2 whole fresh young coconut
170 grams hapuka or snapper
100-130 grams Hor Mok Paste (see recipe below; amount depends on the desiredspice level)
120ml coconut milk
15ml chilli oil
10ml fish sauce
1 heaped teaspoon sugar
8-10 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped,
plus extra to serve
20 Thai basil leaves, plus extra to serve
1 tablespoon coconut cream, to serve
thinly sliced red chilli, to serve
cooked jasmine rice, to serve
Hor Mok Paste
40 grams frozen long red chilli
12-15 soaked dried big chilli, soaked
in hot water 15 minutes before use
1 bird’s eye chilli (optional)
30 grams chopped red onion
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
1cm frozen galangal
20 grams fresh turmeric
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
6-8 cloves peeled garlic
15 grams shrimp paste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Wash the coconuts well. Steam whole for 5 minutes in a steamer pot so they retain their flavour and aroma. Cut open at the tops, scraping out all the young coconut meat. Set aside.
Separate the fish into two lots: 120 grams cut into bite-sized pieces, and 50 grams minced (chopped or blended).
Put the 50 grams minced fish, hor mok paste, coconut milk, chilli oil, egg, fish sauce and sugar into the blender or food processor for 1-2 minutes until the mixture becomes more condensed and sticky.
Put the 120 grams of fish fillet, Thai basil, kaffir lime leaves and 80 grams of the reserved coconut meat into a mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly – in the same direction – for 3-5 minutes. The longer you stir, the more delicious it will be. Add to the minced fish mixture and combine.
Gently scoop the mixture into the coconuts, and steam, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.
To serve: Dollop a little coconut cream on top and sprinkle with red chillies, kaffir lime leaves and fresh Thai basil. Serve with jasmine rice on the side.
Hor Mok Paste: Whizz all the ingredients together in a blender. Makes 200 grams
Read the interview with Chutima ‘Say’ Pulvit here.