Fish head soup a local favorite in Haimen
Fish head soup made of silver carp from the Guangong River is a must-eat dish in Haimen district, Nantong. [Photo/WeChat account: jshmrb]
The Guangong River, which runs around Guangong Island in Changle town, Haimen district, Nantong, is famous for producing wild fresh water fish, especially silver carp.
With its good water quality, the river produces more than 5,000 kilograms of wild fish, spanning over 20 varieties. The silver carp is the most popular of those due to its fresh and tender taste.
There are many ways of cooking silver carp, such as being braised with soy sauce or steamed with chopped pepper. However, local residents believe that stewed silver carp head soup can preserve the fish's natural taste and nutrients the best.
Fish head soup is a signature dish of many farm restaurants on the island. Among them is Changlewan, a 20-hectare dude ranch offering an array of choices for relaxation.
According to Qiu Yongquan, chef of the resort, there is no trick to making the soup, as the key is that the fish is fresh from the river. Customers can select fresh fish in person before cooking.
All fish grow naturally in the river for four to five years before catch. Each silver carp used to make the soup weighs between 3.5 to 4 kilogram, with the fish head weighing more than 2 kg.
The fish head is fried in shallow oil until both sides become golden. It is then stewed in beer and water until the soup turn white. Afterwards, vegetables and rice noodles are added into the soup and stew for one minute. After, the soup is done.
Autumn is a popular time for people to visit Guangong Island due to the island's breathtaking natural scenery and fish head soup.