Tekwan (Palembang Fish Ball Soup)

by Dewi Martha Indria
Tekwan is a fish soup typical of Palembang, Indonesia. The fish cakes are made from the dough of fish and tapioca (or sago starch) similar to Pempek. The fish cake is cut in small sizes and presented in shrimp broth with a distinctive flavour, served with rice vermicelli, mushrooms, sliced jicama, and sprinkled with sliced fresh celery, scallion, and fried shallot. Some people made the fish ball from ikan tenggiri (Spanish mackerel), but the other made it from ikan belida (Featherback fish) or ikan gabus (Snakehead fish). All of them are freshwater fish.

Actually I have been several times made this tekwan. But I don’t know why the texture of the fish ball never been same as what my mother’s made. Maybe I add too many fish in the mixture or something like that. My mother gave me tips to not add so much fish to the mixture to make it more chewy and mix it with ice/cold water. Maybe when I made this in the next time, I will revised the recipe.

Tekwan (Palembang Fish Ball Soup)
Fish balls :
  • 325 grams boneless ground Ikan tenggiri (Spanish mackerel) meat
  • 100 grams tapioca starch 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Soup :

  • 250 grams prawns
  • 25 grams dried black fungus, soaked with hot water
  • 2 medium sizes of jicama (bengkoang), peeled and slice into long and thin shape as you wish
  • 20 grams dried lily flower (bunga sedap malam kering), soaked with hot water
  • 1 stalk of Chinese celery, chopped finely
  • 6 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 liter water
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium size of onion, chopped
  • cooking oil

 Other ingredients:

  • 2 stalk of green onion, chopped finely
  • 1 stalk of Chinese celery, chopped finely
  • fried shallot flakes
  • dried rice vermicelli, soaked with hot water
  • soy bean sauce (optional)
  • slices of lemon (optional)

Fish ball:

  • Add all the ingredients to make fish ball and mix it well. 
  • In a pot, boil water, reduce the heat. Take a tablespoon of fish ball dough and shape it into small balls by using two tablespoons. Drop into the pot until the fish ball floated. Then take away the fish ball and set aside.

Soup :

  • Add 2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Stir fry garlic and onion until fragrant. 
  • Peel the prawn shells of, add the shell and head. Stir it well until the shell and head turning into red.
  • Pour the water, boil it. Then strain the prawn soup.
  • Boil again prawn soup after you strain it. Add chopped prawns, jicama, soaked black fungus, and lily flower. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and Chinese celery. Cook until all the ingredients well-cooked.
  • Add fish ball, take the soup into re-boil. Turn off the heat.
  • Ready to be served with green onion, Chinese celery, soaked rice vermicelli, fried shallot flakes. If you like you can add some soybean sauce and slices of lemon juice and some chili sauce.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.