WEEKEND CHEF | Recipe: Comforting Fish Head Soup for the chilly holiday season

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Lapu-lapu head soup with tofu by Weekend Chef. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

December mornings are chilly, and it gets colder each day. The sudden change in temperature tells you that the Christmas season is definitely here, but it also tells you that you need something comfortingly hot to keep you warm as the weather gets colder. How about Fish Head Soup with Tofu?

Usually, when you find some good fish head, such as Salmon Head or Lapu-Lapu Head, you automatically make sinigang or tinola with it. But there are also other ways to enjoy fish head with soup. I recently bought a big lapu-lapu from the fish vendor on wheels who passes by the house regularly since it was very fresh. I had it cut into slices. I divided the slices into serving portions.

I grilled the tail, steamed the steak cuts in the middle, and made Fish Head Soup with Tofu with the fish head—on different occasions, of course.

Here’s what I did with the Fish Head Soup with Tofu.

Lapu-Lapu Head Soup with Tofu
Ingredients
1-2 pcs. lapu-lapu heads
2-3 pcs. tofu, each piece cut into 4 or 8
2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
6 slices ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
rice vinegar to taste
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 small bunch scallions or spring onion, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 small bunch wansuy (cilantro), cut into 2-inch lengths

Directions
1. Fabricate the fish head. Gut it and cut into half, then separate the collar from the head. Add fish tail if desired.

Step 1. Clean fish head, then separate the collar from the head. Add fish tail if desired. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

2. Cut each tofu piece into cubes of 4 or 8, or depending on how thick you want your tofu, then soak in salted water.

Step 2. Cut the tofu pieces into cubes then soak in salted water. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

3. Heat oil in a small stock pot or nonstick casserole. Add ginger and garlic, and sauté until aromatic. Add fish head pieces and sear for a few minutes. Cook just until meat turns opaque. Flip over and cook the other side.

4. Pour in water. Season with salt, pepper, rice vinegar and fish sauce.

Step 4. After searing fish head, pour in water and season with salt, pepper, rice vinegar and fish sauce. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

5. Add tofu slices.

6. Stir in scallions and wansuy. Let boil.

Step 6. Add scallions to soup and simmer till fish head is cooked. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

7. Adjust seasoning. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.