“Hmok” in Thai means to stuff something in a banana leaf, roll/wrap it tight and throw it in the fire until the outer wrap is burnt (that’s about the time it takes for the food inside to be cooked). The following recipe is for a banana leaf-wrapped fish custard that you can wrap up the night before an outdoor barbecue and then just toss on the grill when guests arrive. Sam paired this dish with Diamond Bear Southern Blonde at the Oxford Beer Fest.
Hmok Pla from Sam Thamutok at Rice & Spice
- 3 oz. red curry paste (less or more for spice level)
- 1 oz. fish sauce
- 2 oz. palm sugar
- 4 oz. coconut milk
- 1 egg
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
- 1 lb. fresh fish fillet, cut into bite-size pieces (use catfish, grouper or red snapper; chicken can also be substituted)
- Your choice of vegetable (Thai basil, Napa cabbage or turnip greens are recommended)
- Enough banana leaves to wrap ingredient mixture together
- Toothpicks to secure leaves during cooking
Mix together red curry paste, fish sauce, egg, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar and coconut milk. Add fish and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while preparing banana leaves and vegetables. Cut banana leaf to appropriate size (recommend using three layers); immerse vegetables in boiling water for 20 seconds, remove and let drain. Place vegetables on banana leaf, top with mixed ingredients. Wrap banana leaf, “staple” with toothpick on both ends, place on grilling pan or grill, over medium-high heat, flip when banana leaf is burnt. Enjoy with steamed jasmine rice and a light body beer.
Yield: 4 servings
The Oxford Beer Fest’s VIP Chef/Beer Pairing area was organized by EatingOxford.com. If you’d like information on how to hold a similar event at your venue, contact Liz@EatingOxford.com.