Fish Maw Soup for Chinese New Year

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My mom sent us a package full of stuff for Chinese New Year. It had homemade dried pork, lop cheurng, dried dates, dried squid, melon candy, pork sung, and fish maw. My husband thought the fish maw looked like pork rinds. Well, they do, but I doubt they’d taste like pork rinds if he tried to eat them.

Fish maw, like tofu, is used more for its unique texture and ability to soak up other flavors it’s cooked with. It is almost tasteless in itself. It’s spongy, like sea cucumber. For Chinese New Year this would be an ideal soup to serve.

There are a couple ways fish maw is sold – processed and unprocessed. Processed means it is already fried and ready to be soaked in water. Unprocessed means it needs to be fried (by you) then soaked in water. You can tell if its processed if it looks puffed up, like pork rinds. The unprocessed ones look thinner and feel a lot harder.

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For other Chinese New Year Recipes, here are a few ideas:

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Fish Maw Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup processed fish maw, reconstituted in water and chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sliced ginger
  • 6-8 shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 dried scallops, reconstituted in water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch + 3 Tbsp water
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • red vinegar (optional)

Directions:

1) Soak the fish maw, mushrooms (if you are using the dried version) and scallops in a bowl of cold water until tender.

2) In a medium pot, boil a few (3 or 4) slices of ginger. Add the fish maw and boil for a minute or so. This will get rid of the remaining fishiness of the maw. Take out of boiling water and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Put fish maw back into the bowl of cold water.

3) Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add remaining ginger, fish maw, mushrooms, scallops, simmer for 10 minutes. Add cornstarch and water mixture to thicken soup. If you want it to thicken more, add more cornstarch + water. Stir in egg whites. Add salt and white pepper to your taste. Serve in bowls with red vinegar if your guests desire it.

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Soak the fish maw, mushrooms (if you are using the dried version) and scallops in a bowl of cold water until tender.

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In a medium pot, boil a few (3 or 4) slices of ginger.

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Add the fish maw and boil for a minute or so. This will get rid of the remaining fishiness of the maw.

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Take out of boiling water and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Put fish maw back into the bowl of cold water.

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Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add remaining ginger, fish maw, mushrooms, scallops, simmer for 10 minutes.

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Add cornstarch and water mixture to thicken soup. If you want it to thicken more, add more cornstarch + water. Stir in egg whites. Add salt and white pepper to your taste.

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Serve in bowls, with red vinegar and white pepper as condiments.

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Happy New Year!

8 Thoughts on “Fish Maw Soup for Chinese New Year

  1. Yum!! this is something I really miss about home this year, my mum makes a similar soup like this every Chinese New Year.

  2. Angela on February 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm said:

    Sooo…what IS fish maw? I’ve heard it’s, like, fishy stomach lining or something, but I’ve never figured it out.

  3. baobabs – It’s really easy to make if you have all the ingredients. You should try it! :)

    Angela – I had to google it – fish maw is the fish bladder. But not the kind of bladder you’re thinking…it helps them filter oxygen out of the water to breathe…I think. Sort of like lungs. So I don’t know why it’s called a bladder. Anyway, I think it’s located in the mouth, or gills somewhere. I sound clueless.

  4. Happy Chinese New Year Candy! How’s everything?
    Your soup looks fantastic, although I might have some problems finding the ingredients in Switzerland…

  5. Caitlin on January 3, 2013 at 10:25 am said:

    Fish maw is the white-colored two-compartment air-filled organ inside the fish belly, up close to the fish head/spine. Fish uses this organ to balance and bouy itself in the water by manipulting air inside the organ. Fish maw can be cooked without pre-frying but will become swollen and have a chewy gelatinous texture. If dried and fried, the maw swells up to resemble pork skin. I usually obtain fresh fish maw from catfish because not all fish have them. Otherwise, they are sold in packages at Asian stores.

  6. kerimah on July 25, 2013 at 2:15 am said:

    Does cooked fish maw freeze well in small containers?

  7. Pingback: Empire Seafood Restaurant Richmond Dinner 帝苑皇宴海鮮酒家 - Winter Solstice Festival |

  8. thanks for sharing this recipe. I can’t wait to try this at home instead of always eating out.

    xx
    Nancy

    http://nomss.com

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