Making Teochew fish soup

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Making Teochew fish soup

Postby BlurBerry » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:38 pm

Can anyone share how to achieve that succulent, silky smooth texture of the batang fish slices that you get at the hawker stalls?

I've tried using fish freshly bought from the market, adding cornflour to the marinade, remove the pot from the flame before adding the fish slices but they still turn out the same - hard and rough texture.

Sometimes I wonder if the type of mackerel they use and the ones we get fm the market are the same. I notice the hawkers cook the fish slices on high flame but yet they turn out perfect.

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Re: Making Teochew fish soup

Postby cherrygal » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:42 pm

It is soda bicarbonate. It makes anything soft. The trick is how much to add. You add too much and the meat becomes weird tasting.

I won't add this if I were you coz there'll be no nutrition left.

For home cooking, use a better fish to attain the softness. Red snapper tastes better than batang. An even better fish would be pomfret but that would be quite expensive.

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Re: Making Teochew fish soup

Postby Beansprout » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:33 pm

Another choice is thread fin but quite expensive- about 38 per kg

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Re: Making Teochew fish soup

Postby Chenonceau » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:47 pm

I thought it was toman fish inside the teochew fish soup.

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Re: Making Teochew fish soup

Postby Nebbermind » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:26 pm

Chenonceau wrote:I thought it was toman fish inside the teochew fish soup.

Definitely not toman. It is batang...the last time i soaked them in corn starch solution n it turned out quite ok.

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Re: Making Teochew fish soup

Postby BlurBerry » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:38 pm

Definitely not toman. It is batang...the last time i soaked them in corn starch solution n it turned out quite ok.[/quote]

Really? How is it done? I saw at a popular fish soup stall in Clementi hawker ctr had this big basin of white liquid next to the stove. Is that what it is....cornstarch solution?

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Re: Making Teochew fish soup

Postby Maggie Loh » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:45 am

Instead of adding salt into the soup/ broth, rub lots of salt into the fish slices & "marinate' for a while.

remember not to overcook them too!

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Re: Making Teochew fish soup

Postby BlurBerry » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:51 am

Maggie Loh wrote:Instead of adding salt into the soup/ broth, rub lots of salt into the fish slices & "marinate' for a while.

remember not to overcook them too!


Tried it except I don't always get the salt amount right. Do you add cornflour too or just salt?

Sometimes the fish slices appear ok at first (when tasting from the pot) but by the time it goes on the table, they turn rough again. Now I resort to fishing them out as soon as they turn white and serve them separately. A little better but still not what I wanted. It's the best I can do at the moment. For a while I turned to grouper but I still can't get over the failure with the batang.

That's why I'm so so curious to find out how the hawkers do it. They practically boil the fish till kingdom come and yet they always turn out beautifully moist, springy and fresh. Maybe one of these days I sld try buying fish from a different market and see if it makes a difference.

I would like to try the cornflour solution method too. Just need some guide how to do it.

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Re: Making Teochew fish soup

Postby Maggie Loh » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:20 pm

Er..cant tell you how much salt I add to the batang fishes cos it depends on the amount of fish. However we don’t add any salt into my simple broth, so some of the salt leeches into the soup & it’s still ok le.

When we rub the salt in fish slices, i find that it sort of smoothen the surface & so long as i don’t overcook, they remain springy & moist.

Do you want to try to turn off the fire a little earlier ? I always leave them in the pot so that they can continue to cook even after i turn off the fire.

Sorry, cant advise on the cornflour method cos i never add them into my fish soup.

Fyi, still prefer to use batang cos more economic than grouper but taste better than using the threadfin in fishsoup.

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Re: Making Teochew fish soup

Postby BlurBerry » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:50 pm

Maggie Loh wrote:Er..cant tell you how much salt I add to the batang fishes cos it depends on the amount of fish. However we don’t add any salt into my simple broth, so some of the salt leeches into the soup & it’s still ok le.

When we rub the salt in fish slices, i find that it sort of smoothen the surface & so long as i don’t overcook, they remain springy & moist.

Do you want to try to turn off the fire a little earlier ? I always leave them in the pot so that they can continue to cook even after i turn off the fire.

Sorry, cant advise on the cornflour method cos i never add them into my fish soup.

Fyi, still prefer to use batang cos more economic than grouper but taste better than using the threadfin in fishsoup.


Do you cut the fish slices thicker than those fm hawker stalls? And how long should I marinate them before cooking?

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