Fragrant Fish Soup
Lemony rice, delicately flavored broth and gently poached tilapia are topped with a colorful blend of vegetables and herbs. The aromatic mint provides fresh and complex flavor.
1 cup jasmine rice2 cups waterZest and juice of 1 lemon4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth 1 pound tilapia fillets, or other firm white fish (see Tip)4 cups bite-size pieces arugula, or watercress (about 1 bunch), tough stems removed1 cup finely shredded carrots¼ cup very thinly sliced fresh mint2 scallions, finely chopped
Combine rice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir in lemon zest and juice.Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer in another medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth remains steaming, but not simmering. Add fish and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove and break into bite-size chunks.Divide the lemony rice among 4 bowls. Top with equal portions of the fish, arugula (or watercress), carrot, mint and scallions. Ladle 1 cup of the warm broth into each bowl and serve.
Tip: ?Look for U.S. farm-raised tilapia, which is usually grown in closed farming systems that limit pollution and prevent escapes. Some Central and South American tilapia is farmed in this manner as well, but avoid tilapia from China and Taiwan, mostly farmed in open systems.
Southeast Asian-Inspired Salmon Soup
A touch of chile-garlic sauce and hot sesame oil add heat to this delicately flavored salmon soup without being overpowering.
2 ounces bean thread noodles (see Note)2 tablespoons canola oil3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes1 tablespoon fish sauce (see Note)1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (see Note2 teaspoons hot sesame oil, or to taste1¼ pounds wild salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into ½-inch cubes1 cup thinly sliced scallions½ cup loosely packed cilantro leavesLime wedges, for garnish
Place noodles in a large bowl, cover with hot tap water and soak until softened, 20to 25 minutes. Drain.Meanwhile, heat canola oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel with a slotted spoon. (If the oil is too hot, the garlic will burn and become bitter so try a “tester” slice first before frying the rest.)
Carefully pour broth into the pan (it may spatter a little); bring to a boil. Stir in tomatoes and their juice, fish sauce, chile-garlic sauce and hot sesame oil. Stir in salmon, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the salmon is nearly cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the drained noodles and scallions and simmer 1 minute more.Top with cilantro and the crispy garlic. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
Notes: Look for bean thread noodles (sometimes labeled mung bean, glass or cellophane noodles) in the Asian section of most large supermarkets or at an Asian market.Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our nutritional analyses.A blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar, chile-garlic sauce is commonly used to add heat and flavor to Asian soups, sauces and stir-fries. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets (sometimes labeled as chili-garlic sauce or paste) and keeps up to 1 year in the refrigerator.
Tip: Place the salmon fillet on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.