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December 24, 2020 – 1:14 pm | 3,857 views

Soup Name:  Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Traditional Chinese Name: 清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)

Introduction: This is the base Chinese Chicken Soup stock that …

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Home » 4-star, Confinement Soups, Savoury, Seafood, Soups

Tomato Fish Soup

Submitted by on February 5, 2009 – 2:42 pm10 Comments | 71,936 views

Soup Name: Tomato Fish Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 番茄魚湯 (fān qié yú tāng)


Tomatoes are the ideal partner in fish soups.  It helps alleviatesome of the fishy scent as well as bring a sweet and slightly sour taste to the soup.  This soup is ideal for confinements and children (at least one year in age as tomatos are an ingredient) and is very neutral and healthy.  There is virtually no fat in the soup and the broth is rich in flavour and nutrients.

What Ingredients are required?

4 medium-sized golden threadfin bream (or any other appropriate substitute)
3 tomatoes
3 potatoes
2 large white onions
2 L of water

1 teaspoon of salt (to marinate the fish)
1 teaspoon of oil (to fry the fish)

How do I prepare it?

  1. After the fish is cleaned, wipe the fish with paper towels or a cloth to remove excess water
  2. Cover the fish with a small amount of salt (inside and out)
  3. Let it sit for an hour and then drain any water
  4. Peel and cut the potatoes, tomatoes and onions
  5. OPTIONAL: Some people will prefer to fry the potatoes until they are crispy on the outside to prevent disintegration in the soup
  6. Start boiling your soup water
  7. In a pan, add oil and fry the ginger with the fish on low-medium heat (until the fish is completely cooked and the skin is a slightly browned)
  8. Put the fish into a soup bag and add to water
  9. Add potatoes, tomatoes and onions
  10. Boil for at least an hour

 Any benefits?

  • This neutral soup is ideal for confinements
  • It is also ideal for children (who are able to eat tomatoes)
  • It is highly nutritious, contains no fats and can be used as a soup base for noodles, macaronis and other dishes

Any precautions?

  • Be careful of disintegrated fish bones in the soup – although a filter or fish bag will help


  • loh_patrick says:

    I can’t find threading bream. Can I use writing? What other small fish substitute do you recommend?


  • LadyTong says:

    Hi Patrick, for fish soup, actually any fish will suffice. Check your supermarket vendor or your fish vendor and ask them for any soup fish and they can all pair with tomatoes. Just be sure to fry them first with ginger and use soup bags to prevent the fish from disintegrating within your soup! Hope this helps and enjoy! Lisa

  • Maria says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I’d like to try to make this soup, but I don’t understand why the fish need to be put inside a soup bag instead of to prevent disintegrating. Does that mean the fish is to be consumed once the soup is done, or to be discharged? Thanks 🙂

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Maria, you don’t really need a soup bag, as long as when you scoop out the soup, you don’t stir it too much or scoop from the bottom (because of the little bones). Smaller fish are common for soups and when they “melt”, they literally break apart and bones are everywhere. The soup bag is really a caution for the children, but you can always use a strainer when pouring the soup out too! You can eat the fish too – the bag is just to keep the bones together. Hope this helps! Lisa

  • Judy says:

    Hi….love your website! The kids loved the winter melon with pork bones soup and we loved the vegetarian vegetable broth too!
    For the tomato fish soup…how much salt do I use on the fish? Do I rub it in or just sprinkle it? thanks

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear Judy, I’d say a teaspoon of salt is sufficient for the whole fish (of course this is pending size). Rub it in is good so that it soaks right in and then fry it. The frying is almost a critical step! Thanks for your comments and glad to be of help! Lisa

  • smile says:

    whats yhe pupose of frying the fish?

  • LadyTong says:

    Dear smile,

    The purpose of frying the fish is for 2 reasons. 1. get rid of the “fishiness” so that the soup isn’t quite so “metallic” tasting. 2. It helps solidify the meat and keep it together and makes the soup more fragrant. You can try both, but in general, it is best practice to fry the fish first. Hope this helps! Lisa

  • smile says:

    Thanks for the advise…this is like my first time cooking chinese soup…I usually just make my mom cook it for me!

    I made the soup tonight…I added a small amount of carrots to it and I didn’t fry the fish. It’s for my kid..so…I just wanted to cut down the amount of oil/frying. I just stuck it in one of those cooking bags and cooked away.

    It still turned out great…I love this site…great job!

  • Fabby says:

    Tried this at home and it was very easy to make. I used pre-frozen fillets instead and it has less fishy taste. Great job on the website! Love your soups!

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