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Seafood Curry in Banana Leaf (Hor Mok Talay)

shantihhh's picture
This is a delightful presentation of a Thai Seafood Curry. It is easy to serve for eating out of hand.
  Red curry paste 2 Tablespoon
  Oil 1 Tablespoon
  Coconut cream 2 Cup (32 tbs)
  Rice flour 1 Tablespoon
  Fish filet 1 Pound
  Mixed shellfish 1 Pound (peeled shrimps, scallops, and mussels if desired)
  Eggs 2 Large, beaten
  Kaffir lime leaves 10 Gram, finely julienned (6 makrut leave)
  Green onions 2 , chopped
  Fish sauce 3 Tablespoon
  Basil leaves 1 Cup (16 tbs) (garnish)
  Cilantro roots 1 Dozen (pound into a paste)
  Bok choy/Napa cabbage 3 Cup (48 tbs), cut into 1" pieces (lightly steamed in fish sauce and water, squeeze all the liquid out)
  Banana leaves/1 pkg. frozen leaves 3 , split lengthwise with rib removed (choose the older ones)
  Serrano peppers To Taste, julienned


Fry the curry paste in the oil until fragrant.

Add the kaffir lime leaves, green onions, half the basil that has been chopped, and cilantro roots and continue frying for another minute or so.

Mix the rice flour with the liquid part of the can of coconut milk (about 1 cup). Pour this rice flour and coconut milk mixture into the curry paste, stirring to incorporate. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Add fish sauce and stir.

Take off the stove and add the rest of the coconut milk. Stir, and allow to cool. When cool add the ground fish and stir again.

Place fish chunks and shrimps, scallops and mussels in a large bowl. Pour beaten eggs over them. Mix to coat evenly.

When coconut milk curry mixture is cool, add a little to the seafood mixture in the bowl and stir. Add a little more at a time and stir thoroughly after each addition. This stirring is very important as it draws the moisture out of the fish and shellfish into the custard mixture.

Mix steamed and well drained (squeeze out excess liquid) bok choy or Napa Cabbage with basil leaves and distribute evenly in bottoms of banana leaf cups.

Place scallops, shrimps, chunks of fish and mussels if using into the cups.

Spoon the custard mixture into the banana leaf cups until nearly full and place in covered steamer for 20-25 minutes.

A few minutes before they are finished steaming, remove steamer cover and garnish tops with a little coconut cream and two or three strips of red chile pepper to suit your taste.

Serve with hot, steamed Jasmine rice.

Serves 4-6.

Banana Leaf Cups:

Wash leaves well.

Stack 3 banana leaf sections on one another and, with a pair of scissors, cut a series of 5 1/2" circles.

Take a pinch-fold in four or five places and secure with short bamboo picks or toothpicks to form a round cup two layers thick, with 1" sides.

Add toothpicks as necessary to maintain shape.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Preparation Time: 
30 Minutes
Cook Time: 
30 Minutes
Ready In: 
60 Minutes
I remember the first time we ate this amazing dish in a restaurant in Thailand called Once Upon a Time which specialized in the old Royal Thai dishes. This dish makes a lovely course in a Thai meal, but also as a eat out of hand pass around dish.

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Average: 4.5 (23 votes)


shantihhh's picture
I am still trying to get a photo to upload, and for some reason it defaulted to breakfast. It obviously is a main dish.
admin's picture
Hi Shantihhh, You may edit your recipe by clicking on edit tab. You can change classifications such as breakfast/main dish anytime. In order to upload recipe picture, kindly use the edit tab and then upload pictures through browse button next to Upload picture field. Feel free to write to for any technical help. With Regards, Admin
shantihhh's picture
Thank you so much, I should have been able to get this correct the first time. Sorry. If I continue to have issues I will write you but will seek asistance from husband this weekend-he is a Sr. Principal w/INFOSYS so should be able to help VBG
Ganesh.Dutta's picture
very nice recipe! seafood is a healthier option!
shantihhh's picture
Finally I figured it out! Photo uploaded, many more to follow, then some videos.
Hyde.Ray's picture
The pic is beautiful. Since you have written the name in bracket you don't need to write the english name again, that makes you recipe name long.
shantihhh's picture
Thanks, I'll edit, this is my first recipe. Glad you like my photography! This is a favourite recipe of our family. I am going to begin doing some Thai cooking teaching videos soon, as well as many other cuisines of flavour. Love this site! Must buy a video cam.
Hyde.Ray's picture
U r welcome. Yes there appears to be lot of interest in Thai food on this site. I read somewhere that Thai is 4th most popular food in the U.S while Indian is 5th. Wish I had known enough about Thai food to take a lead on Thai food like Chef Hari is doing for Indian food. You apparently have the right background.
shantihhh's picture
Oh and I am going to film some wineries and events at Copia in Napa, as well as chf interviews in the SF Bay Area. Also some Farmer's Markets like the one at the Ferry Bldg, and of course the International Fancy Food Show at Moscone in Jan/Feb.
Wapite's picture
This was one of the first Thai dishes I ever made when Thai cookbooks first began hitting the market on the West Coast. It is still my favorite Thai dish. It was fun, and a new technique to me to make the banana leaf cups. They add a subtle & delicious flavor to the dish.
mikek831's picture
Hmm...great recipe!!! I love the way banana leaf tastes on some foods. This is interesting!
shantihhh's picture
I learned to make this dish years ago on one of my first trips to Thailand. It has become a favourite of family and friends alike. You can eat out of hand with a spoon. Key is fresh fresh seafood, and getting the moisture out of the fish so it won't ruin the custardy curry texture. Sometimes I just serve as an appetizer and other times as part of a Thai meal. Each trip to Thailand I bring back more pieces of the blue and white pineapple pattern Thai dinnerware. I also have gathered many pieces of Thai celadon over the years. I have been to Thailand over 30 times and use to do the buying for a group of mail order catalogs and could buy the samples! I must share more Thai reipes here, as there seems to be some interest. In the meantime I just posted my recipe for Quail Grilled (Nok Gata). This flavourful easy to make elegant dish is the perfect starter course for a Thai meal. It also is a tempting dish for a party as it can be marinated overnight and then quickly grilled, finished and severed for a sizzling fresh off the grill platter.: Sorry I digress, back to banana leaves- fresh is best BUT make sure they haven't been sprayed with insectides! Frozen banana leaves are available mainly from the Philippines in most Asian markets and work OK just lack the wonderful fragrance. On these I used cilantro leaves (pak chee) as the top garnish, but usually I use bai Horapha (Thai Basil) and always slivers of Thai Dragon chiles (Phrik Chee Fa). Shanti/Mary-Anne
shantihhh's picture
I have been asked if you could make this with only vegetables-yes and it is fabulous, just make sure the vegetables are watery like tomatoes. Green leafy veggies work great and also kabocha is wonderful. Shanti/Mary-Anne
shantihhh's picture
For Vegetarian Version This made with Kabocha, Lo Choy or Bok Choy is wonderful! The kabocha is a natural for the creamy texture of red curry. The Asian green veg gives some colour contrast. You could also use some sweet red peppers-just make sure the skin is tender or removed. Shanti/Mary-Anne
Anonymous's picture
wow I make for my family and we are Thai. mom said better than she makes
shantihhh's picture
I made this using fresh shelled Dungeness crab and it is amazing!
Kannika's picture
Greeting from Kannika from Italy(originally from Thailand). I love Hor Mok Talay!!! Your picture makes me hungry. Your presentation is amazing. I know now what is my next Thai dish. I will try your recipe. Thank you. Khob Khun Ka. Kannika
shantihhh's picture
Thank you so much for your comment! My recipe is a bit different in that I put some fish in the curry mixture. This gives a nice flavour and texture. I developed the recipe over the years and seem to always vary it depending on what is fresh in the market. Now it is Dungeness Crab season and I'll make a crab version. Let me know how you like it!?!
Seafood Curry In Banana Leaf (Hor Mok Talay) Recipe