Head to your fishmonger or the fish markets and look for a nice firm white-fleshed fish for this recipe. It's a very rustic soup with the bones and head simmered with all the ingredients to add flavour to the broth. Enjoy!






Skill level

Average: 2.4 (6 votes)


  • 1 whole fish (if not the WA "blue bone”, any large, firm white-fleshed fish), gutted and cleaned
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 splash soy sauce
  • 1 splash white vinegar
  • water to cover
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • steamed rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Remove flesh from fish (you could ask your fishmonger to do this for you so you have the fillets and the bones). Cut the fish fillets into chunks. 

In a large pot, place cleaned fish head and bones.

Twist lemongrass stalks and tie in a knot. Beat them to release flavour before adding to the pot.

Add chopped vegetables, soy sauce, vinegar and enough water to cover.

Add turmeric and salt to taste and simmer over moderate heat until vegetables are tender. Add the chunks of fish and cook gently until just cooked.

To thicken the soup, mix a tablespoon of flour with water to a paste then add to the soup.

Serve poured over steamed rice or with rice on the side, as preferred.