Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ka-Soh Fish Head Noodle Seafood Restaurant

Fish head bee hoon

Ka-Soh is a rather well-known run of shops in Singapore that has spread up to KL (and they even run that Yuzu-Shimizu place too). What is it so famous for? Its namesake fish head bee hoon, a local pot of rice noodles and fish stewed in a broth. The first time I had it was about four years ago, and I was floored by how they were able to brew the fish head long enough to infuse a whitish color into the soup (a bit like how tonkotsu broth gets its milky color from pork bones). And yet tonight, I was told by my companions that milk is actually poured into the soup to give it the color, which didn't sound right to me. Moreover, they didn't like the broth here as they felt that it was too bland.

A bit puzzled by this, I did some investigating, and I think I have it figured out. First off, the Ka-Soh guy told me that they do not use any milk in the broth, and that it's basically just brewed straight from the fried fish and bones, as I initially suspected. Yet if other places jumpstart it by using milk, then that probably explains why my companions were so disappointed in this one, since I'll bet that the use of milk creates a much richer taste. Can anyone confirm this?

Prawn Paste ChickenThey do of course have a number of other local dishes here, including prawn paste chicken, stir-fried venison, and three egg vegetable. They all turned out fine, but the fish head noodle is the main attraction here. There's no denying that the soup is thin and light, but I rather enjoy that, especially when accompanied by a good healthy dose of white pepper to go along with the fish slices. It's refreshing yet hearty...again, kinda like tonkotsu. If my theory about the broth is correct though, then I'd like to try some of the milk-based guys to see how differently they taste. (Do these guys use milk?)


Anonymous said...

This is apparently how the non-milk-adding bunch make their soup milky-white.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Mellben's Claypot Crab Beehoon? It's one of the best milky broth you will ever try. It's at Blk 232 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3. Be prepared to wait at least half an hour on weekday and longer on weekends. Heard there's a branch at Toa Payoh but don't know if the waiting time is any better

Kathy said...

You could be right here about not using milk -- technically it is possible.

I read the post shown above, it is not possible if no fish bones were used!

However you would need to stew the fish bones for a very long time. The type of fish used has to have lots of cartilage.

The shortcut to the milky looking broth is created by using brand of light, condensed milk called Carnation milk.

Ka Soh was one of the original makers of this type of fish soup, as was this obscure stall in the basement of Paradiz Centre.

May said...

My family cooks fish head soup at least once week. We only use fresh fish head and never add any milk. The soup is always medium milky. I believe anything you see that's very milky would most probably have had milk added to it.

Lavinia said...

I know some shops that do use evaporated milk. I've literally seen the hawker do it. But it's fine with me, it's tastes better that way.

Mahek said...

i came across your blog today , i read your profile and was happy to see you are so much like me, only i do not get the opportunity to travel the way you do.
i will be reading your whole blog now, keep up the good work and send us photos and details too so that we can virtually visit that place. you can click markets with interesting food too.

Anonymous said...

perhaps you could try the XO fish head bee hoon at holland village. (not the coffeeshop at the corner, but the one inside, opposite the multi storey carpark. best to ask around for better directions.) that's the tastiest fish head bee hoon, guaranteed.