This Cantonese classic steamed fish head dish is also known as Bean Paste Fish Head (豆豉蒸鱼头/豆酱蒸鱼头) to many, featuring the commonly used freshwater Song fish (Asian bighead carp). When they are fresh and perfectly steamed, the fatty gelatin found in Song fish head simply melts in your mouth, while the fish’s fresh sweetness, springy yet tender texture and characteristic earthiness is the perfect foil for fried tau cheo (豆酱), a fermented soy bean paste made from soy beans that’s robust, smoky, salty with an umami-ness intensified by the fermentation process.

The dish is further enhanced with cut chillies, crisp cuts of fresh spring onions and most importantly crunchy bits (and sometimes even chunky cubes) of freshly deep-fried pork lard that explodes with oily goodness with every satisfying bite. You will wish there were more bean sauce to go with your rice.

Here is our list of Top 5 Cantonese-style Fermented Bean Paste Steamed Fish Head that you can find at these no-frill eateries in Singapore!

Also known as Desmond’s Creation, the stir-fried specialist of the former iconic Sik Wai Sin whips up a great rendition of Steamed Fish Head ($25) from the family-style restaurant. Using fresh Song fish head, it has everything that you expect, from the well-steamed tender fish, to the savoury fermented bean paste topped with delightful crunchy pork lard, cut chilli and crisp spring onions. Other crowd-favourites from the single page menu of 13 dishes include Sweet & Sour Pork, Beancurd with Prawns, and Steam Pork with Salted Fish.

Desmond’s Creation (Sik Bao Sin Eating House 吃饱先) is located at 592 Geylang Road, Singapore 389531, p. +65 6744 3757. Open 11:45am – 2:30pm, 05:45pm – 09:30pm (Tue to Fri); closed on Mon. Visit their Facebook page here.

 

The Cantonese-style Zi Char institution along Joo Chiat Road has been operating since 1960s and is currently run by the family’s second generation. Joo Heng is well-known for their old-school, homely dishes such as Steamed Pork with Salted Fish, Poached Pig’s Kidneys & Livers, Beancurd with prawns and especially the Steamed Fish Head ($20). The Song fish head is always fresh, the spicy fermented bean paste is potent and aromatic, showered with delightful chunks freshly-fried crispy pork lard, we reckon Joo Heng’s rendition should probably be used as a benchmark for this dish.

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Joo Heng Restaurant (裕兴菜馆) is located at 360 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427605, p. +65 6345 1503. Open 11am – 2pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon to Sun).

 

A popular zi char joint that got even more famous after receiving the Bib Gourmand in Michelin Guide Singapore 2017. Despite bearing “curry fish head” in their name, Zai Shun is famed for steamed fish head and various zi char dishes like Dong Po Rou. However, if you’re in the west part of Singapore and craving bean paste steamed fish, Zai Shun got your back with the best alternative you can find to steamed Song fish head with spicy bean paste. Try the uncommon, but excellent collagen-laden Steamed Shark cartilage dish, but if you prefer something with more fish, stick to the good old Fish Head steamed with Tau Cheo ($25) which comes in a varied fishes like red snapper, soon hock (marble goby), in addition to the classic Song fish.

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Zai Shun Curry Fish Head is located at 253 Jurong East Street 24, #01-205, Singapore 600253, p. +65 6560 8594. Open 7am – 3pm (Mon to Sun); closed on Wed.

 

Seng Kee 119 Steamed Fish Head, Chinatown
Seng Kee’s signature sauce in the Steamed Fish Head in Hot Sauce ($13) dish is slightly different from the rest found in our list as preserved plum sauce (we think) is added to the blend of fermented bean paste, chilli and pork lard on top of Song fish head. That lends the entire dish additional depth with its unique tangy flavour in the starch-thickened sauce, so you get savoury, spicy and tangy with every springy bite of the freshly steamed fish. The best of all, it’s just $13, along with a selection of affordable dishes such as Brinjal with Shrimp in Hot Sauce, Ginger & Spring Onion Frog Leg, and Kangkong with Cuttlefish. Seng Kee is also sometimes referred to as “Cheng Ji” (成记).

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Seng Kee 119 Steamed Fish Head (成记驰名酱蒸松鱼头) is located at 335 Smith Street, #02-190/200/207 Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, Singapore 050335. Open 11am – 10pm (Mon to Sun); closed on Tue.

 

Eat First, Siglap
The brother establishment of Sik Bao Sin Eating House is known for two things: first, for being the master of steamed cuisine at the Sik Wai Sin; and second, for earning the recognition of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. With just 13 dishes on Eat First’s single page menu (just like Sik Bao Sin), the Steamed Fish Head ($25) is the first you will see on the list, so you know you can’t go wrong with the signature dish that many regard as the best you can find in Singapore. Other notable dishes include hand-chopped Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Fish, as well as stir-fried dishes Bitter Gourd with Pork Ribs and Kai Lan with Beef.

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Eat First (食之为鲜) is located at 891 East Coast Road, Singapore 459094. Open 11:45am – 02:30pm, 05:45pm – 09:30pm (Tue to Sun); closed on Mon. Visit their Facebook page here.

 

We hope you like this list of Cantonese-style steamed fish head with pork lard! Which one is your favourite? Did we miss out any of your go-to spots? Please share them with us in the comments below!







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