Thai Fish Mousse (Hor Mok Pla)

The second course of our High Heel Gourmet-inspired Thai feast was Thai fish mousse (Hor Mok Pla). The flavors are quite similar to Thai fish cakes (Tod Mun Pla), as it is fish with Thai red curry paste. But the texture is quite different, as it is steamed rather than deep fried, and rather than crunchy beans it is mixed with herbs and served with steamed cabbage. The coconut cream on top provides a nice contrast with the spicy fish mousse. It was absolutely delicious and relatively simple, so I’ll definitely make this again.

For this recipe you will need coconut cream and thin coconut milk. If you allow the container of coconut milk to stand, the coconut cream will float on top and you can easily scoop it off. What remains is thin coconut milk. If your coconut milk does not separate, choose another brand because it has ingredients that do not belong there. Coconut milk should have only coconut and water as ingredients, nothing else.


For 8 pieces

450 grams (1 lb) fillet of white fish (I used wolffish)

3 Tbsp Kaeng Kua curry paste

1 egg

500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk, split into coconut cream and thin coconut milk

40 grams (1.5 oz) thai basil, leaves picked

2 Tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp palm sugar


400 grams (.9 lb) napa cabbage, shredded

1 tsp rice flour

8 cilantro leaves

1 tsp minced cilantro leaves

1 small red chili, julienned

1 1/2 Tbsp kaffir lime leaves chiffonade


Combine 450 grams (1 lb) fillet of white fish, 3 Tbsp Kaeng Kua curry paste, 1 egg, 300 ml (1 1/4 cup) thin coconut milk, 2 Tbsp fish sauce and 1 tsp palm sugar in the bowl of a food processor.


…until smooth.

Take a bit of the mixture and wrap it in a banana leaf (or put it in a bowl) and cook in the microwave.

Taste to check the seasoning. Add fish sauce, salt, or sugar if needed.

Pick the leaves of 20 grams (.8 oz) of Thai basil and add them to the fish mixture (Miranti adds them whole, I added them as chiffonade). Add a tablespoon of chiffonaded kaffir lime leaves, and a teaspoon of minced cilantro leaves.

Stir to mix and refrigerate until needed.

Put 400 grams (.9 lb) of shredded napa cabbage in a steamer, and steam for 5 minutes.

Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Use ramekins or other containers — I thought it was nice to line a ramekin with banana leaf. If you can find disposable banana leaf containers they might be best, as the liquid that will be released by the fish mousse when it is cooked will drain automatically that way.

Divide the steamed naba cabbage between the ramekins.

Pick the leaves from the remaining 20 grams (.8 oz) of Thai basil, and divide the leaves between the ramekins.

Divide the fish mixture between the ramekins.

Put the ramekins in a steaming basket, and steam for 12-15 minutes or until the mixture has almost set.

Meanwhile, put 150 ml (2/3 cup) of coconut cream in a saucepan and add a teaspoon of rice flour.

Heat over medium heat, stirring, until bubbles appear. Turn off the heat.

When the fish mousse has almost set…

…cover with the coconut cream…

…garnish with a cilantro leaf, julienned red chilli and kaffir lime leaf chiffonade, and steam for another 2 minutes.


Wine pairing

We enjoyed this with a medium-bodied off-dry Gewurztraminer from Alsace.


French macarons are almond and meringue-based airy cookies that are commonly filled with ganache or buttercream, in this case orange curd.


10 thoughts on “Thai Fish Mousse (Hor Mok Pla)

  1. Stefan, that looks absolutely enticingly delicious, not to mention that it’s a very pretty presentation. I’ve always seen photos of this dish but have never ever made one nor have I ever eaten one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steaming being one of my main methods of food preparation will surely try this; well, in spring as my Thai/holy basil plant has gone to heaven and we cannot buy the herb here in the country: and ordinary basil is nought like it. Love your presentation!

    [off topic: During our night ‘travelled’ Utrecht > Rotterdam > Zelande on a virtual motorbike following the Tour de France cyclists. Horrid weather notwithstanding have never seen quite as many wildly clapping followers as in the Netherlands! Over a million in Utrecht alone!!! Utrecht: an architectural marvel since I was last there; Rotterdam’s container port most impressive and beautifully situated; Zelande hauntingly beautiful . . . but all your road furniture!!!!]

    Liked by 1 person

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