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Singapore Fish Head Soup


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  • 1 large firm white fish head - (1 1/2 lbs)
  • Cornstarch for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 green onions trimmed, and cut into 2" lengths
  • 12 slices peeled ginger - (quarter size)
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
  • 8 ounces dried rice noodles - (abt 1/4" wide)
  • 1/4 pound firm white fish fillet sliced thinly
  • 2 green onions trimmed, and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves


Servings 4


Step 1

Rinse the fish head thoroughly under cold running water, being sure that no blood remains in the gills. Pat dry, then dust the fish head with cornstarch to coat it lightly.

Heat a stockpot over medium heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the fish head, green onions and ginger. Cook until the fish head is light brown, about 2 minutes per side. Set the fish head aside.

Pour the water into the pot and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the liquid is simmering and cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the Seasonings: Stir the soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper together in a small bowl until the salt is dissolved.

For the Soup: Strain the stock and discard the solids. Return the stock to the pot, it will be creamy white.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, stir in the rice noodles and cook until al dente (tender but firm), 4 1/2 to 5 minutes. Drain, rinse and drain thoroughly. Lay the noodles out on a cutting board and cut them in half crosswise.

Reheat the stock to simmering, add the seasonings and fish slices and simmer until the fish is cooked, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the noodles and simmer just until heated through, about 30 seconds. Ladle into individual serving bowls and garnish with the green onions and cilantro.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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