Making Mohinga, Myanmar’s National Dish

Mohinga is a fish noodle soup. It is eaten all over Myanmar at all times of the day but especially at breakfast. It has so many strong tasting spices, I kept saying quietly to myself…what?! That amount? That too? I was so afraid all those flavors would collide and disagree, but no… quite the opposite happens, they all come together to delight your tongue with a rainbow of flavor that comes together in such a delicious way!

I will share the original version with my adaptations. I used the recipe in the gorgeous book Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia by Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy.



1/2 uncooked jasmine rice. (Me: not rice, Chickpea Flour)

3 quarts of water (4 US cups)

3 stalks of lemon grass cut into 3 inch pieces (Me: No idea if I really did get lemongrass as mine was not a stalk, it had a small stalk and leaves too… maybe I got the top part of it? It did have a sign that said it was lemon grass!)

2 ounce piece of ginger (unpeeled) thickly sliced crosswise into slabs

5 Bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoons of ground white pepper

2 teaspoons of salt (Me: 1)

1 scaled and gutted catfish (Me: Alaskan wild cod)


1/4 vegetable oil (me: olive oil)

1 stalk lemongrass minced (Me: a whole bunch of little stems)

1/4 cup minced garlic (Me: 1/8 cup… if that!)

3 tablespoons minced ginger

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 red onions diced into 1/2 inch pieces (about 3 1/2 cups) (Me: 1/4 of a red onion)

1/4 fish sauce


10 ounces fine round rice noodles (Japanese Udon wheat noodles made in Australia! ^ ^)

I was so excited about using these ingredients I had never cooked with:


Part 1: The Rice, making a base that will thicken the broth.

A. Hear the oven to 350 F. Spread the rice across a rimmed baking pan. Let it bake for 20 minutes but take it out to give a occasional stir.

B. Cool to room temperature and grind it in a coffee grinder.

Part 2: The Broth

A. Place four cups of water in a big pot and add the lemongrass stalk (it was a little branch in my case!), the ginger, the bay leaves, the peppers and salt. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. (While you wait cut all the soup veggies.)

B. Then add the fish and cover. Cook it gently for 15 minutes.

C. Cook until the fish pulls easily away from the bone. (Me: In my case I had fillets so I just poked them making sure they were well cooked.)

D. Using a slotted spoon and tongues, remove the fish from the pot and place it in a container to cool. The recipe calls for the all the fish to be removed from the bone, and then returning the bone back to the broth for 15 more minutes.

E. Then remove broth from heat and let it cool for a bit. Strain the broth removing all the veggies, herbs and fish bones.

F. To thicken the broth take a ladleful of broth and whisk it with the rice powder until no lumps remain. Stir it into the broth. Bring it to a simmer and stir it until it is even and starting to thicken. Let it sit in low heat. (Me: I used chickpea powder. I read it was a great alternative… and it worked! It made it thicker! Love having learned about this… )

3. Preparing the soup.

A. Cut all the veggies and spices. (Do this while you are cooking the broth.). I enjoyed this part a lot, the smell of it all and the look:

Yes… I liked it a lot! ^ ^

B. Place all these cut veggies/herbs in a wok or skillet in vegetable oil (- the onions). (Me: I used olive oil and added the onions too.)

It smelled so wonderful!

C. Break the cooked fish into small pieces.

D. Add it to the veggies/herbs and add the paprika and turmeric. Mash the fish gently with a spoon until it turns into a coarse paste. Cook for 1 minute.

I had never used turmeric, it has a very peculiar smell… not sure I like it!

E. Add the fish, the onions and the fish sauce into the broth. Simmer for 5 minutes or until you taste that the flavors have come together. Taste the broth, it should be on the salty side.

4. Preparing the Noodles.

Just like in a ramen, you prepare the noodles separately by boiling them from 2-4 minutes. You can add canola oil to prevent them from sticking to each other once cooked. Place into the bowls.

5. Serve it!

A. Add ladles of soup on top of the noodles and decorate with the onion, lime, cilantro and hard boiled eggs.

And eat!!! Yummmm!

Try it, it’s so worth it! It is like fishy fireworks of flavors in your mouth! I loved the taste of the raw onion with it… the contrast between the sweet and the salty, the crunchy and the mushy!


  1. Muy interesante conocer un tipo de cómo comida tan diferente a lo que hacemos. A primera vista parece muy complicado de preparar y sobre todo que el resultado sea de nuestro agrado.
    Por esta vez paso y gano. 😂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s