As a holiday gift, I’m giving you the recipe for one of my all time favorite things to eat in the winter: Fish Head Soup. I asked my mom to teach me how to make it the other day. Unfortunately, that means some of the measurements are not exact. I did my best to catch things and measure them before my mom threw it in, but sometimes I failed. Use this as a guideline, then taste, and adjust to preference.

Traditionally, Fish Head Soup is made with a fish head, but they messed up at the supermarket. My mom asked them to cut the fish in half and instead of cutting it in half cross-wise, they cut it length-wise. You can make it either way.


Fish Head Soup

  • 3 dried Chinese black mushrooms
  • 1 large green bean starch sheet
  • 1.35 lbs fish half
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2.3 ounces fatty pork
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Broad Bean Paste with Chili
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Hoisin sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 2/3 cup bamboo slices (from a can)
  • 2″ chunk of ginger, peeled, cut in half, smashed
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 pieces frozen firm tofu, sliced
  • 1/2 cup wide sliced Chinese leek (some green, some white)


1. Soak mushrooms in 1 cup of warm water for 4 hours. Soak green been starch sheet in warm water for 1 hour. Remove from water and tear into pieces (roughly 2″ squares) by hand.
2. Cut fish in half, wash, and dry. Heat oil in a wok until you see smoke. Fry the fish skin side down, until it looks cooked through and flesh side looks opaque. Turn it over and fry until golden. Remove to a paper towel.

fry fish

3. In a small bowl, stir together pork, soy sauce, and corn starch. Set aside.


4. Squeeze water out of mushrooms and reserve liquid. Slice mushrooms. Set aside.
5. In a medium sized pot, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil you just fried the fish in. Add pork mixture and brown lightly. Stir in Broad Bean Paste with Chili and Hoisin Sauce. Add 4 cups of water, fish, bamboo slices, ginger, mushrooms and their liquid, bouillon, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
6. Add frozen tofu. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the starch sheets and leeks and serve. (Everything except the starch sheets and leek can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. When you want to serve, bring it to a boil, then add starch sheets and leek to serve.)

OK, I’m totally retarded and forgot to take a picture of the final product. Guess you’ll have to make it to see it.

posted by jessica at 08:26 AM Filed under Chinese, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.