Sup Kepala Ikan Restourant Style Malay Sea Food



Welcome to our culinary journey through the vibrant flavors of Malaysia. In this restaurant-style recipe, we’ll delve into the exquisite world of Sup Kepala Ikan, a traditional Malaysian fish head soup that embodies the rich heritage and diverse culinary influences of the region. From the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur to the tranquil shores of Penang, Sup Kepala Ikan is a beloved dish that captivates the senses with its aromatic spices, tender fish, and soul-warming broth.

Originating from Malay, Chinese, and Indian culinary traditions, Sup Kepala Ikan reflects Malaysia’s multicultural tapestry, where each ingredient and cooking technique tells a story of cultural exchange and culinary innovation. Join us as we recreate this iconic dish in the comfort of your own kitchen, allowing you to savor the authentic flavors of Malaysia with every spoonful.


To embark on this culinary adventure, gather the following ingredients:

For the Soup Base:

  • 2 fish heads (such as red snapper or sea bass), cleaned and halved
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, smashed
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1-inch piece of galangal, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 shallots, halved
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • Salt to taste

For the Spice Paste (Rempeyek):

  • 5 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water and deseeded
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For Garnish and Serving:

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Fried shallots
  • Lime wedges
  • Cooked rice or noodles


Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s take a moment to prepare our ingredients with care and attention to detail. This meticulous approach will ensure that every element of our Sup Kepala Ikan harmonizes perfectly, resulting in a symphony of flavors that dance on your palate.

  1. Clean and Prepare the Fish Heads:

    • Start by rinsing the fish heads under cold running water to remove any impurities or debris.
    • Using a sharp knife, carefully halve the fish heads, ensuring that they are clean and free of scales.
    • Pat the fish heads dry with paper towels, allowing them to absorb any excess moisture.
  2. Soak the Dried Red Chilies:

    • Place the dried red chilies in a bowl and cover them with hot water.
    • Allow the chilies to soak for approximately 15 minutes, softening them and making them easier to blend later.
  3. Prepare the Spice Paste (Rempeyek):

    • Once the dried red chilies are soft, drain them and remove the seeds to reduce the heat level of the spice paste.
    • In a blender or food processor, combine the soaked and deseeded red chilies with garlic, shallots, ginger, ground turmeric, ground coriander, and ground cumin.
    • Blend the ingredients until they form a smooth paste, adding a splash of water if necessary to facilitate blending.

Cooking Process:

Now that our ingredients are prepped and ready, let’s embark on the culinary journey of crafting our Sup Kepala Ikan with precision and finesse. Follow each step closely, allowing the flavors to develop and intertwine as we bring this traditional Malaysian dish to life.

  1. Infuse the Soup Base with Aromatics:
    • In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a gentle boil over medium heat.
    • Add the smashed lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, sliced galangal, smashed garlic cloves, halved shallots, and quartered tomato to the pot.
    • Allow the aromatics to simmer in the water for approximately 10 minutes, infusing the broth with their fragrant essence.
  2. Simmer the Fish Heads in the Broth:
    • Carefully add the cleaned and halved fish heads to the pot of simmering broth, ensuring they are submerged in the liquid.
    • Allow the fish heads to cook in the broth for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the flesh is tender and easily flakes apart with a fork.
  3. Prepare the Spice Paste (Rempeyek):
    • While the fish heads are simmering, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.
    • Add the spice paste (rempeyek) to the skillet and sauté it for 5-7 minutes, or until it becomes fragrant and the oil begins to separate from the paste.
    • Set the spice paste aside for later use, allowing the flavors to intensify and meld together.
  4. Flavor the Soup with Tamarind Paste:
    • Once the fish heads are cooked to perfection, add 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste to the soup pot.
    • Season the soup with salt to taste, adjusting the amount according to your preference.
    • Stir the soup gently to incorporate the tamarind paste and salt, allowing the flavors to marry and harmonize.
  5. Incorporate the Spice Paste (Rempeyek) into the Soup:
    • Add the prepared spice paste (rempeyek) to the soup pot, stirring it gently to combine with the broth and fish heads.
    • Allow the soup to simmer for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and deepen in complexity.

Presentation and Serving:

As we near the culmination of our culinary masterpiece, let’s turn our attention to the final touches that will elevate our Sup Kepala Ikan to a dining experience worthy of a Malaysian feast. With a keen eye for detail and a reverence for tradition, we’ll garnish and serve our soup with flair and finesse, ensuring that each bowl is a work of art in its own right.

  1. Ladle the Sup Kepala Ikan into Serving Bowls:
    • Using a ladle, carefully transfer the hot soup into individual serving bowls, ensuring that each bowl receives an equal portion of fish head and flavorful broth.
  2. Garnish Each Bowl with Fresh Ingredients:
    • Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro leaves over each bowl of soup, adding a vibrant burst of color and freshness to the dish.
    • Scatter a handful of fried shallots over the soup, imparting a delightful crunch and savory aroma that tantalizes the senses.
    • Place lime wedges on the side of each bowl, allowing diners to squeeze fresh lime juice over their soup to enhance the flavors and brightness of the dish.
  3. Serve with Accompaniments and Enjoy:
    • Present the Sup Kepala Ikan alongside cooked rice or noodles, allowing diners to customize their meal according to their preferences.
    • Invite your guests to savor the rich flavors and aromatic spices of this traditional Malaysian dish, encouraging them to explore every nuance and layer of taste.
    • Embrace the communal spirit of Malaysian dining as you share this hearty soup with loved ones, fostering a sense of warmth and connection that transcends cultural boundaries.


In conclusion, our journey through the intricate world of Malaysian cuisine has led us to the creation of Sup Kepala Ikan, a dish that embodies the essence of Malaysian culinary heritage. With its bold flavors, aromatic spices, and soul-warming broth, this traditional fish head soup captivates the senses and transports diners to the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur or the serene shores of Penang.

By following this restaurant-style recipe with meticulous attention to detail, you have unlocked the secrets of Sup Kepala Ikan, allowing you to recreate this iconic dish in your own kitchen. Whether enjoyed as a comforting meal on a chilly evening or as part of a lavish feast with family and friends, Sup Kepala Ikan invites you to embark on a culinary adventure that celebrates the diverse flavors and cultural tapestry of Malaysia.

So gather your ingredients, sharpen your knives, and let the aroma of simmering spices guide you on a gastronomic journey like no other. From our kitchen to yours, we wish you bon appétit and selamat makan! (Enjoy your meal!)

1 / 2


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *