Sliced Fish Bee Hoon

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    3–4

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

Hawker versions of this soup are sometimes spiked with fresh or evaporated milk for body; this short-cut is not at all necessary as long as you take care to use enough bones and fry them well in step 2, which will make your broth rich and cloudy. You can use bones from other white-fleshed fish for the stock, but avoid those from very oily fish like salmon and mackerel, as they may impart off-flavours to it. The coriander (cilantro) roots are not traditional, but they add savouriness to the broth.

Ingredients

  • Snakehead fish bones and trimmings 1.5 kg (3 lb oz)
  • Liquid lard or cooking oil 2 Tbsp
  • Ginger 4 thick slices
  • Coriander (cilantro) roots (optional) 3, washed and pat-dry
  • Shaoxing rice wine 100 ml ( fl oz)
  • Water 2.2 litres (73⅓ fl oz)
  • White peppercorns ¼ tsp
  • Snakehead fish (sang yee) 400 g (14⅓ oz), sliced
  • Brandy (optional) 1 Tbsp
  • Sesame oil ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Fresh laksa noodles 600 g (1 lb 5⅓ oz)
  • Choy sum (Chinese flowering cabbage) 120 g ( oz), washed

Garnishes

  • Ground white pepper
  • Crisp-fried shallots
  • Cut red chillies
  • Light soy sauce
  • Crispy lard cubes

Method

  1. Rinse bones and trimmings very well. Break any long fish backbones into shorter segments. Pick off any veins or flecks of blood clinging to bones—be thorough— then rinse well. Blanch bones in boiling water for 20 seconds, then drain and pat dry.
  2. Heat lard or oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. When very hot, add fish bones and fry for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and coriander roots, if using, and stir-fry for 2 minutes more, until bones are browned in spots.
  3. Stir in rice wine, then add water and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then half-cover and simmer steadily for 20–25 minutes.
  4. Strain stock through a fine-mesh metal sieve into a clean pot. Reheat until simmering, then add sliced fish and cook gently for 2–3 minutes, until just done. Stir in brandy and sesame oil. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and sugar.
  5. Meanwhile, blanch noodles in boiling water for 5–10 seconds until heated through. Drain and remove. Blanch choy sum likewise, until just wilted. Divide noodles and choy sum between serving bowls, then top with soup and fish slices. Serve with garnishes on the side.