How to make a delicious Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

Soup Name: Cantonese-styled Tomato Fish Soup (with vegetables)

Traditional Chinese Name: 番茄魚湯 (fān qié yú tāng). The literal translation of this is Tomato Fish Soup. However, this is such a generic name for the soup base (consisting usually of fish and tomatoes), but the soup also usually has other vegetables such as potatoes, which are most common.

Nature:  Slightly cooling (due to the seafood, but I’ve added both ginger and red dates to warm it slightly)

Taste: Sweet and savory

(You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

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This soup eats like a meal!  So you can serve it with rice or noodles for a complete, health, meal for the whole family!

I did my first LIVE production (on YouTube instead of Instagram) and this is the condensed version of it with narration.

You can watch the full soup production here.

The soup design is simple. The soup base is basically ginger, fish (the freshest ones I could find at the supermarket), and tomatoes.  I then added vegetables that compliment this type of soup such as potatoes, celery, white onions, leeks.  You could add your choice of vegetables as well with the condition that it’s really designed as a quick-boil (and not a long boil).  A quick boil Chinese soup tends to be about an hour max on boil. 

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 90 mins

Total time: 120 mins

Serves: 6 large bowls

Ingredients
  • Your choice of fresh fish.  I like red snappers, small fish are also good. Fish heads like salmon or carp are also nice.  Experiment, try, taste!
  • 5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh white onion, peeled and largely sliced
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and largely sliced
  • 4 stalks of celery, deveined and largely sliced
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 10 dried baby scallops
  • 5 dried red dates
  • 10 cups of water

Prep Instructions

  1. You can follow along in the YouTube video as well.
  2. I will first prep my fish.  This includes descaling (whatever remains from the fish butcher) and thoroughly cleaning the stomachs.  I’ll use a flat knife to remove any extra internals and wash the insides and outsides.  If I’m steaming, I will use a bit of salt to rub the stomach clean and do a full deep cleaning.  The stomach is the bitter part of the fish and if not cleaned properly, you can taste it! I won’t cut off the fins for soup as it’s all going in together.
  3. Half the fish for easier frying and so that it fits into the fish soup bag.
  4. In your soup pot on medium heat, add some oil and fresh ginger.  Once that is warm, pan fry your fish until it’s beautifully browned on both sides.
  5. Using a clean fish soup bag, add your whole fish into it and pull the strings and seal. Set that aside for later.
  6. In the same pot, add white onions and prepared potatoes.
  7. On medium heat still, you’ll want to brown both of these nicely, tossing as needed as not to burn any of them.
  8. I will also add in the leeks and dried scallops at this time to blend the flavors.
  9. Once the scallops, onions, potatoes, and leeks are browned, put your fish (in the soup bag) back into the bottom of the pot.
  10. Add you in dried red dates.
  11. Add your water to ensure everything is fully covered.
  12. Cover and allow that to come to a full boil.
  13. Once the soup fully boils, add in the tomatoes and celery.
  14. Cover again and let that boil for an hour.
  15. Salt, serve and enjoy!

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