Sayka Bitter Soup or Inle Eel Soup – Style 2


  • 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


  • 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.
  • Wash beans and boil in fish broth till tender.
  • Heat oil and fry sliced onion. Before it browns, put in rice flour mixed with 1 tablespoon water and fry, stirring well.
  • Combine with broth. If grilled fish is used, put in flaked meat now, add water and boil well.
  • 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.