Hed Chef: Sliced fish soup with egg floss
Sliced fish soup with egg floss
Teochew-style fish soup is one of my all-time favourite dishes.
Recently, I have been trying out different fish soup stalls around my neighbourhood.
First of all, not many stalls use pomfret as it is a premium fish that is pricey.
It is even rarer for fish stalls to use teepo (dried flat fish) as a stock ingredient.
I am also not fond of the lettuce and tofu cubes that hawkers use to bulk up the soup.
I prefer tang oh (garland chrysanthemum) and bittergourd.
After one eatery charged me an extra $2 for a few more slices of bittergourd, I decided it was time to cook my own fish soup.
Many fish soup stalls also do not have fish egg available even if it is on their signboard menu.
I did notice that "shuang yu tang", which refers to fish soup that has both fried fish and sliced fish, is one of the more popular orders.
Cooking does take time and effort, but it allows you to incorporate the ingredients that you like and exclude those you do not.
Pomfrets are usually sold whole. Get a silver pomfret that is around 800g and ask the fishmonger to slice it up for you.
You can store half in the freezer for the next time you want to eat fish soup.
- 200g sliced silver pomfret
- 250g pomfret fins and bones
- 1½ tbsp cornflour
- ½ tsp salt
- 250g narrow-barred Spanish mackerel (batang), sliced thickly
- 30g plain flour
- 20g cornflour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp water
- 100g fish egg, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp water
- 200ml oil (for deep-frying)
- 100g bittergourd, deseeded, thinly sliced
- 200g tang oh (garland chrysanthemum)
- 6 tbsp evaporated milk
- 10g coriander, sliced
- 10g spring onion, finely sliced
For the stock
- 50g teepo (dried flat fish)
- 400g garoupa fish bones
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
- 5 tbsp oil
- 60g ginger, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves (30g), lightly smashed
- 100g ikan bilis
- 2 litres boiling water
- 2.5 litres of water
- 80g soya beans (rinsed and soaked for an hour)
- 1 piece of whelk
- 1 tomato, sectioned
- 2 Shantou pickled plums
- 20g rock sugar
1. Place sliced pomfret, fins and bones in a deep dish. Add 1½ tablespoons of cornflour and ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
2. In a bowl, mix plain flour, cornflour, salt, baking power and 2 tablespoons of water. Place sliced Spanish mackerel into batter. Refrigerate until ready to fry.
3. Marinate fish egg in ¼ teaspoon of pepper and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Refrigerate until ready to fry.
4. Marinate the garoupa bones in Chinese rice wine for 10 minutes.
5. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and fry the dried flat fish until golden brown. Place on kitchen paper to drain. When cool, crush the dried fish. Set aside.
6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or deep frying pan. Fry ginger until fragrant and add garlic cloves.
7. Add garoupa bones and fry until meat turns slightly opaque then add ikan bilis. Fry until ikan bilis begin to brown. (See photo above)
8. Pour in 2 litres of boiling water. The stock should turn milky.
9. Transfer mixture into large pot. Cover and allow to come to a boil. Add soya beans, whelk, pickled plums, crushed dried flat fish and rock sugar and 2.5 litres of water. Cover and allow to come to rolling boil. Boil on high heat for 20 minutes.
10. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to boil, covered, for 1.5 hours. You should get about 2 litres of stock.
11. When the stock is done, filter using a muslin cloth. Discard the ingredients.
12. In a clean wok or deep frying pan, heat 200ml of oil.
13. Over medium-low heat, deep-fry Spanish mackerel slices and fish egg until golden brown. Place on kitchen paper to drain.
14. Strain oil and reserve to fry the eggs.
15. Beat 4 eggs. In a separate bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour with 1 tablespoon water. Add cornflour mixture to the eggs. Mix well.
16. Heat oil in wok. Sieve half of the egg mixture into hot oil. (See photo above)
17. Fry for a minute then turn over. Fry until egg floss is golden brown. Remove egg floss from wok and place on kitchen paper to drain. Repeat process with the rest of the egg mixture.
18. Prepare each bowl of fish soup individually. Pour 330ml of fish stock into saucepan and bring to boil. Add three to four slices of bittergourd and boil for 3 minutes. Put in two pieces of pomfret bones and boil for 30 seconds then add two to three pomfret slices. Boil for a minute until slices turn white. Add six tang oh leaves and boil for 30 seconds.
19. Add 1 tablespoon of evaporated milk.
20. Transfer into a serving bowl. Place Spanish mackerel, fish egg and egg floss.
21. Garnish with spring onion and coriander. Serve.