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Sour Fish Soup with Napa Cabbage and Enoki Mushrooms

The inspiration for this dish is a bracing soup made with whole fish that Zak Pelaccio likes to eat at Sichuan Dynasty restaurant in Flushing, Queens. "They use it to encourage digestion," he says. Does it work for Pelaccio? "I'm always hungry," he says. "I'm really not a good judge."

slideshow Warming Soup Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 2 ounces cellophane noodles
  • 2 quarts fish stock
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Asian pickled mustard greens, drained and chopped, plus 1/4 cup of the pickling liquid
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/4 pounds shredded napa cabbage
  • 5 ounces enoki mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets with skin, cut crosswise into 24 slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Using scissors, cut the cellophane noodles into 3-inch lengths. In a heatproof bowl, cover the noodles with very hot tap water and let stand until clear and pliable, about 5 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the stock, scallions, mustard-green pickling liquid, ginger and 1 tablespoon each of rice vinegar and fish sauce to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the cabbage and simmer over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Add the enoki mushrooms and cellophane noodles and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the fish to the soup and simmer until barely cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add the cilantro, pickled mustard greens and the remaining 1 tablespoon each of rice vinegar and fish sauce. Serve, passing additional fish sauce and vinegar at the table.

Suggested Pairing

A bubbly California wine will blend with the flavors in the hors doeuvres and soup here.

Contributed By Photo © Maura McEvoy Published September 2004

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