‘Salmon Head Soup’ might not sound appealing to some of you, but wait until you try this Asian fusion soup inspired by my trip to Malaysia. Made with the addition of coconut cream, sambal (spicy chili sauce), and turmeric, this soup is a combination of beautiful colors and amazing flavors.
The trick to making delicious fish head soup is fresh fish heads, of course! The first thing you want to do when buying fish heads is smell them. They should have smell of the ocean – not fishy at all. The easiest way to identify if the fish is fresh, besides smelling it, is to look at the eyes and gills of the fish. The eyes should be clear, not cloudy; and the gills should be red, not blue or gray.
prep: 10 min cook: 20 min total: 25 min servings: 4
3 salmon heads
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbsp peppercorns
3-4 bay leaves
salt to taste
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream
1 tbsp sambal sauce or to taste
1 tsp to 1 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup chopped fresh or 1 tbsp dry dill
With kitchen shears or a sharp knife, remove the gills, and tongue (optional). Under running water, wash the heads thoroughly removing any blood or debris.
Place the heads into a large pan. Add the onion, potatoes, carrot, peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Pour over the water to barely cover the fish heads. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Add in the coconut cream, sambal, and turmeric. Simmer for 5-10 minute until the meat is cooked through.
With a slotted spoon, gently remove the fish heads from the soup. Separate the edible parts (Don’t forget the eyes :)) from the heads and set aside.
At the meantime, strain the soup using a fine mesh strainer. Discard the onion, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Return the edible parts of the heads, carrots, and potatoes into the pan. Add in the strained broth. Gently reheat the soup. Add the dill right before turning the burner off.
Serve with bread or as is.