Haw Mok: Steamed Seafood Custard

Last recipe posted with duck eggs was a hit and inspired me to pull up another recipe that has been in my food fantasies! They are perfect for making anything custard because they make such a firm and rich base. Chicken eggs can be used but if you can get duck eggs, all the better.

One of the wonderful things about Portland is that there are banana plants growing in the summer! Banana leaves add a subtle fresh aroma to all kinds of dishes, so we use them a lot in the summer, especially for fish dishes. This dish can easily be made all year round bowls or ramekins.

Make enough for a few meals, as this dish is not only delicious the next day reheated, but also freezes well.


  • 1 lb fish cut into bite sized pieces (scallops, squid and shrimp can be added or substituted as well)
  • 2 tbs red curry (thai and true is an excellent local Portland brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut cream
  • 2 tbs of red boat fish sauce
  • 4 duck eggs
  • 2 cups basil leaves shredded (thai sweet basil is best, but go with what you’ve got)
  • 2 cups cabbage leaves shredded (nappa is may favorite for this recipe and in season now)
  • Lime leaves and red chili finely sliced for garnish


1: Place the curry into the fish in a bowl and mix well. Add the coconut cream. Beat the eggs with fish sauce and stir into the fish and coconut milk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2:If you are using banana leaves: cut circles using a bowl as a guide.
Layer two on top of each other.
Pin the corners with toothpicks to make a cup.

3-Prepare the pot or pan you are using below your steamer and bring water to a boil.

4- In the mean time, place cabbage leaves topped with basil in the bottom of the bowls (regular bowls or banana cups). Fill with the fish mixture and place onto the steamer. Steam for 20-40 minutes at medium heat. The banana bowls steam more quickly than ceramic bowls, so check for firmness.

5-Garnish with red chili and lime leaves. Enjoy!