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Bean curd fish molee

Molee is a type of curry from Southern India and traditionally molee is best prepared with fish or seafood. But for a vegetarian the best thing to a fish is fake fish – fish made from bean curd and seaweed. Most Asian groceries carry a small selection of vegetarian friendly fake meat to cater for the Buddhist community. I got mine from the one and only Asian grocery inside Prahran Market. This is a simple and quick recipe to make.

  • 500 gm bean curd fish
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 green chillies, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or coconut butter
  • 250ml thick coconut milk
  • 250ml thin coconut milk, or rice milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 sprig fresh curry leaves or 8 dry curry leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion until soft, add the minced garlic, ginger and chillies and fry for 2 minutes. Add the ground spices, cloves and curry leaves and fry for a further 3 minutes. Add the thin coconut milk (or rice milk) followed by the bean curd fish and bring to a rapid boil. Lower the heat and add in the thick coconut milk and salt and keep stirring for a good 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and serve immediately with plain rice.

Fake fish made from bean curd and seaweed.


About Urban permaculturist

I have an interest in sustainability; from food security to renewable energy. I am also a keen food gardener and vegetarian cook. For more information, check out my blog at:


2 thoughts on “Bean curd fish molee

  1. Hey Zainil,
    Is that really fake?
    I thought it was a real fishy…
    Really tasty though,

    Posted by Michael | May 20, 2010, 8:54 pm
    • Some people find fake meat/fish a bit disconcerting. After all one becomes a vegetarian so one does no longer partake in the eating of meat. It is almost like an oxymoron. According to legend, there was a once a Chinese emperor who was also a Buddhist and so the story goes that a certain celebratory day happened to fall on the same day as a meat-abstinence day within the Buddhist calendar, which is usually the 1st and 15th of the month. Not wanting to miss out on the celebration he instructed his chefs to come up with a vegetarian banquet but lavish. So his innovative/creative chefs created these fake meats and tradition lives on to present day.

      Some of the best fake meat manufacturers are based in Taiwan and subscribes to the Ahimsa principles. This means strictly no eggs, no dairy and no animal by product. Personally, I don’t have a problem with fake meat. That is what it is FAKE. It might resemble meat but it isn’t.

      Posted by platelicking | May 20, 2010, 10:27 pm

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