Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fish Maw Soup

When we were growing up, only during CNY festive season (or on wedding dinners) that this dish was served. So whenever the aroma of this fishy delicacy is detected, it triggers my brain cells to kicked into an overdrive of celebration gear. As I wasn't quite in a festive mood even a week before the CNY, I felt I had to self induce some. So I cooked the fish miaw soup and that did the trick because that same day I began to bring out the CNY deco for the house :-D.
Fish maw is the gas bladder of a fish that helps it to change depth without swimming.
I have always bought them ready to cook. Usually they come in the dried form and you would have to deep fry them first before they can be added to a dish.
This batch of fish maw we bought this year was from Hong Kong and was processed a little differently. They were not deep fried in oil but deep fried in a wok of tiny rock salt pebbles, I was told.
I prefer this method becouse I have always had doubts about the freshness of the deep frying oil used commercially. Also, when the maws are deep fried in oil they have to be consumed within a short time or the oil would turn rancid and rendered the maw inedible.

Two fish maws when soaked yield about 2 cups.

All you need for the soup are:
1 kampong chicken, cut into small pieces
2 carrots, peeled and sliced or diced
10 red dates, washed and stoned (flatten them with the side of a chopper and the stones can be easily remove)
some dried mushrooms, soaked until soft
a bowl of soaked fish maw
2-3 L water
salt and pepper 

~Bring water to boil.
~Add the chicken and when the water begins to boil again, lower heat and simmer for 1/2 hour.
~Add carrots, dates and mushroom and simmer for another 1/2 hour.
~Add fish maw, bring to boil and let it cook for about 3 - 5 minutes.
~Season to taste.
~Serve hot.

Beside making soup, fish maw can be cooked stuffed with minced meat like yong tau foo or braised with chicken and mushroom, all delicious.


daisyfused said...

In China, and it doesn't feel like CNY here too at all.

Guess its because CNY is all about family, and not being home just makes CNY unmeaningful. :'(

I be back soon k, Mi. Then we celebrate belated xmas, belated leanne's bday, belated cny and belated daddy's bday.

Can i have some fish maw soup then? :)

frank said...

lovely, i like the light delicate aroma of the chinese soups and the fish maw soup is surely an all time favourite.

also love the double boiled ones, though i must add that the shop ones tend to use ajinomoto alot and that always lowers the final quality.

Denise ^ ChickyEGG said...

hey, Gong Hey Fatt Choi Aunty JO ??
Ya wor, my mum also deep fried the fish maw first, then cook,
Hey ur fish maw looks good! I mean in tterms of quality , after I read, ha, no wonder, from HK! haha

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. The fish maw is sea eel.It is cheaper to buy in Sandakan as they export them to HK.HK is far too expensive. These
one make the best Hakka soup. Happy New Year to you and family.

baobabs said...

I love fish maw!! My grandmother and mother boils them in soup, but I think the best fish maw I had were by sukhumvit street in Bangkok near Face bar. They were bowls of fish maw noodles, in slithery savory sauce.

dried fish maw said...

Dried Fish Maw, Dried Shark Fins, Dried Sea Cucumber, Dried Shrimp, Dried Sea Limpets, Dried Abalone and Cow Gallstones.