Fragrant Vegetables in Salmon Soup

Soup Name:

Fragrant vegetables in salmon soup (Cantonese-styled)

Traditional Chinese Name:

雜菜蕃茄三文魚湯 (zá cài fānjiā sānwènyú tāng)

Nature:  Slightly cooling

Taste: Sweet and savory

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Tomatoes in a fragrant fish broth is a very common soup in the Cantonese soup repertoire.  It is commonly found in household soups and restaurants in Hong Kong.  The vegetables are optional, but do add to the abundance of the soup.  And there are many variations of this soup available as each chef customizes to their creative juices!

You can essentially use any fish for this type of soup.  Generally though, the Chinese will use more commonly found and affordable fish and usually the heads and tails and bones, reserving the flesh for steaming or dishes.

 

TIP!

 

I would recommend using a soup bag for any fish soups, however for this one, salmon bones are quite large and I was lazy and wanted to fry everything in one shot, so opted for not using one.  A soup bag helps keep soup bone safe and allows you to remove the fish easily and keep all the disintegration together.  I’ve bought these ones from Amazon, which are amazing!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours and 30 mins

Serves: 10 bowls

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Let’s start by frying the fish first in some ginger to seal the flavours and get it fragrant (and not fishy).  You can use a shallow pan or your soup pot (that’s what I’m doing in my cast iron pot because I was feeling lazy!).
  2. I’ll wash the fish in warm water first and then pat dry with paper towels.
  3. In your pot or pan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil (enough to cover the pan) and then gently lay your fish flat so as much surface area of the fish can cook
  4. At this time, I will also make space for the pork shank to fry (instead of blanch in boiling water).  This is also because I was feeling lazy and wanted that fried fragrant flavour!
  5. Fry for 5 minutes or until it begins to golden brown.  It doesn’t need to be fully cooked, but at least the skin is browned. 
  6. Turn the fish on the other side and fry for another 5 minutes.  
  7. You can also rotate the pork shank around as it browns.
  8. At this time, you can prepare your vegetables, cut into smaller pieces.
  9. If you want, you can now put your fish pieces into a soup bag to begin the soup boiling to prevent the bones to disintegrate and for easier removal from the pot.
  10. I will also use the pan or pot to brown some of the potatoes, but this step is optional
  11. Add in the water to the soup, be sure to leave a bit of space to allow for the all ingredients
  12. Then add in all your ingredients to the soup
  13. Cover and bring to a full boil (about 20 minutes on full boil)
  14. And reduce to a low boil for another 2 hours
  15. Serve and enjoy!

This soup is also packed full of collagen!  The fish heads are the key ingredients that really to release all this sticky goodness into the soup.  One of the amazing things of using fish heads is both to not waste any part of the fish and also the amount of amazing collagen that’s available in the soup!

EQUIPMENT USED

To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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