Fish Head Soup – Malaysia Fish Head Noodle Soup Recipe

by | Last updated Feb 13, 2021 | Chinese Recipe, Malaysian Recipe, Noodles Recipe, Recipe, Seafood Recipe, Soups Recipe

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Fish Head Soup with Rice Noodle is one of the Malaysian local staples, where the locals will have a bowl of hot fish head soup with rice noodles before going off to their work. A good fish head soup is where the soup coloration must be white, packed with the sweet scent of fish but not fishy, here is how you can cook a great Fish Head Soup that is milky and sweet without the need of using milk!

Fish Head Soup with Rice Noodle

How To Make Creamy White Fish Head Soup

I bet that often when you asked around, how do I make a fish head soup that is white? You will get the typical answer of using evaporated milk, that it almost becomes a norm now. However, that was not the case, Fish Head Soup Noodle vendors use to make their soup white and creamy without using a drop of milk, how?

The answer lies in the technique.

fish head soup

What is the Technique to Make Creamy White Fish Soup?

Well, the technique is to;

  • Deep-fried or pan-fried the fish bones and uses those bones to make the white creamy fish stock,
  • Remove the excessive bloodstain, which would cause the fishy smell and make the soup dark in color, and
  • Lastly, very important to remove the oil layer and foam that floats on top of the soup during the initial boiling and simmering part, as that would also affect the flavor and coloration of the final outcome.
  • Also know more about how to buy fish and how to fillet fish.

Author have a say…

Fish head soup with rice noodles is one of our favorite local Malaysian Chinese delicacies. In general, a huge fish head chunk is served, but I prefer more meat, so I use only fish fillet. Also to improve the luxury of this dish, I substituted with Grouper fish! The fish stock has to be carefully prepared to bring out the best flavorful fish stock and most importantly is to prevent the unwanted fishy smell that people find it disgusting. Find out more below on how to prepare the best fish stock in town!

Source  :  Wiki

Fish Head Soup with Rice Noodles Recipe

Fish Head Soup with Rice Noodle
Ethan Wong
Print Pin

5 from 2 votes

This is a Malaysian delicacy which is common for breakfast and lunch. Make sure to use fresh fish head and bones for the best flavor that is milky and creamy!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Chinese
Difficulty Medium
Servings 3 people


  • 700 g Grouper (You can use a larger fish)
  • 50 g Dried Flounder Fish
  • 50 g Ginger (sliced)
  • 1/2 tbsp White Peppercorn
  • 300 g Tomatoes
  • 300 g Chinese Cabbage
  • Coriander (for garnish)
  • Spring Onion (for garnish)
  • Cooking Oil
  • to taste Salt
  • to taste Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Shao Xing Wine (for extra fragrance)
  • Coriander's Root (optional)
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  • Clean the fish and fillet into approximately 1/2 inch thick.
  • Keep the sliced fillet in the fridge while you proceed to the next step.
  • Clean and sliced the ginger.
  • Clean and cut the tomatoes.
  • Clean and cut the Chinese cabbage to approximately 1 inch in width.
  • Clean and cut the coriander to 1 inch in length.
  • Clean and cut the spring onion into strips.


  • Heat up your pan with cooking oil.
  • Pan-fry the dried turbot fish to crispy. Set the fire on low heat during this step to prevent the dried turbot fish from burning.
  • Set aside the turbot fish.
  • Pan-fry the fish bones to crispy. Set the fire to medium heat during this step so the fresh fishbone are fried evenly. Take extra measures to ensure the fishbone is fried off most of their moisture content, this will give a creamy flavor to the fish stock.
  • Once you have all the fish bones pan-fried to crispy, set the fire to high and add water into the pan.
  • Then transfer the fish bones along with the water into a stockpot.
  • Add more water to slightly more than enough to cover the fish bones.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Add ginger, white peppercorn, and root of coriander (optional) into the stock.
  • Keep covered and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Uncover and strain. You should now have a creamy white colored fish stock.
  • Bring the fish stock back to a boil.
  • Add cut tomatoes and Chinese cabbage into the stock.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until the Chinese cabbage softens.
  • Meanwhile, prepare one portion of rice noodles and set aside in a bowl. (Rice vermicelli or flat rice noodle would go well too)
  • Once the Chinese cabbage has softened, season with salt and fish sauce (ratio of 2 : 1).
  • Blanch the sliced grouper fillet in the fish stock for approximately 30 seconds. (Do not overcook for a spongy texture)
  • Place the cooked grouper fillet on top of the rice noodles.
  • Pour plenty of fish stock over the grouper fillet and rice noodles.
  • Pour 2 tablespoon of Chinese Shao xing wine into the bowl of grouper fish noodle.
  • Garnish with coriander and spring onion. Serve.



Cooking Tips

  • A mixture of coriander and spring onion do enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
  • Dried turbot fish can be used in lots of stock preparations. Purchase a decent dried turbot fish for a satisfying outcome.
  • Chinese Shao xing wine can be used in plenty of Chinese cooking. Be sure to use the decent Shao xing wine for a flavorful aroma. Lower-grade Shaoxing wine tends to have a bitter after taste.
  • Ginger and white pepper can be used to remove the unpleasant fishy smell of seafood.
  • Be sure to remove all the oil before simmering the stock for a period of time or else the oil will taint the stock with a greasy after taste.


Calories : 279kcalCarbohydrates : 11gProtein : 48gFat : 3gSaturated Fat : 1gCholesterol : 86mgSodium : 142mgPotassium : 1520mgFiber : 2gSugar : 3gVitamin A : 1430IUVitamin C : 18mgCalcium : 109mgIron : 4mg
*These Nutritional Values have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration
Keyword Fish Head Noodle without Milk, Fish Head Soup, Fish Head Soup Chinese, Fish Recipe, Fish Soup, Malaysia Fish Head Noodle, noodle soup

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  1. Julie

    Im trying it now thankyou Ethan hopefully tastes as good as it looks
    I generally just cook fish head in water with onion salt and pepper
    Thought id try a change
    Thankyou kindly

    • Ethan Wong

      Great! Keep me posted on how it went

  2. Telly xo

    Great recipe thank you; all I had was salmon fish head and did not have the extra turbo fish as you did but it turned out pretty okay. In replacement of root of coriander I used ground coriander hehe, enjoying my soup right now. I head salmon head and did not know what to do with it until I came across your page. Thank you

    • Ethan Wong

      Hey Telly!
      Yeap sounds great! The whole idea is to be creative, basically, any recipes act as a guide, and it is up to us to innovate with local ingredients.
      Once you experiment more with your locally available ingredients, technically you can cook anywhere in the world.


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