asian fish soup

Asian Fish Soup with Pan-fried Fish

A simple version of a clear Asian fish soup with pan-fried fish, that you can have on its own or with rice or noodles. 

Course Soup
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword asian fish soup, fish soup, noodle soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author Paris B


  • 1 slice Fish with firm white flesh e.g. snapper, grouper You can use mackarel but the flavour of the fish will be stronger
  • 1 inch ginger - sliced
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 3-4 leaves cabbage or Chinese (Napa) cabbage cut into smaller pieces
  • dried anchovies (ikan bilis)
  • 1 large bowl water
  • Chinese parsley (cilantro) if desired
  • Oil to pan-fry fish

Seasoning for fish

  • Soy Sauce
  • White pepper
  • Sesame Oil Use just a few drops
  • Chinese Shaoxing wine Optional
  • Tapioca flour / Cornflour


  1. Place the dried anchovies in a stock bag, and sliced ginger into a pot of water and put to boil. This forms your stock. You will need to boil it for about 15-20 minutes. 

  2. Prepare your fish. If your fish comes with bone in remove the meat from the bones. Place bones in stock for added flavour. 

  3. Season the fish meat with the seasoning mix to your preference. The Chinese wine is optional, but if you can use it, it really helps to mask the fishy taste if you're sensitive. Use only very little sesame oil as it can be overpowering. Leave aside for about 10 minutes.

  4. Heat oil in a pan and pan-fry fish until brown on both sides. Remove and drain and set aside. 

  5. After about 15-20 minutes of boiling the stock, remove the dried anchovies and any fish bones you have in it. Add the tomatoes, cut into segments and cabbage and boil until soft. If using Chinese parsley/Cilantro, add the cut stalks and leaves at this stage. Add a dash of soy sauce (or salt) and pepper to taste. 

  6. If having with noodles, cook the noodles separately and ladle the hot soup over, place fish on top. If having with rice, you can do the same and have rice in soup, or serve it separately.