Fish head beehoon
Hawker fare at home
This dish takes a fair bit of work but is worth the effort.
My idea of luxury is to use ikan kurau (threadfin) to prepare fish head beehoon, right down to using the fish bones for the stock.
Ikan kurau may be pricey, but I especially like it for its gelatinous texture. Those who truly appreciate fish head will know what I am talking about.
You cannot avoid frying the fish bones first. This step is necessary to bring out its full flavour.
I used pork bone in the stock for an added boost.
I did not include it in the recipe, but the way I like to eat my fish head beehoon is with a splash of cognac in the soup.
- 500g thick beehoon
- Half a fish head, cut into large pieces
- 1kg fish bones
- 200g ikan bilis
- 40g ginger, sliced
- 2 heads of garlic, separate the cloves and lightly crush without removing the skins
- 1 bunch of spring onion
- 1 pork bone, cracked
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 slices of assam gelugor (tamarind slices)
- 2 preserved sour plums
- 1 bunch of tung ho (chrysanthemum green)
- 3 tsp of salt
- 5 litres of water
- Cooking oil
Marinade (fish bones)
- 1 tbsp Chinese wine
- Dash of pepper
Marinade (fish head)
- 2 tbsp Chinese wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp sweet potato flour
- Fried shallots
- Coriander leaves
1. Marinate fish head for an hour.
2. Marinate fish bones for at least 30 minutes.
3. Blanch pork bone. Discard the water and rinse the bone.
4. Boil one litre of water.
5. In a wok, heat three tablespoons of oil. Fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add ikan bilis. (A)
6. Add the fish bones and fry until meat on bones turns opaque. (B)
7. Pour in the boiled water and allow mixture to come to a boil.
8. Transfer into a large pot.
9. Add the remaining water.
10. Place the pork bone, tomatoes, dried shiitake mushrooms, assam gelugor, preserved sour plums and spring onion in the pot. (C)
11. Cover and boil on medium-high heat for 45 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and continue boiling till the pork bone starts to disintegrate.
12. Top up with more water if necessary.
13. When the stock is done boiling, strain and discard the ingredients, reserving the stock.
14. Season with salt.
To prepare the fish head
1. Heat enough oil in a wok for deep-frying.
2. Fry the fish head pieces until golden. Drain off excess oil.
3. Fill another pot with enough water to boil the noodles. Bring to a boil.
4. Boil the thick beehoon in individual portions. The beehoon requires only two to three minutes of cooking.
5. Place in a serving bowl.
6. Blanch the tung ho and add to the bowl.
7. Add the stock and place fish head pieces in the bowl.
8. Garnish and serve.