Suzi's Blog

Hot Fish Soup


This is a recipe for a very authentic Southeast Asian soup. That authentic character means this is a multistage recipe, building to a sumptuous conclusion. There are a lot of ingredients and the preparation time is going to be about 3 hours.  Now, there is a tradition of fish on Christmas Eve. If you have that tradition, or want to start one, and want something sensationally different, then this is a festive dish that you will devour with delight.

You begin by making a broth to serve as the base for a curry soup. Once the curry soup is made, fish is marinated, then added to the soup. This is project involving many ingredients and flavors. The effort produces a flavor rainbow you will relish.

Hot Pot Fish Soup

Broth for Soup


  • 2 stalks lemon grass, sliced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3”-piece galangal, sliced, optional
  • 3”piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 5 Kaffir lime leaves or the zest of 3 limes
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cup brown sugar


Mix all ingredients together in a large pot, bring to a boil then simmer together for 1 hour, then strain.


Curry Soup


  • 2 cans Thai red curry paste curry powder
  • 2 can unsweetened coconut milk (14 ounces)
  • 3 limes fully juiced
  • ¼ cup gluten free tamari or soy sauce, or to taste
  • Vegetables for soup, listed below are good options
  • 2 heads bok choy, sautéd
  • 1 bunch Chinese broccoli, sautéd –
  • 1 pound long beans, sliced into 1 inch pieces –
  • 1 red peppers seeded and julienned –
  • 1 yellow peppers seeded and julienned –


Mix curry paste, coconut milk, lime juice and tamari into a large pot. Add strained broth mixture to Curry Soup.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. While the soup is simmering, prepare optional ingredients and marinade for fish.


Marinated Fish 


  • 4 pounds salmon filets – skin on, cut into individual portions
  • ¾ cup of red miso
  • ¼ cup gluten free tamari
  • ½ cup of water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 packages Rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable Oil
  • For Garnish
  • 1 scallion trimmed and cut on diagonal
  • ½ cup minced cilantro
  • ½ cups roasted shiitake mushrooms


Thoroughly mix miso, tamari, water, sesame oil, and honey and place in a large zip lock bag or flat casserole dish with 2 inch sides.

Add fish to marinate in bag close or dish seal closed with plastic wrap or sealable top. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions.

In a hot cast iron pan add vegetable oil, sear fish skin side down till crisp then flip and cook to desired doneness.


Assembly of the final dish:

Construct the soup by placing noodles into individual bowls, add curry soup mixture with vegetables and topped with cooked fish serve with garnish.


Source: Cooking by the Book



Grilled Sesame Salmon from Salted

Salt is one of the most potent, essential ingredients in cooking. Its ability to draw out and intensify flavor is unmatched. The book Salted: A manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral with Recipes provides a wealth of facts and ideas for all of us salt lovers.

Author Mark Bitterman is the “selmelier” of The Meadow, a salt store created by his wife Jennifer with branches in Portland and New York City. The store is a hoot, because you can go in and taste test their world-wide array of salts. There is amazing diversity in their salt collection and you are almost sure to leave with a few bags, all filled with sodium chloride, but all having bright and different flavors.

How those flavors are created, where they come from, what it all means — those are the topics of the book Salted. History, craft and science are all presented in a beautiful laid out book that will surely make you want to sample and experiment. Dozens of salt varieties from around the world are described and compared. The descriptions here are simply unparalleled.

Upscale gourmet stores now offer multiple varieties of salt but they really pale to the world view presented in Salted and available at The Meadow. Bitterman calls salt the “crown jewels of great food.” His passion is evident on every page.

And, there’s a bonus to Salted. Those recipes. This salmon is a perfect example. We’ve all had salmon. We know how it tastes. Even how it feels. So this recipe really surprised me with its very different taste and the feel to the mouth. The use of sesame and peppercorns, in abundance, creates a salmon flavor that I had never experienced before. And, cooking the salmon with that seedy layer on top of sesame oil results in a definite crust that you have to snap through before reaching the tender salmon body. The effect is very noticeable and a taste treat.

If you enjoy salmon, but seek a truly different spin, then grab your sesame seeds and some smoked salt.

Grilled Sesame Salmon with Cyprus Hardwood Smoked Flake Salt

Yield: serves 4 people


  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Szechwan peppercorns, green or pink or mixed
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 ¾ pounds wild salmon fillet (about 1 ¼ inches thick), pin bones and skin removed
  • 7 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, preferably black sesame oil
  • 4 two-finger pinches Cyprus hardwood smoked flake salt
  • 2 sesame leaves, coarsely chopped, or 1 scallion, trimmed and finely sliced


Preheat a covered grill to medium heat (about 375°F).

Combine the black and white sesame seeds in a small bowl. Crush the peppercorns with the flat side of a broad knife, like a cleaver or a chef’s knife. Add the pepper and the ginger to the sesame seeds and stir to combine. Set aside.

Coat both sides of the salmon with 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil. Scatter the sesame seed mixture all over both sides of the salmon and press lightly into the flesh.

Brush the grill grate thoroughly with a wire brush to clean it, and coat it lightly with oil. Grill the fish for10 minutes with the lid down, turning halfway through, until the surface is crisp and browned and the flesh feels slightly spongy when pressed at its thickest spot. Gently pull apart the flesh at the thickest part; the centers should still be a translucent, darker pink. Transfer to a platter using a wide spatula.

Drizzle the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil over the fish and sprinkle with the salt. Scatter the chopped sesame leaves [or scallion] over the top and serve.

Source: Salted by Mark Bitterman