Often served at Chinese New Year celebrations, fish maw soup is also perfect for family get-togethers or festive parties with your friends. Fish maw is similar to tofu in texture. And like tofu, it soaks up the flavour of the ingredients it’s cooked with.
What is fish maw?
Fish maw is the gas-filled organ in fish that helps it remain buoyant in the water. In many Asian countries, fish maw, or the swim bladder, is considered a delicacy and often used to make soups and stews. As a source of collagen, fish maw also has other uses in the food industry, such as making isinglass for wine and beer production.
There are different grades of fish maw available. Kingfish maw is considered some of the best quality. However, for everyday purposes, grass seabass maw is cheaper and more widely used. Fish maw is also sorted by sex. Male fish maw is thick and chewy, while female fish maw is thinner and more tender. In Chinese culture, fish maw’s rich nutrient content makes it a therapeutic ingredient that nourishes the body’s ‘yin’. Many people also believe that it keeps them looking younger for longer – all good reasons for cooking up some fish maw soup at Chinese New Year.
How fish maw soup is made
Fish maw needs to be soaked for up to 18 hours before it’s used in any recipe. For a tasty fish maw soup, a stock base is made using a whole chicken, water, ginger and garlic. After simmering for three hours, the base is sieved to give a clear stock. The fish maw is simmered in the stock for around 15 minutes and then sliced into strips.
The chicken stock and fish maw are combined and simmered for another 10 minutes before crab meat, egg whites, potato starch, cognac and black pepper are added. After simmering for a little longer, the fish maw soup is ready to serve.
How to serve fish maw soup
Serve the fish maw soup in small bowls, topping each with a sprinkling of freshly chopped coriander. Dish up small portions as a starter before your main party feast, or enjoy it as a warming healthy main dish with chunks of freshly baked bread.
If this recipe for fish maw soup has tempted you to try some different fish dishes, check out home delivery through foodpanda in Singapore from the following restaurants: Wang Bu Liao, Shi Kou Seafood and Full Feast Seafood.