Fish Head Tom Yum Soup

If you are completely turned off by the thought of eating fish head let alone some "delicate" bits of the fish head aka the gooey eye balls, then I would probably suggest you flick over to some other blog now, haha! On the contrary, if you are a huge fan of fish head like obviously I am - and if you think the fish head is really the best part of the fish and brings out the best flavors in a soup or fish curry or assam curry, then by all means please continue reading this blog post.

I haven't had too many cravings. I just WANT food all the time. I do find that I tend to somehow "crave" seafood more than anything else. And spicy soups. And I can't get enough of 2-minute noodles although I know how bad they are for me. I am totally not interested in roast meats at this stage. I like soupy things and fishy things.

So naturally, as soon as my taste buds decided to pop the FISH HEAD SOUP idea into my head, I could not make it go away. I went to South Melbourne Market on Wednesday and asked THREE seafood outlets for fish head but none of them had any. So I had to wait until Friday and went again nice and early!

Seafood Shop Person: Hi, can I help you?
Me: Yes, you don't happen to have any Snapper Fish Heads out at the back, do you?
Seafood Shop Person: Fish heads.. err.. yeah ok let me check. (walks to the back room to check)
Me: (Waits... waits...)
Seafood Shop Person: (walks out of the back room carrying a MASSIVE Snapper fish head) Like this one?
Me: PERFECT! How many you got?!
Seafood Shop Person: (holds up FOUR fingers)
Me: Yeah, I'll take them ALL thanks!!

Fellow Shopper: Do you make soup out of those fish heads?
Me: Yeah. Usually a spicy soup like Tom Yum or a Fish Head Curry.
Fellow Shopper: And do you like add anything else to it like prawns, etc?
Me: You can. I would if I had the prawns. And calamari too. And obviously the mushrooms and veggies, etc depending if I was making a Tom Yum or Curry the veggies would vary.
Fellow Shopper: Man.. I just bought the entire fish to make soup. Maybe I should've just asked for the fish heads too...
Me: Oh yeah, they're great and they're good value.
Fellow Shopper: Oh yeah, the fish heads the best bit! Anyway thanks, I know now for next time..

Me: (turning back to Seafood Shop Person) so how much?
Seafood Shop Person: 10 dollars, thanks.

2 x large Snapper Fish Heads
200g mushrooms, sliced
4 tbsp Instant Tom Yum Paste
4 litres water
3 tbsp fish sauce
100g calamari rings
1 bunch of spring onions, roughly chopped
Fresh Coriander leaves for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, boil water until just simmering. Add tom yum paste and stir well.

Add fish heads, calamari and mushrooms. Close the lid of the pot and reduce heat to medium low and let the soup gently simmer for approx. 20 minutes. 

Add fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Add spring onions and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve hot and garnish with coriander leaves.


  1. My Fave!! ^,^ You make it so scrumptiously Kim! hmm.. *drolling over it :p

  2. The best parts are the cheeks. Man, they should sell more fish heads!

  3. Awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome!!!! Now you got me craving for fish head dishes too!

  4. One of my favourite dishes ever :) What a beautiful dish, I am dying to try this :)

  5. Nice one Kim. I am a sucker for fish head too :)

  6. I shuttered a little at the thought of this soup. The only reason is because I have never had it. I wouldn't even know how to eat the fish head. Lips and all? Kimberly, you'll have to message me and give me the know how. Haha! The flavors sound incredible.

  7. Not a fish fan here :)), but anything you cook looks just perfect, Kim!! Cheers :)

  8. I looove fish head ... tom yum yum yum or plain soup or curry ... you name it! Esp the glooey bits around the eyeballs! Think I've grossed out quite a number of folks :P

  9. I'm a fish fan, but not of the head, I hate to say. I've roasted a whole fish before and teased Dudette by taking out the eye and offering it to her, but would never really eat it myself (unless maybe her life depended on it). The soup, however, looks delicious.

  10. alamak...this reminds me never to go blog hopping before meals. Drooling fr tomyam pulak

  11. soup looks good lovely presentation

  12. I think you got scammed! $10 for 4 fish heads?? So expensive!!! HAHAHAH.. love the eyeballs!

  13. I heart fish heads in soup. It creates so much flavour. I tend to add a heap of prawns shell intact for even more flavour as well. Comfort food.

  14. bet it tastes amazing looks funny though adore seafood, hope your keeping well sweet lady again so happy for you Rebecca

  15. LoL. Im not a fan of fish head, but i REALLY enjoyed your conversation hehe. especially the "SWEET"! part. So something i would say

  16. looks yuumm...wish to try out this recipe but can i use any kind of fish head to cook this?