Spicy Fish Soup

So I had a conversation with Mom earlier about craving fish head soup. I was watching some Japanese soaps the other night and one of the episodes had fish head soup as part of the story line.

I don’t know what the ingredients are, but I do know that there’s fish in it and it’s asian. Mom makes a pretty decent rendition of a spicy Korean fish soup that would certainly hit the spot, but apparently today would not be that day.

Late this afternoon, I got a call from Mom. She and Dad had run all the way over to Billingsgate Seafood Market to pick up some halibut pieces so I could make soup tonight. Notice: Not head, but the off cuts that are supremely meaty and flavourful and not pretty to the average consumer who isn’t used to eating anything other than a really pretty filet or steak.

After she told me the news, they were going to run to Stupidstore to pick up what remaining ingredients I would need to make dindin while they went about their merry way to Spa Lady. My original thought was that I would make an easy seafood chowder and had them pick up all the ingredients for that recipe: canned tomatoes, leeks, onions, shrimp, scallops, and mussels. What showed up on my kitchen counter was all of the above plus a carton of tofu. What in the hell was I supposed to do with that!? Turns out Dad is craving the spicy Korean type of fish soup and usually Mom throws in some cubed beancurd with the mix.

So I thought about my fish while I was waiting for the solid three pound block to defrost in the microwave. I went back to my original recipe for fall chowder, looked at a recipe for Maeuntang that I had bookmarked and then I also took a gander at a recipe for Jjamppong that I hadn’t noticed before.

Looking over all three recipes, I came to the decision that I would be making a spicy azn-esque fish soup. It’s an amalgamation of the two Korean recipes, but really it’s just me dumping things into the pot that I have on hand.

Thusfar:

* I’ve taken off as much of the easily removeable fish meat as I could, cut it into large chunks and set it aside in the fridge.
* In a big ass monster pot with a little veg oil, I’ve stir fried some thickly sliced ginger and a llittle garlic.
* Once fragrant, I added half a large sliced onion and two leeks sliced into half-moons.
* After the greens have softened, I added the 3 large chunks of meaty fish bone, covered it all with cold water, and about 1Tbsp of instant dashi stock, let it come to a boil and then simmered for 30 minutes.
* While the broth bubbles away, I mixed about ~1Tbsp of chili flakes with ~1Tbsp of veg oil in a small bowl, then decided it just didn’t look right so I added a little chile con limon to the bowl. Don’t ask what possessed me to add the two together, it just looked like the right consistency. I used to have a bottle of Korean red pepper flakes and I was so excited to use it but when I looked at the unopened jar, it’s either the flakes are all covered in dust(??) or it’s all furry with mold. Not cool.
* Since Mom & Dad aren’t going to be here til about 730pm, I’m actually letting the broth simmer on super low until about 15-30 minutes before they arrive.
* So when Mom& Dad actually get here, I’ll stir in the hot chili mixture, a can of drained and very well rinsed sliced bamboo shoots, toss in some of the frozen shrimp, mussels and lastly some cubed tofu.
* Since there’s no salt added to the soup, I’ll taste and see if it needs some oyster sauce, fish sauce and black pepper like the jjamppong recipe calls for.

I really, really, really hope it tastes good considering it smells pretty yummy just as it is and I’m totally bastardizing every recipe under the sun.

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