Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Fish Head ... 3 Dishes (鱼头三吃)

Fish Head Assam Curry

Bought one big garoupa fish head from the wet market.  How big?  The above Fish Head Assam Curry was served in a deep CorningWare casserole and that's half fish head with assortment of veggies (ladies fingers, brinjal, tomatoes, onions etc).  For the curry sauce, I used a combination of A1 Fish curry sauce, finely chopped shallots, lemongrass, home-made sambal sauce, tamarind juice and a little diluted coconut milk.

For the other half fish head, I've got the fishmonger to help me to chop it into smaller pieces.  We can't possibly chop up the fish head at home with our home-use cleaver.  I divided the fish head pieces into two portions:  "meaty" portion and "less-meat more-bones" portion.

Salted Fish Head Tofu Soup

I used the "less-meat more bones portion" plus an equal portion of salted fish head for this Salted Fish Head Tofu Soup.  Went for a holiday at Cherating, Malaysia last year and bought some salted fish at Kuantan on my way back.  Here's another dish  prepared with salted fish head.

The salted fish head adds an uniquely rich flavour to this soup, which tastes different from the ordinary fresh fish head tofu soup.

To cook the salted fish head tofu soup:  

1) Soak the salted fish head in water for an hour to two (depends on how salty you want your soup to be) and discard the water.

2) Pan-fry the salted fish head with slices of ginger over high heat.  When you can smell the fragrance of the salted fish head, add in the fresh fish head pieces.  Continue to pan-fry to brown the fish head slightly.

3) Add a dash of cooking wine, stir and add sufficient water.  Cover and bring the soup to boil.  Simmer over medium-low heat for about an hour.  

4) Add in other ingredients (I added tomatoes, yam, tofu) and let it simmer further for another 10 minutes before serving.  I added some lettuce just before serving.  

5) Add a dash of pepper and some chopped spring onion.

One dish meal - Fish Head Bee Hoon Soup

The "meaty portion" of the other half fish head went into this one-dish meal -  Fish Head Bee Hoon Soup.  Similar to the salted fish head soup, the crucial step in getting the milky white soup is the high-heat pan-fry cum a little stir-fry of the fish head.  I have also added some homemade fish bone stock for added sweetness to the soup.  Since this is a one-dish meal, I included some greens for a balanced diet.

Ingredients for my bee hoon soup


  1. 三道我都喜欢

  2. Hi Fong, I was raised in Singapore in the 80s and 90s. No longer on island, and my wife is a westerner, so local food is sometimes a faint memory. Your blog helps to keep some of those memories alive. Going through the trouble of improving hawker fare when you can so easily eat out. Simply admirable. Reminds me of Gina's early days.

    Now if I can just find a cure for nostalgia and recurrent nightmares about failing my Mandarin subject tests. HaHa...

    1. Singapore has changed a lot since the 90s, and so is the food. Hawker food no longer tastes as good and authentic as before, though it is easily available throughout the island. I still prefer home-cooked food, especially a bowl of nice warm soup.


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