Burmese Cookery – How to cook Fish Curry (Nga seepyan hin). It really is simple this one!

OK, I hear you from all corners around the world – Australia, across the Pond and back – despite telling you that Burmese cuisine is easy, it is true, I have been putting in front of you quite long winded recipes. (mohinga, ohno kaukswe, chicken baked in mud!). Hang in there, because like all cuisines easy, quick simple recipes do exist. In Burmese families the dishes like mohinga, which do take longer to prepare are made in big batches when more time permits. For that very reason, cooked for parties and big gatherings. At other times they are simply bought from a street side vendor! Not living in Burma, you have no choice but to set time aside and make a big batch!

This is my fish curry.

But here is a simple recipe which can be made in 30 mins max….. a delicious fish curry which captures the true taste of a typical Burmese curry.

Fish is abundantly eaten in Burma. You will encounter many variations to this fish recipe. The one I will show you here is a simple typical homestyle recipe that’s quick and easy to rusle up in no time.

Ingredients to serve 4;

  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 3 fat cloves garlic
  • 2 lemongrass (soft tender inner layers finely sliced)
  • 2 fresh green chillies – or less
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 level teaspoon paprika
  • 1 diced medium onion
  • 4 large fillets basa or sea bass or hake – cut each in half so they are more manageable to handle and fit in a pan nicely
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 tomatoes sliced into eighths – optional
  • 1 handful chopped coriander

How to cook;

Marinate the fish with half the salt and half the turmeric. Bash to a paste in a mortar the first 4 ingredients. Fry onions in oil on a medium heat until translucent and just starting to brown. Add the paste and fry until fragrant, stirring occasionally to brown evenly. Now add the remaining turmeric, paprika and salt and after 1 minute add the fish pieces and fish sauce. Allow fish to turn opaque one one side and then flip over. If you are adding tomatoes, add these now. Add enough cold water to cover the fish. Turn up the heat and when bubbling turn the heat down. Flat fish should not take more than 10 mins to cook. if your fillets are fatter cook for a further 5 minutes. Finish off with a good handful of chopped coriander. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Dah beh! (that’s it)

I’ve attached a short 6 minute video clip to illustrate the technique. The recipe is not the same but similar ingredients are used. Filmed at Governor’s Residence Fish Curry Recipe.       (there’s another recipe sneaked in at the end – veg stir fry)

Enjoy!….If you try it out, please do report back and tell me it was easy!

2 thoughts on “Burmese Cookery – How to cook Fish Curry (Nga seepyan hin). It really is simple this one!

  1. Will try this soon, as it’s a firm favourite from your array of yummy curries. Just coriander on top? No ginger etc. I always love the extras you put on top of your curries! X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hi there! well, you get the fancy special add ons when you order :)….
      All you need to do for the magic is slice thin slivers of garlic and julienne /cut matchstick thin strips of ginger. Heat a little oil in a separate pan until hot, then fry these on a medium heat until caramelised and start to turn brown on the edges. Don’t take your eyes off them! then sprinkle over your finished dish 🙂


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