Salmon Head Soup



  • 3 salmon (heads, cut in half)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
  • 3 inches ginger (thumb of, peeled and sliced)
  • 2 leeks (tops discarded, chopped)
  • 4 green onions (chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 red peppers (Thai, thinly sliced)
  • Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)
  • rice vinegar (optional)
  • aji mirin (optional)
  • 1 can vegetable (Szechuan prepared, optional)
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 head napa cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 handful cilantro (for garnish, stemmed, with stems reserved)
  • 1 package asian noodles (e.g., udon, soba, ramen)
  • Add All to Shopping List
    Add to Meal Planner
    Made it


    1. Over medium-high heat, brown fish heads and ginger in oil for a few minutes, turning at least once. De-glaze pot with a splash of wine and add chopped leeks, garlic, and half the green onions and red peppers. Saute together for several minutes.
    2. De-glaze pot again with another splash of wine, then add 8 cups of water and optional fish sauce. Bring to a light boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
    3. Strain contents, picking and reserving as much salmon meat as possible. Return soup to simmer. Adjust for salt. Add half the remaining green onion and the cilantro stems. (Optional seasoning: Add a tablespoon of each: Chinese wine, rice vinegar, aji-mirin; add a few heaping tablespoons of Szechuan prepared vegetables.) Simmer another 15-30 minutes.
    4. Strain soup a second time and return to low heat to keep warm. Dole out reserved salmon meat into bowls, along with noodles, a handful of shredded cabbage, and spoonfuls of both Szechuan prepared vegetables (optional) and bamboo shoots. Ladle soup. Garnish with green onion, cilantro, and Thai red pepper.
    Discover more recipes from Foodista