Monday, October 05, 2020

A Singaporean 'fish' curry

 September 26, 2020


I took a walk through Fitzroy last month, and made a point of finishing at Vincent's Marketplace. This was a chance to stock up on mock meats and other vegan treats we can't access during our regular weekly shop. Since then we've been munching on novel chocolates, rationing out mock-salami on pizzas, and feasting on BBQ sauce stir-fries. I also picked up a Vegan Mould Fish (pictured below). It's not an appetising name, but I figured out that it refers to the whole-fish shape that the mock has been moulded into.


Before I get to the recipe, let me tell you that this is a great mock fish. It's made primarily of bean curd skin layers, with a sheet of nori on one side. It's as tender and flaky as mock fish gets - I've not had anything like it since White Lotus closed. For this recipe I decided to pre-fry it a little, to give it a crisp golden skin and prevent it from disintegrating during cooking.

Now, to the recipe proper. This is a fish curry recipe that's included in the same LNY zine as the crispy skin 'duck' we recently enjoyed. I've just realised that Steph posted this fish recipe on her blog at that time, too, but it was my recent flick through the zine that reminded me of it. I remember eating this curry at that LNY picnic and trying to mop up as much curry sauce as I could with the spring onion pancakes Michael brought along. It's a beautifully flexible recipe and I'm including it below, with Steph and Liz's permission, as it appears in the zine (if you need a plain text version, you can find that on Steph's blog).


In this incarnation, we used:
  • spring onion for the 'onion thing', because we had leftovers from another recipe
  • Vincent's Nyonya curry powder, which we keep a good supply of,
  • chilli flakes, because we were freshly out of chilli oil, and
  • a generous handful of French beans, to round this up to a meal with rice.
There's every chance we'll adjust future batches for whatever's convenient on the day. The recipe would be feasible for cooking on a weeknight if you had thawed mock fish on hand and it was a pleasant, almost meditative activity for a Sunday evening with a podcast. Our lightly simmered curry was colourful and fragrant, rich with coconut milk and flaky bean curd, warmly spiced with only a low chilli heat. We enjoyed one round of smug lunchtime leftovers.



  1. This looks delicious. Thanks for all the links in the post too :)
    Does the Vegan Mould Fish have a strong fishy flavour or is it more mild/subtle?

    1. You're welcome, frankal! I found the flavour of this mock-fish to be mild/subtle, based mostly on the bean curd skin. From memory, the cod fillet is a bit more fishy. :)