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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fish Maw Soup - More CNY Leftovers

Fish Maw Soup 7

Fish Maw Soup

Picnik collage

There is a conflict of interest, trying to go on a diet and clearing out the refrigerator.... It is sinful to waste but the digits on the weighing scale has to, has to go down! Keeping the carbs at bay, a simple option is to make a soup that is easy on the digestive system. Trying my best to finish off the last bit of crab meat, I decided to make some fish maw soup. I had once joked with a friend - if there is a war or a major disaster that confines me to my apartment, I probably can feed off my larder for one whole month!  I probably can start a blog project to 'cook my way through my larder' and would probably be able to come up with an interesting mix of western, asian dishes with chocolates and pastries to boot!

I don't think I will ever become a vegetarian but fish maw soup, is a more responsible alternative to shark's fin soup. I have cut down my intake of shark's fins and have made it a point to replace the shark's fin soup with other alternatives when I plan for business dinners at restuarants. Fish maw, for those who are not familiar,  is actually the air bladder in a fish. This internal organ helps the fish to control its bouyancy in water. In Asia, we can buy this easily in supermarkets and dry food provision stores. One of the most convenient form to use is the dried, deep fried version.
Fish Maw

I used to have problem differentiating these with deep fried pork skin. They look very similar after deep fried but taste very different. The fish maw has a mild soft crunch and when cooked in soup or gravy, soaks up the flavour of the stock like a sponge. Deep fried pork skin, when cooked in soup, tends to be more rubbery and I can always still detect a porky smell.

The deep fried fish maw has to be soaked to soften before cooking and I would recommend to run it through some hot water to remove excess oil and the fishy smell.

A very simple soup that can be prepared in a jiffy and in my opinion, has more texture and crunch than the shark's fin. Oh, I forgot I also happen to have some cooked abalone from CNY which I cut into fine shreds for a more luxurious and tasty treat.

Fish Maw Soup 3

Recipe :
Cooked crab meat               1/2 bowl
Fish maw                             1 tube, soaked to soften and cut into fine strips
Young ginger                        2 slices
Garlic                                   2 cloves
Chicken stock                      2 bowls
Abalone                               Mid size, cut into strips

Salt                                       to taste
Pepper                                  dash
Chinese Rice wine                 1tbsp

Tapioca starch


1. Heat oil in a hot wok. Stir fry garlic and ginger quickly until fragrant. Add crab meat and fish maw.
2. Add 1 tbsp of Chinese Rice Wine and stir fry crab meat and fish maw for a minute.
3. Add chicken stock and bring to boil.
4. Lower heat to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the slices of ginger and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Mix one 1/2 tbsp of starch flour with 1tbsp of water.  Add this a little at a time to the boiling soup and check for thickness. Do not over starch the soup.


Angie's Recipes said...

The looks even better than a shark's fin soup!

Zurin said...

Ive never tried this! ive heard of the word maw but dont quite know what it meant or what it i know. it looks scrumptious and you probably save tons of money cooking thru ur larder! ^^

I love ur pretty dishes..these are sweet!

La Table De Nana said...

Apart from enjoying each and every photo you post and smiling along at eating my way through my larder..I learn so much here.Thank you~
That's quite the pretty set:)

WendyinKK said...

From chicken, to scallops and now fish maw and crab meat.
Will ur next leftover dish feature abalone?
Call me over when u're doing abalone :)

BTW, this soup looks so good especially in that oh so pretty chinese bowl.

Sarah said...

Came over via Food w/ Style. This soup looks delicious, and the bowl and spoon are simply stunning. The combination makes this dish a winner!

Irene's Footprints said...

Wow this doesn't looks like leftovers to is comparable to those served in big restaurants. You are real good.

You make me crave for this now : O

I love that stunning chinese bowl set with the curves at the sides...veri nice bowl. I think this must be your treasure hunted overseas as well.

Gosh..u seems to have a good range of cutlery ranging from korean hotstones bowl. TWG tea pots, chinese sets.......amazing stocks you have!

: )

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Dear all who love the bowl- these are typical Peranakan bowls, with colourful chinese motifs...

Irene, these, I got in Singapore and yes, I do have a weakness for beautiful kitchen wares - they are spilling out of my cupboard now, I need to move to a bigger space!

Passionate About Baking said...

Hi Shirley,
Fish maw is one of my favourite soup. It beats having sharks fins! Usually I only get to have fish maw soup in local hokkien restaurants like Beng Hiang in Amoy street. Your fish maw sure looks very delicious, and especially in your Peranakan bowls, looks even more tempting! :) Thanks for sharing.

tigerfish said...

What a comforting bowl of fish maw soup!

Pierre said...

hi shirley
I love to the cleaning of my fridge and the chinese food is so creative that it is really a joy to do it !! Cheers from french foodie pierre

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ahhh I've seen these in my mum's cupboard! :o I always wondered what it was! Good on you for clearing out the cupboards, I love doing that too as I don't like having expired food :)

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Lovely presentation of the soup, Shirley! It's always nice to drink homemade soups where you know it's 100% goodness and 0% MSG.

Irene's Footprints said...

Oh...its Peranakan bowl. Didnt realise it. You must have lots of lobang where to get nice stuff for your photos. : )

You have a big kitchen and store? Good...

diva said...

I remember the first time I saw fish maw, I was totally weirded out by the way it looked and then I ate it, one word - YUM. ;)

MsMoon said...

Shirley, this soup looks so luxurious, it's impossible to find such generosity even in expensive restaurants these days...

Tab said...

Hi shirley, which particular shop did u happen to get these bowls? They are beautiful

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Tab. Are you based in Singapore? If you are, you can check out Upper East Coast road. There are a couple of shops and Peranakan restaurants there. I think I got these at a shop next to Kim Choo restaurant, and I think the Kim Choo boutique which you can access via a flight of stairs also has a small collection.
Hope this helps.

Sentigifts said...

Hi Shirley, I just tried out this dish on our CNY reunion dinner( Just me & my bf) It turned out simply awesome! We loved it! I'll give it 1 8/10 as the other 2 marks go to my stronger palate, as I've added in more vinegar, pepper and a dash of DOM brandy :) Lovely ! Keep on writing! "Gong Xi Fa Cai" :)

Sentigifts said...

Hi Shirley, thanks for sharing !It's an awesome recipe! I prepared this on CNY eve with my bf and it turned our pleasantly surprise!I'll give it 8/10. The other 2 marks go to my stronger palate as I've added in more pepper, vinegar and a dash of DOM brandy. Lovely & keep on writing :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Sentigifts : I am so glad that you liked this! I will have to cook this again! Happy Chinese New Year to you!


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