Hello Everyone! I hope that this time around I say that I will keep a post short, that I will actually keep it short *fingers crossed (yet no promises will be made)*. Continuing on with the theme of hero-ing tilapia in all recipes for the month of June, tonight I will be sharing a recipe that I came across last year during a corporate dinner with Ambassadors from a few Southeast Asian countries as we celebrated the Ambassador of Cambodia’s farewell from Brunei. How did a score an invite to a dinner with high-ranking officials? Well, it’s not hard to when your Boss has the connections.
Tangent aside, it was during this dinner that I came across this particular dish that I will be sharing with you guys tonight. I honestly have no clue what the dish is called, as in if there is a special name for it so I do apologise for the blunt name – just calling it as I see it! Anyway, as I recall, the dish didn’t have slices of tilapia in it, I just added it on for extra flavour and protein to the overall dish. I know that the dish doesn’t sound like it packs a lot of flavour to it, well I think it isn’t supposed to anyway. From what I remember, the broth was subtle in taste, and what really shined through was the sweetness of the sponge gourd and a little pop of sour from the goji berries. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what the egg white does to help the dish as I know it’s rather bland in flavour – maybe to give the broth some texture?
Anyway, I remember really enjoying the dish that night and last weekend I decided to give the dish a go based from the ingredients that I recognised, playing around with flavoring the broth, and of course incorporating tilapia into the overall dish. I’ll be honest and say that I was a bit nervous going blindly into this recipe with having only tried the dish once just shy of a year ago, but it turned out to be a delicious hit!
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 4
- 750g tilapia, filleted and sliced, heads and bones reserved
- 1 large sweet gourd, peeled and cut into long thin strips (like noodles)
- 2 large free range egg whites
- Handful of dried goji berries
For the fish broth
- 1L water
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2-3 dried bay leaves
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- Reserved tilapia heads and bones
- 1 tbsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
- Add all the ingredients for the fish broth into a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring the heat down to low and allow the broth to slowly simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Once done, strain out the tilapia heads, bones, garlic cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, and discard.
- Meanwhile, soak the goji berries in hot water for about 5 minutes. Drain and then set aside.
- Bring the heat back up to high and the broth to a rapid boil. Add the sweet gourd noodles to the broth and cook until tender but still has a slight crunch to it, about 2-3 minutes altogether, or longer if you prefer it soft. Once done, strain and then divide evenly into each single serving deep dish.
- Add the fish slices into the broth and quickly blanch until cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Strain and then divide evenly.
- Drizzle the egg whites into the broth a little at a time using a fork to continuously stir into the broth as the egg whites are dropped in. Eggs whites would cook immediately.
- Once the eggs whites have been dropped, gradually stir in the cornstarch and water mixture into the broth until the soup is thickened to your desired consistency. Turn the heat off and divide the soup evenly between the individual serving dishes.
- Top the dish with the goji berries and a touch of ground black pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy!
– Ally xx