By Hedy Khoo, The New Paper
500g thick beehoon
Half of a threadfin fish-head (ikan kurau), cut into large pieces
1kg fish bones
200g ikan bilis
40g ginger, sliced
2 heads of garlic, cloves separated and lightly crushed with the skin on
1 pork bone, cracked
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked
2 slices tamarind
2 preserved sour plums
1 bunch spring onion
1 bunch chrysanthemum green (tung ho)
3 tsp salt
5 litres water
Marinade for the fish bones:
1 tbsp Chinese wine
A dash of pepper
Marinade for the fish-head:
2 tbsp Chinese wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp sweet potato flour
For the soup:
1. Marinate fish-head for an hour, then segment the meat into large pieces.
2. Marinate fish bones for at least 30 minutes.
3. Blanch the pork bone. Discard the water and rinse the bone. Set aside.
4. Boil one litre of water.
5. In a wok, heat three tablespoons of oil. Fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add ikan bilis.
6. Add the fish bones and fry until meat on bones turns opaque.
7. Pour in the boiled water and allow mixture to come to a boil. Transfer into a large pot and add the remaining water.
8. Place the pork bone, tomatoes, dried shiitake mushrooms, tamarind slices, preserved sour plums and spring onion into the pot. Cover and boil on medium-high heat for 45 minutes.
9. Lower the heat to medium and continue boiling till the pork bone starts to disintegrate. Top up with more water if necessary.
10. When the stock is done boiling, strain and discard the ingredients, reserving the stock.
11. Season with salt.
For the fish meat:
1. Heat enough oil in a wok for deep-frying.
2. Fry the fish-head pieces until golden. Drain off excess oil.
3. Divide the beehoon into individual portions.
4. Fill another pot with enough water for boiling noodles. Bring to a boil, then cook the beehoon in batches. The beehoon requires only 2-3min of cooking.
5. Place in a serving bowl.
6. Blanch the tung ho and add to the bowl.
7. Add the stock and fish-head pieces. Garnish and serve.
This article was originally published in The New Paper, 4 Aug 2015.