This Chinese Sea Bass Soup might seem like a bit of a process with steaming the fish before flaking it and adding it to the soup but it is all worth it in the end. The soup is so tasty and a perfect balance of Chinese flavours. It is also really low-calorie and can mostly be made ahead of time which is ideal for when you’re feeding people. The last thing you should be doing when guests arrive is stressing out in the kitchen. Though I actually found this soup to be quite thick and filling so maybe it’s not the best choice for a dinner party starter.
Make sure you cut the ginger really finely. I love the taste of raw ginger like this buy biting into huge chunks of it is not good! It probably goes without saying that you need the plate for steaming the fish to be smaller than the steamer but I will say it needs to be small enough for you to gently lower it in without spilling its contents.
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1L chicken stock
- 2 sea bass fillets, boneless
- 3 spring onion whites
- 45g ginger
- 1 tbsp shauxing wine (or dry sherry)
- 1 and a half tbsp light soy sauce
- half a tsp dark soy sauce
- 10g lean cured ham (serrano ham), chopped into fine shreds
- 50g bamboo shoots, cut into strips
- 1 spring onion green, cut into strips
- 4 egg yolks, beaten
- 2 and a half tbsp flour whisked into a paste with 90 ml of cold water
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- sea salt flakes
- 1 tbsp chinkiang vinegar (black rice vinegar)
- Place the mushrooms in hot water or the hot stock to rehydrate for 30 minutes.
- Bash the spring onion white and bout 30g of ginger with the side of your knife, then place them and the fish on a small, heatproof plate and pour over 1 tbsp of shauxing wine.
- Then plate the plate into a steamer, place the lid on the steamer, place the steamer over a pot of boiling water and allow to steam for 5 minutes.
- 5 minutes later, pour off the juices from the plate and reserve them. Carefully peel off the skins, discarding them with the steamed ginger and spring onion. Shred the fish with 2 forks and add them to the reserved cooking juices along with the light and dark soy sauces. Then set aside until later.
- Bash the 2 remaining spring onion whites and cut the remaining 15g of ginger into matchsticks.
- Remove the shiitake mushrooms from the water or stock and slice into thin strips.
- Heat the oil in a large pot or wok, then add the bashed spring onion whites and stir-fry for just a few minutes until they are starting to turn golden.
- Add the stock and allow it to come to the boil.
- Once boiling, remove the spring onions and discard them.
- Add the sliced shiitakes and bamboo shoots from earlier and bring it back up to the boil.
- Add the shredded fish and soy sauces, stir and add a good pinch of sea salt flakes.
- Stir the flour and water mixture and add it to the soup bit by bit while stirring the soup. Keep stirring until the soup has thickened slightly and is looking a little creamy.
- Add the beaten yolks bit by bit, stirring the soup in the same way forming thin egg ribbons.
- Then stir in the chinkiang vinegar , cook for another minute and serve in bowls topped with the ham, spring onion slivers and ginger matchsticks.