Monday, March 20, 2006

Bitter Soup or Inle Eel Soup (Sayka)

1 small catfish or eel, and extra fish heads, if possible
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried pe-ton or navy beans
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon rice flour
Large handful fresh mint leaves
Tiniest pinch sayka

1. If catfish is used, grill it and flake the meat off. Cut eel in pieces. Boil eel and fish heads, if included, in 4 cups water with turmeric and salt.

2. Wash beans and boil in fish broth till tender.

3. Heat oil and fry sliced onion. Before it browns, put in rice flour mixed with 1 tablespoon water and fry, stirring well.

4. Combine with broth. If grilled fish is used, put in flaked meat now, add water and boil well.

5. Add mint leaves, correct for salt, and just before taking off the cooker to serve, add a tiny pinch of sayka. If the soup is left on the cooker, the sayka will make it too bitter. The soup should be just pleasantly bitter.

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