Salted Fish Bone Tofu Soup
Simple yet tasty! This home-style tofu soup popular in Penang – Kiam Hu Kut Thng – uses fried salted fish bones for briny flavours. The stock turns milky white over slow simmering, taking on delectable smoky accents. This is comfort food, perfect for winding down for the weekend.
Total Time: 1½ hours
Serves: 2-3 persons
A: Soup stock
1 chicken carcass, skinned & rinsed
5 cloves garlic
Half thumb-sized ginger, peeled & crushed
3 litres water
B: Salted Fish
100g threadfin (Ikan kurau) salted fish bones, rinsed & soaked in water for 15 minutes
2 tablespoons oil
300g silken tofu, cut into 8-10 pieces
1 stalk spring onion, sliced finely
1. Drain salted fish bones. Using paper towels, pat bones to remove excess water.
2. Heat up oil a small saucepan over medium heat. Put in fish bones to fry until light brown. Drain on paper towels.
3. Bring 1 litre water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add in chicken carcass and cook for 1 minute. Discard water and set carcass aside.
4. Rinse saucepan. Pour in remaining water, add fish bones, carcass and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer 1 hour.
5. Add in tofu; cook for 5 minutes then turn heat off.
6. Garnish with spring onion. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
TIP: Soaking fish bones in water rids it of excess salt. There is no need to add salt to this soup as there is usually sufficient salt in the bones.
TECHNIQUE: Frying the salted fish bones not only add flavours to the soup but it also stops the meat on the bones from falling off easily during cooking.
Photos: Evonne Lyn Lee