Sour Fish Head Soup

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  • 2 Scallions, white part only, -crushed with the side of a -knife
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ts salt
  • 2 tb Plus 4 teaspoons sauce -(nuoc mam)
  • 1 lg head or carcass, -split down the center
  • 1 qt water
  • 1/2 c Canned sliced sour bamboo
  • 1/4 Fresh pineapple, cut in a -lengthwise section and -sliced
  • 1 ds MSG (optional)
  • 2 tb Mixed chopped fresh -coriander (Chinese parsley)
  • scallion green


An excellent way to get twice the pleasure out of your purchase. You can use either the head of the carcass if you wish. To the people of the South, this is as much their traditional dish as Southern Fried Chicken is to our southerners++and it will meet with instant praise

Sprinkle the scallions, black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons sauce over the head. Allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and drop in the sour bamboo and pineapple slices. Cook at a lively boil for 5 minutes. Drop head into the actively boiling water and, keeping at a boil, add the 2 tablespoons sauce, remaining teaspoon salt, and a dash of MSG. Boil the head for a total of 10 minutes. Transfer to a soup tureen, sprinkle on the coriander and scallion green, and serve.

NOTE: If the head is dropped into water that is not boiling, it will fall apart.

Makes 4 servings.