Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Salmon à la Mama's Fish Head Soup

You all remember Mr. Ling Cod Head from Mama's Fish Head Soup, right? Of course you do.

We had Mama make the soup, but the fish head was already all chopped up, but I wanted a picture of the whole fish head for the blog, the supermarket wouldn't allow me to take pictures, I threw a little tantrum... Here, might as well read it for yourself.

Well, the second time we made the soup (because of that extra head I purchased), we also purchased this beautiful salmon! Sadly enough, it was missing its head. The irony.

If I remember correctly, this was a wild sockeye salmon.

Since we already had all the Fish Head Soup ingredients out, JS decided to use the flavors from Mama's Fish Head Soup to cook the salmon.

She prepped some garlic, ginger, green onions and leeks. She also mixed together salt & pepper in a small container. Oh, and that liquid there is shao xing wine.

JS proceeded to stuff and rub the salmon with the above. She also used some satay, preserved Szechuan vegetable (also called preserved Chinese radish) and Tianjin preserved vegetable.

Szechuan Vegetable (aka Preserved Chinese Radish)
Before using, Mama says to soak these in water for a few minutes (10 minutes, let's say) and then rinse.

Satay Sauce/Paste

Tianjin Preserved Vegetable
These are a type of preserved cabbage, I believe. It comes in a cool little container like the one above.

There it is in its stuffed and rubbed glory!

Next step, we wrapped the whole fish -- not too prettily -- with romaine lettuce and tried our best to make a romaine package.

It roasted in the oven for about 45 minutes or so (I can't remember anymore), or until the fish was done.

We should've wrapped the romaine package with foil, so that everything would steam inside. We didn't, so this was the result, if you can decipher it. Ack!

left: Can one even tell what this sorry mess is?
right: Peel away the layers and some sort of beauty merges.

But, after peeling off the more "severely roasted" romaine leaves, we ended up with some nicely charred pieces. The char tasted pretty good! All the flavors worked really well, as we already know, and the salmon was very nice and moist. Just look at its juicy self.

Other Mama Dishes
Mama's Silkie Chicken ("Dyong Kwe")
Mama's Cilantro Beef Shin
Mama's Black Peppercorn Shortribs
Mama's Fish Head Soup
Mama's Giniling
Mama's Giniling, v4 and v5
Mama's Ampalaya (Bitter Melon)
Ma-Kut (Pork Bone) Soup


  1. Good Lord!!! It must have been a visual/palate/smelly feast!!!! What a glorious piece :D I love the way you cooked it!

  2. Ohhh my.... That does indeed look delicious! Love the idea of using flavours from a soup to season a roast:-)

  3. What a beautiful way to cook a salmon! I love all the leaves surrounding it.

  4. Wow -- this is, indeed, a fantastic looking technique. And I'll bet it tasted fabulous. Same me a little charry-bit, won't you?

  5. Yum yum yum! Wow, what I would do to taste that fish!

  6. Whoa, that is huge! How many people did you feed with it? Looks so gloriously juicy too, well done!

  7. Wow!!! That salmon looks so yummy! I would love to try it! *slurps*

  8. I bet that salmon is amazing with all those greens. It looks juicy! Yummy!

  9. Such innovation in this post - I'm loving this idea!

  10. that is some HUGE salmon.. i bet you were eating it for days! Love that fish! I'm sure the charring added another dimension to the taste. Yum!

  11. Interesting. We've done fish this way (sortof) with white-fleshed fish, never salmon before. Do you think the type of fish is important?

  12. I've never seen anything wrapped in romaine before....very cool.

  13. oh wow, what a nice looking fish! Delicious!

  14. I bet I would love this dish
    Preserved Vegetable and salmo. huaa yummmm

  15. Núria:

    Marc @ NoRecipes:
    That is JS' crazy genius at work again! ;D

    What was not-so-beautiful to look at (charred leaves) actually added to the taste. Go figure. Hehe.

    Um, I;m not sure now. Maybe 9 adults? And we had the soup too... and probably other food as well. Teehee.


    JS has to take all the credit for this one!

    Um... I think there were no leftovers! =D

    I think any fish would be OK with these flavors.

    JS' mad genius at work. ;)


    And satay, and green onions, and ginger... You're right! It really was delicious! =D

  16. What a glorious way to do justice to a beautiful fish! These flavours just sound so enticing - and I'm always on the lookout for ways to cook whole fish.

  17. Jeanne:
    It was a bit of a gamble, this method. But it worked, whew.

  18. Hello from Toronto,

    Oh my!
    I came here for inspiration to make fish soup and also found this amazing recipe!

    Thanks so much for sharing it.

    ~ Gabriela ~

  19. Gabriela:
    Welcome! Thanks for visiting! We also do have a recipe for fish head soup itself. =)


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