During the December school holidays, the husband and I challenged ourselves to cook yet another heritage dish which we can serve our guests when they visit. Fish Maw Soup is one of our favourite but we only get it to eat it on special occasions. Ever since our Bangkok trip where we tasted the Fish Maw Soup from Ping’s Teochew Restaurant, we had been thinking how awesome it would be if we can master this dish for the upcoming Chinese New Year.
With a good recipe in hand, we went about purchasing the raw ingredients. I have never handled Fish Maw and Sea Cucumber before, let alone cook them. With some pointers from my Mom, we managed to whip up a decent pot of Fish Maw Soup for our friends at the recent Christmas gathering! What joy!
Here is a step by step guide (If we can cook it, so can you):
- Assemble all the ingredients. Key ones include: Fish Maw (from Threadfin), Sea Cucumber (bought ready to cook, from Song Fish!), Crab Meat (in a frozen pack from supermarket), Chicken Breast, Mushrooms, Black Fungus, Chicken Stock and Eggs.
So happy that we are able to buy these ready-to-cook Sea Cucumber from Song Fish! No more tedious soaking and washing repeatedly.
2. Prepare the ingredients. Wash the Le Creuset Dutch Oven Pots, blanch the Fish Maw and slice to 1.5cm thick, boil and shred the chicken breast, slice the mushrooms and black fungus, thaw and slice the fish maw, steam and flake the crab meat.
All neatly lined up. We used both the large and small Le Creuset pots – big one for the adults (with all ingredients) and small one for the kids (mushroom omitted).
Parsley, Sea Cucumber, Crab Meat and Fish Maw…together, they spell YUM!
3. Start cooking!
Bring 2 litres of Chicken Broth to boil. Add in few slices of Ginger and the prepared Fish Maw. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Add in Sea Cucumber, Black Fungus, Mushrooms and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add in boiled Crab Meat and shredded Chicken, continue to simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
Stir in dark soy sauce for the colour (optional) and season with salt and fish sauce if required. Thicken the soup with cornstarch solution. Remove from heat and stir in egg white.
Serve with pepper, black vinegar and parsley.
Chock-full of goodness in this bowl of Fish Maw Soup!
- 250g Fish Maw (鱼鳔)
- 500g Crab Meat (蟹肉)
- 250g Sea Cucumber (海参)
- 4 Clusters of Black Fungus (黑木耳), thinly sliced
- 6 Shiitake Mushrooms (花姑), thinly sliced
- 2 Large Chicken Breast (鸡胸肉), boiled and shredded
- 2 Litres Chicken Broth (鸡汤)
- Ginger (姜)
- Chinese Parsley (芫荽)
- 1 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
- 2 Egg Whites (beaten)
- Few tablespoons Cornstarch Solution
- Vinegar and Pepper to taste
- Defrost the frozen Crab Meat. Rinse and drained well. Place it on a plate and steam for 5 minutes till cooked. Flake it using a fork and set aside.
- Bring a big pot water to boil with few slices of ginger. Blanch the Fish Maw (whole) in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, rinse with tap water, squeeze dry and repeat the boiling process again for another 1 to 2 times to rid off the oil and fishy smell. When done, squeeze the fish maw dry and cut into 1.5cm thick.
- Bring 2 litres of Chicken Broth to boil. Add in few slices of Ginger and the prepared Fish Maw. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add in Sea Cucumber, Black Fungus, Mushrooms and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Add in boiled Crab Meat and shredded Chicken, continue to simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
- Stir in dark soy sauce for the colour (optional) and season the soup with salt and fish sauce if required. Thicken the soup with cornstarch solution.
- Remove from heat and stir in egg white. Serve with pepper, black vinegar and parsley.
- I bought frozen and washed Sea Cucumber at Song Fish (http://www.songfish.com.sg/). They turned out to be fresh and easy to handle. Just thaw and rinse well before use.
- Frozen Crab Meat are available at major supermarkets like NTUC, ShengSiong and Song Fish.
- I was recommended to buy the Fish Maw from Threadfin Fish as they are tastier (but also pricier). I bought them from the Hock Hua Tonic. They are easily available at supermarkets or sundry stores at wet markets.
- If you prefer, you may omit Sea Cucumber from the ingredients. The Fish Maw and other fresh ingredients will be enough for a hearty soup.
- We used store-bought Chicken Broth as the base for the soup. If you have the time to cook your own Chicken Broth, I'm sure the Fish Maw Soup would taste even better!
We really like our Le Creuset Dutch Ovens. As this recipe requires a lot of simmering, the broth does not bubble over. Even though the cooking time was short, the pots retain and distribute the heat so well that the Sea Cucumber and Fish Maw were melt-in-your-mouth soft after cooking. We served the Fish Maw Soup to our guests directly from stove to table. The little that were leftover were transferred from table to fridge and reheated directly on the stove the day after. The Le Creuset is indeed a very reliable and indispensable mate in any modern kitchen!
Check out our other Le Creuset Recipes here: