Make this comforting Singapore style fish bee hoon soup with an addition of XO liquor if you choose too with this easy no fuss recipe.
FISH BEE HOON SOUP
This is another one of the popular Singapore hawker foods that I used to eat pretty often when I lived in Singapore. I love anything soupy despite the hot humid weather. The fish soup bee hoon can be made with fish head or fish fillet served in a broth made with fish stock and/or bones. The fish can be fried or boiled. Sometimes milk and/or alcohol like XO cognac is added like in this XO fish bee hoon soup.
WHAT DOES XO COGNAC MEAN?
I’m not an expert in this field but a quick google search reveals that XO stands for Extra Old. It is a grading system used for cognac. XO cognac is aged for at least 6 years, though now the standard has been changed to 10 years.
Must you really use XO cognac in this recipe? Of course not! You can use other alcohol of your choice. You can use other Chinese cooking wine or brandy if you prefer. I’ve made it with DOM Benedictine as well. My mom made this for me when I was still doing the Chinese confinement diet. She cooked off the alcohol so that it’s safe for me to consume since I was still nursing a baby at that time.
WHAT KIND OF RICE NOODLE TO USE
You can use thin or thick rice noodle sticks. I use the thin or they call it rice vermicelli noodles in this post and use a thick bee hoon in the video.
HOW TO MAKE EASY XO FISH BEE HOON SOUP
I didn’t make the fish stock from scratch, but this quicker version still yields delicious result.
1. MARINATE THE FISH
Cut the fish fillet into a large chunk and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the marinate ingredients and toss to mix. Let them marinate in the fridge while you prepare other things.
2. PREPARE SOUP BASE
Add ginger, garlic, and white parts of green onion and stir fry until fragrant
Pour in the chicken stock followed by chicken/fish powder, evaporated milk, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil and then add tomato slices (if using). If you don’t want to fry the fish slices, you can add the fish here and cook until they just turn opaque, do not overcook it.
3. FRY THE FISH FILLET
Preheat about 2-inch of oil for deep frying. Whisk the cornstarch and rice flour in a mixing bowl. Coat the slices of fish with the flour mixture.
Fry the fish until crispy and golden brown.
Portion the noodles out into an individual serving bowl. Arrange few stalks of choy sum, few slices of tomatoes. Ladle the hot broth over generously. Topped with 4-5 pieces of fish fillet, a sprinkle of fried shallots, and about 1 tablespoon of XO cognac if you use. Serve immediately
This may not be the most traditional XO fish bee hoon soup, but I can tell you that it’s still really yummy and the family loves it. The kids love it (minus the alcohol of course!).
Did you make this XO fish bee hoon soup recipe?
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XO Fish Bee Hoon Soup
- 500 gr dried rice stick noodles you can use thick or thin rice noodles
- 500 gr firm white fish fillet Snakehead, Grouper, Snapper, Cod fish, or Tilapia
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 thumb-sized ginger thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic finely minced
- 3 stalks green onion, use the white parts cut into 2-inch stalks
- 2 large tomatoes quartered
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp XO cognac or brandy
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp chicken or fish powder
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce or more to taste
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 6-7 stalks Choy sum
- Crispy fried shallots / bawang goreng
- 1 Tbsp XO cognac or brandy optional, see notes
- Cook the noodles according to direction on the package
Marinate the fish:
- Cut the fish fillet into a large chunk and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the marinate ingredients and toss to mix. Let them marinate in the fridge while you prepare other things
Blanch the veggie:
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook choy sum for about 1 minute and then refresh with cold water and set aside
If you choose to fry the fish fillet:
- Preheat about 2-inch of oil for deep frying. Whisk the cornstarch and rice flour in a mixing bowl. Coat the slices of fish with the flour mixture and fry the fish until crispy and lightly golden brown
Prepare easy soup base:
- Preheat a large pot. Add cooking oil followed by slices of ginger, garlic, and the white parts of green onion. Stir fry until aromatic for about 1 minute. Pour in the chicken stock, evaporated milk ,chicken/fish powder, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil and then add tomato slices. Have a taste and adjust the taste of the soup to your preference
- Portion the noodles out into individual serving bowl. Arrange few stalks of choy sum, few slices of tomatoes. Ladle the hot broth over generously. Topped with 4-5 pieces of fish fillet, sprinkle of fried shallots, and about 1 tablespoon of XO cognac if you use. Serve immediately