A few weeks ago, while looking for interesting new ideas for cooking dinner I stumbled across The Spanish Wok and her lovely Soup Kitchen event. Soup recipes? Oh yes please. I love soup. It’s the perfect one pot meal. And one pot meals are what I’m all about.
This month’s soup theme is Chinese. One of my absolute favorite ethnic foods, right up there with Mexican, Italian, Indian, Thai and Greek. Clearly, I’m not very discriminating about these things. I am sort of ashamed to say however, that I have only recently discovered the nearby Asian food market and am now wondering where have I been my entire life? Just the variety of rice noodles makes the trip worth it, although the curry and soy sauce selections are pretty sweet as well.
My Chinese soup, for lack of a better name is ‘Asian Fish Soup’. I’m creative in the kitchen, not always with names. It’s relatively simple and very easy to throw together. Normally, I cook by eyeballing quantities. I know this can be frustrating to people who can’t look at a hunk of ginger and know how much is enough. So, as I made this soup this go-round, I took note of how much of each ingredient I used, with the exception of salt, which I have learned to throw in a pinch or two at each step along the way.
Asian Fish Soup
4 scallions, chopped. Reserve some of the green tops for garnish
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, grated
2 carrots, julienned
Salt or soy sauce or both
1/2 pound shitake mushrooms, sliced
a few heads of baby bok choy, chopped, separating the stems from the greens
Broth, chicken or vegetable
white fish fillets, chopped into bite size pieces. (I used 2 fillets)
Heat sesame oil. Saute scallion bottoms, garlic & ginger for about a minute before adding carrots. Saute another minute or so, then add bok choy stems and some salt (or soy sauce). Saute until the stems start to soften and add mushrooms and more salt. When the mushrooms have started to release their juices, add broth (anywhere from 6-10 cups, depending on how thin you want your soup), salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes, then add the green leaves of the bok choy. Simmer until they wilt, then add the fish until cooked. (About another 5 minutes).
Following the directions on the package, cook the rice noodles until done. I will often toss them with a bit of oil, either sesame or peanut, to keep them from sticking together until serving.
To serve, place noodles in bowl, ladle soup over them, sprinkle with reserved green tops.
Other tasty additions to this soup would be some chopped water chestnuts, tofu, shrimp.