Herby Fish Soup

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Teochew sliced fish is truly a perennial favorite. Here’s a variant with star fruit for a tangy twist!

Let's start cooking!

Water in pan

Step 1 - Boil the fish stock

  • In a large deep pan over high heat, heat up 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and fry ginger slices and ikan bilis for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the reserved fish head and bones and fry for 1 more minute.
When choosing fresh fish, look for bright eyes, red sticky gills and a glossy sheen to the skin
  • Add 2.5 L water to the pot, make sure that fish is submerged in the water. Bring to a boil and immediately turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 45 minutes, then strain and set aside stock.
Substitute snapper with pomfret or garoupa
Stir-fried shallots, tomatoes and starfruits

Step 2 - Fry shallots, star fruit and tomatoes

  • In a different pot, heat up 1 Tbsp vegetable oil over a high heat. Fry shallots for 2 minutes until fragrant, then add star fruit and tomatoes, and fry until slightly softened, for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Fish stock in pan

Step 3 - Boil the soup

  • Add in fish stock, 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp sugar, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer. Allow the soup to cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the tomatoes and star fruit have softened but still hold their shape.
Seasoned soup with fish sauce and lime juice

Step 4 - Season the soup

  • Season with 4 Tbsp fish sauce and lime juice as needed.
Fish slices in soup

Step 5 - Cook the fish

  • Add in sliced fish and simmer for 30 seconds, until the fish is just cooked. Remove from heat. Stir in dill, Thai basil and spring onions.
    The saltwater fish used in this recipe have relatively firmer flesh and larger bones than freshwater fish, and are also easy to fillet and debone

Garnish and serve

Sliced fish soup served with star fruit and dill

Transfer to serving bowl or dish and serve hot.

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