I love surprising my grandparents and dropping by their place to visit without warning, because it gives me an opportunity to see what my grandmother cooks on a day to day basis. Usually, when I visit, they will go out of their way to feed me with something special, or go above and beyond with dinner. But, sometimes, it is the simple things that are best. Also, it might be strange to others that I can just drop by my grandparents’ place unannounced (doesn’t happen here in the US at least) but in my family, the doors are always open. Such a nice, warm feeling.
Anyway, here is one of those lunches that my grandmother randomly put together because I arrived unannounced. And guess what? It tastes amazing as well; Proof that it really doesn’t take much to make healthy and delicious meals.
Ingredients (for two)
- ~300 grams sliced fish [you may use any fish, but common fishes used are snakehead, batang, garoupa or pomfret. Here, we have batang fish.]
- 2 handfuls of green leafy vegetables [you may use any, but caixin or choi sum is commonly used]
- 1/3 packet of dried rice vermicelli
- 4 cups stock [you may use whatever stock you have, but my grandma makes stock from chicken/pork/fish bones, carrots, veggie ends and any sort of kitchen scraps.]
- ~100 grams minced pork [optional]
- Fried shallots/shallot oil [optional]
- Fried silverfish [optional]
- Fried garlic/garlic oil [optional]
- Chili soy sauce [add chopped chili to soy sauce!]
I guess it is also helpful if you have some stock on hand already. My grandma makes stocks from everything. Bits and ends of veggies, chicken bones, pork bones, fish bones, carrots, mushrooms–you name it, it’s in there. And that’s why it’s so good! One thing I really look up to about my grandma, is that she puts so much effort into the simple things. One can easily make ‘stock’ out of bullion cubes, but she always makes her own stock out of kitchen scraps, making her soups just so much better!
To make stock, put all your kitchen scraps in a big pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover everything. Simmer at a medium-low heat. Never bring it to boil! After two or three hours, you have stock! Feel free to flavor it with salt or soy sauce, but we usually flavor it at the last moment. Garlic and ginger work well in stocks too!
Soak some rice vermicelli in cool or room-temperature water, until it is soft.
When the vermicelli is soft, drain it, and pour boiling hot water over the vermicelli and cover for 5 minutes.
Drain after 5 minutes, and portion vermicelli into two bowls.
Here, you have slices of batang fish!
Clean and rinse your veggies, then cut them into bite sized pieces.
To cook it all, pour 4 cups of the stock into a smaller sauce pan.
Bring stock to boil, then add the minced meat and veggie stems.
Once the stems are almost cooked, add the veggie leaves.
When the veggie leaves are a little wilted but still green, add the fish and heat until the fish is cooked.
We usually just bring the whole pot to the table, and spoon the soup and ingredients over the rice vermicelli.
We then top it off with our favorite condiments and enjoy! So so so yummy!
Yummy fish soup! Made with love by my grandma!
Of course, once size doesn’t fit all. If you need more salt or flavor, try adding soy sauce or chili soy sauce.