The first time I tasted fish soup that is entirely different from the good old hawker favourite fish slice bee hoon soup was two years ago, when I first moved to Germany. Granted, I have tried some fish chowder at an American style restaurant in Sg before. But a clear fish soup, nope.
Actually Bremen is not known for seafood. In fact, all the prawns and most of the fish I have eaten thus far were frozen. It’s ironic because we are an hour’s drive from Bremerhaven where there is a big port and two hours’ drive from Hamburg’s Fisch Markt. Still, the fish rarely make it here fresh. They are either already smoked or marinated.
I suppose the first fish soup I had was probably made also with frozen fish but really, my non-gourmet savoury tongue couldn’t tell. It was served at a local cafe with a variety of typical german and other european dishes. I figure the fish soup is somewhat Italian in origin because the soup is tinged with tomato red. The taste of fish is strong but not overpowering, and that without the use of ginger. Nonetheless, this fish soup experience didn’t motivate me to recreate it in my own kitchen.
The most recent fish soup I had at Gosch Sylt, a renowned seafood bistro in the Lloyd Passage in the city, did just that. A. recommended the soup to me a couple of weeks back but it took some convincing for the Mister to agree to lunch there because it’s been branded a place for snobs. We didn’t regret the decision though because the fish soup was absolutely inspiring and the Mister’s salmon steak was well worth the price.
I took a really long time to savour the soup so as to remember the taste, in order to decide which herbs to use later. A. advised that I should try to get fish bones but really, we both know that’s somewhat far fetched. A jar of gourmet fish stock has to suffice.
I’m the sort of cook who prefers recipes with few and preferably easily obtainable ingredients. So here’s my version of an ang-moh fish soup, which is simple yet satisfying.
- 300g of 2-3 different types of fish, preferably deboned filets ( I used salmon and sutchi)
- 100g mussels (optional but recommended as they add flavour and texture)
- 100 ml white wine
- 800 ml fish stock
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 -2 tbs dried parsley
- 1-2 tsp dried tarragon (optional; sharpens taste of soup)
- Cut fish into bite-sized pieces
- Bring fish stock to a boil and add white wine
- Allow mixture to simmer for 10 minutes
- Add fish (and musels) to soup
- Add parsley, salt, (tarragon) to taste
- Simmer soup for another 20 mins
Makes 2 generous portions
Drink up your DHA!
- As we know, DHA is an important aid in fetal development, especially of the brain. Fish is definitely an excellent source. Choose wisely though because some fish may contain either too high a level of mercury or pollutants.
- White wine? During pregnancy? Well, after half hour of simmering, the alcohol in the wine has mostly vaporised, leaving only the desired taste of wine.