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Chinese Hot and Sour Fish Soup
This delicious new variation is more subtle and more delicate than the regular hot and sour soup

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons peanut oil
3 pounds fish heads, bones, and/or trimmings
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 scallions, coarsely chopped, plus 2 scallions, finely minced
8 slices of fresh ginger (each the size of a quarter)
6 cups water
1/4 cup Thai or Vietnamese fermented fish sauce
1/4 cup Chinese oyster sauce
1/4 cup light rice vinegar (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon freshly grated white pepper (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon MSG (optional)
24 tiny clams, such as Manila, washed
24 small mussels, bearded and washed
8 dried, medium Chinese mushrooms, soaked for 30 minutes in hot water to cover, then sliced
1/4 cup fresh bamboo shoots, sliced
1/4 cup firm bean curd, diced
a few drops sesame oil

Directions:
1. Place the peanut oil in a large, heavy pot over high heat. Add the Fish heads, bones and/or trimmings, the garlic, the 4 coarsely chopped scallions, and the ginger. Sauté until the fish and flavorings begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the water, the fish sauce, and the oyster sauce. Stir well. Bring to a boil, and skim off the foam. Reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.
2. Strain broth into a clean pot, pressing hard on the solids in the strainer. To the strained broth, add the vinegar, the white pepper, and the MS1/4 (if using). Bring to a boil. Add the clams and mussels, and cover the pot. As soon as the shells swing open (about 1 minute), add the remaining 2 finely minced scallions, the sliced Chinese mushrooms, and the bamboo shoots. Stir well. Gently top with the bean curd. Divide among 4 soup bowls, and drizzle a drop of sesame oil in each one.

This delicious new variation is more subtle and more delicate than the regular hot and sour soup. As you'll note, it's a light soup with no cornstarch thickening. Serves 4