My wife and I went to Putien restaurant for lunch the other day and we ordered their Fish Soup, simply because we love soup. It was then that I noticed that they had a very interesting take on the soup. They used a Yellow Croaker for the broth, which resulted in a light and mildly flavoured fish soup. Personally I thought it was so-so only.
It was oily, gingery but delicious, just that the fish flavour could be a little stronger and the fish itself could be a little tastier. My lightning fast taste-buds quickly deciphered the soup and memorized the ingredients list and reverse engineered the entire cooking process in my mind. So I decided to cook my version of that fish soup, but using my favourite Garoupa fish head. Sure nice one.
I stir fried the ginger slices and a few cloves of garlic. Then fried the fish head without any seasoning or salt. Just in the same oil. In another pot, I was boiling a natural chicken stock. Kind of got tired of the pre-made chicken stocko as I felt it was too salty. Added a few essential ingredients like wolfberries, Chinese scallops and dried oysters. Done.
The final product was a perfect fish soup. The flesh of the Red Garoupa was flavourful and tender, better in taste than the flesh of the Yellow Croaker.
2 carcass of Chicken Bones (for making stock)
1 whole Red Garoupa fish head (small)
10 thin slices of Ginger
5 cloves of Garlic
Handful of Wolfberries
5 number of Chinese Scallops
3 number of Dried Oysters
10 slices of Yam (pre-packed yam will do)
4 pieces of Tau Pok (aka dried bean curd puffs)
1. Boil the chicken stock using the chicken bones. Skim off the fat and dried blood as you boil. Soak the scallops and oysters in hot water for about 10 minutes.
2. Fry the ginger slices in the oil until it starts to brown a little. Then take it out. Now fry the garlic whole (not minced) and then take it out when it browns.
3. Next fry up the fish in the same oil. Add a little more oil if need be. Once the fish starts to brown a little add the pre-fried ingredients of ginger and garlic back into the wok. Add the soaked scallops, soaked oysters and also the wolfberries.
4. Now you can ladle the natural chicken stock into the wok and continue to cook the fish soup over a slow simmer. Do this for about 10-15 minutes. Seafood cooks rather quickly especially fish. It is kind of like having steam boat. Add salt to taste.
5. If you want to add tau pok and yam slices, you may do so, and it will be perfect. But if not, it will still taste great!