I went with my beloved family to a Thai restaurant a few weeks ago and guess what? The fish head soup was on the menu. It’s been a long time since I had my last fish head soup. Since Frank and my daughter Anna Sutji have never tasted the fish head soup before, we decided to order the soup. They like it so much that we end up ordering the second bowl of soup. Since our last visit to the restaurant, they have been asking me to cook the fish head soup for them and finally, today I got the chance to cook it for them. The recipe below calls for fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger, Indonesian bay leaves and fresh fish head to give that mouthwatering flavorful savory taste. Well, not forget to mention, besides its appetizing aroma and flavorsome taste, the fish head soup contains a lot of nutrients, vitamins, and calcium. Reputedly, since the head of the fish contains folic acid, it can help the baby’s brain to grow smarter, especially when consume during pregnancy.


Sup Kepala Ikan – Fish Head Soup

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2


  • 2 pieces of fish heads, snappers or tilapias
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, crushed
  • 1 cm ginger, crushed
  • 1 salam, Indonesian bay leave
  • 4 green tomatoes, cut into pieces
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 50 grams chopped green beans
  • 1 litre of water
  • Chives or spring onions to taste
  • 2-3 bird eye chilies, slice thinly
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar, to taste
  • Fried onions, to taste


  1. Wash the fish heads and coat the fish with lemon juice and salt, let it sit for a little while
  2. Using a mortar and pestle or food processor blend all ingredient for the spice paste
  3. Meanwhile, boil 1 litre of water in a soup pan, while waiting for the water to boil, stir fry the spice paste in a frying pan together with lemongrass, ginger, and Indonesian bay leaves.
  4. Continue to stir fry until fragrant and turn off the heat
  5. Add the spice paste to the boiling water, the fish head, and other ingredients such as tomatoes, beans, carrots, and chilies.
  6. Season with salt and sugar
  7. Cook until the vegetables and the fish soft
  8. Make sure not too overcooked the vegetables
  9. Turn off the fire and the fish head soup ready to be served


Serve the fish head soup with white rice and fried shallots/onions



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