Fish head soup with rice noodle is one of our favorite local Malaysian Chinese delicacies. In general, huge fish head chunk are serve, but I prefer more meat, so I uses only fish fillet. Also to improve the luxury of this dish, I substituted with Grouper fish! The fish stock has to be carefully prepared to bring out the best flavorful fish stock and most importantly is to prevent the unwanted fishy smell that people find it disgusting. Find out more below on how to prepare the best fish stock in town!
Lead Time: 2 hours (30 minutes preparations)
- 1 Grouper (600g – 800g, the larger the merrier!)
- 50g of dried turbot fish
- 50g sliced ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon of white pepper
- 300g red tomatoes
- 1 head of chinese cabbage
- N/A Coriander for garnishing
- N/A Spring Onion for garnishing
- N/A cooking oil
- Salt to taste
- Fish Sauce to taste
- Chinese Shaoxing wine for extra flavor and complexity
- Root of coriander (optional)
- Clean the fish properly. Check for scale, especially on the head, lower pectoral fins and its tail area.
- Dry the fish with paper towel and fillet. *Check out the video on the right on how to fillet a fish*
- Slice the fillet into approximately 1/2 inch thick.
- Keep the sliced fillet in the fridge.
- Clean and slice the ginger.
- Clean and cut the tomatoes.
- Clean and cut the chinese cabbage to approximately 1 inches width.
- Clean and cut the coriander to 1 inches in length.
- Clean and cut the spring onion into strips.
- Heat up your pan with cooking oil.
- Pan fry the dried turbot fish to crispy. Set the fire on low heat during this step to prevent the dried turbot fish from burning.
- Set aside the turbot fish.
- Pan fry the fish bones to crispy. Set the fire to medium heat during this step so the fresh fish bone are fried evenly. Take extra measure to ensure the fish bone are fried off most of their moisture content, this will give a creamy flavor to the fish stock.
- Once you have all the fish bones pan fried to crispy, set the fire to high and add water into the pan.
- Then transfer the fish bones along with the water into a stock pot.
- Add more water to slightly more than enough to cover the fish bones.
- Bring to a boil and then switch to low heat.
- Add ginger, white pepper and root of coriander (optional) into the stock.
- Keep covered and simmer for 1 hour.
- Uncover and strain. You should now have a cream colored fish stock.
- Bring the fish stock back to a boil.
- Add cutted tomatoes and chinese cabbage into the stock.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chinese cabbage soften.
- Meanwhile, prepare one portion of rice noodles and set aside in a bowl. (Rice vermicelli or flat rice noodle would goes well too)
- Once the chinese cabbage have softened, season with salt and fish sauce (ratio of 2 : 1).
- Blanch the sliced grouper fillet in the fish stock for approximately 30 seconds. (Do not over cook for a spongy texture)
- Place the cooked grouper fillet on top of the rice noodles.
- Pour plenty of fish stock over the grouper fillet and rice noodles.
- Pour 2 tablespoon of Chinese shaoxing wine into the bowl of grouper fish noodle.
- Garnish with coriander and spring onion. Voila! Done!
- Mixture of coriander and spring onion do enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
- Dried turbot fish can be used in lots of stock preparations. Purchase a decent dried turbot fish for a satisfying outcome.
- Chinese Shaoxing wine can be use in plenty of chinese cooking. Be sure to use the decent shaoxing wine for a flavorful aroma. Lower grade shaoxing wine tend to have a bitter after taste.
- Ginger and white pepper can be used to remove the unpleasant fishy smell of seafood.
- Be sure to remove all the oil before simmering the stock for a period time or else the oil will taint the stock with a greasy after taste.