Aromatic Fish Soup (Indonesian) Gule kepala kakap
If you have bought a whole fish, and have a left-over fish head & backbone, you can make a spectacular meal of the remains, by cooking up this aromatic fish soup. It is a very popular dish in Indonesia — a country that knows how to make the most of its abundant herbs and spices.
You will need:
- 2 Tilapia heads — or use a whole fish.
- 3 stalks lemongrass, bruised, cut in 5 cm length
- 5 bay leaves
- 5 kaffir lime leaves
- 4 green tomatoes, sliced into 4 parts each
- *5 “star fruit” (carambola bilimbi). Slice in 2 cm length. *optional
- 1 organic lemon
- Salt and sugar to taste
- 1 liter water
- 8 shallots, roasted and peeled. (Roasting adds to the depth of flavor)
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 cm piece of turmeric, roasted and peeled
- 1 handfull of basil (Preferably Thai basil, but any basil will do)
- 2-3 red chillies, roasted, diagonal sliced
Preparing the soup
- Rub the fish head with lemon juice and salt, set aside for ¼ hour.
- Put all ingredients, except for the fish and basil, into the water. Bring to a boil.
- Add the fish head, cook until tender. Remove soup from heat.
- Add basil, and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
- Remove basil, and serve soup with steamed rice and additional vegetables on the side.