers of long distance phone calls.
In Thailand a batch of curry cake is scooped up into banana leaves folded and secured to form tiny bowls covered with vegetables at the bottom of the bowls. In New York, finding banana leaves is more likely finding gold. So, forget about banana leaves, just good heat resistant ceramic bowls my curry cakes would be happy enough. Still, if finding banana leaves is not a burden, go for it. It is worthy - smell so good and look pretty too. This time I got creative using bell peppers as my tiny bowls and that I can eat the whole thing. I realized I didn't buy enough bell peppers and they were kind of small, so I had to put the rest of the batch into ceramic bowls as usual.
Try some if you love spicy food.
- start with 2 pieces fresh salmon cut into chunks or your choices of fish meats or any seafood.
- 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste.
- 2 eggs
- a can of coconut milk (save up 2-3 tbsp for topping at last)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp palm sugar
- about 5 bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed, or just heat resistant bowls.
- vegetable leaves for covering the bottom of the bowls - basil leaves are the ideal.
Let get your arms toned.
1. Mix salmon, coconut milk, curry paste and eggs together.
2. Stir them together to incorporate.
3. Season with fish sauce and palm sugar and keep stirring until creamy thick - thick enough to hold itself a little.
4. Prepare the steamer. I use a wok with a steamer plate and a lid since it is easy for me. You can use any kind of steamers that allow hot steam from boiling water go through tiny holes to steam the bowls. (I used wine corks to help balancing bell peppers since they don't have flat bottom)
5. Open the lid checking them after 15 minutes, add a tiny pinch of salt to preserved coconut milk and top it on the curry cakes follow with basil leaves.
Eat them with steamed rice, or just them. I eat them as an appetizer, or even a snack sometimes.