We recently discovered that Chinatown is the place for great deals on fresh fish! I had been there once before, but earlier this week I took Ben to explore the sprawling fish markets in search of something tasty for dinner. As a huge seafood lover, I have a hard time not taking home a lot more than I should, but we managed to restrain ourselves to this delicious salmon … and a pound and a half of fresh clams. Fish soup is something that Ben hadn’t tried before meeting me, but it’s very common in Russia and I love it!
“Ukha” (Russian: Уха) started to be used as a term for fish broth in Russian cuisine in the late 17th to early 18th centuries. In the past, fishermen would prepare the soup over an open fire using whichever fish were caught that day. Nowadays, people use any fish, from salmon to cod, that they “catch” at a supermarket on the way home.
There are many ways to go about making this Russian fish soup, but I’ll share just the simplest one, which doesn’t involve making a separate pot of fish broth beforehand. This soup is great for fall. I make it when I crave something comforting on a cold evening and I want it sooner than later.
- 1 small carrot, peeled, cut in circles
- Salt, peppercorns, ground pepper, bay leaves, smoked paprika, parsley, onion, dill
- 3 large potatoes, peeled, chopped in cubes
- 1 lb. salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces (or any other fish you like: pike, snapper, trout, bass, etc.)
- 2 quarts of water
- Fresh scallions, dill, parsley chopped, for serving
Bring water to a boil. Add salt, peppercorns, onion, bay leaves, herbs, paprika and ground pepper. Boil on medium heat for 10 minutes.
Add potatoes and carrots, bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the salmon and cook for 10-15 minutes or until all vegetables are soft and fish is cooked.
Season to taste. Serve hot with fresh herbs.