Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grapor Pla - Fish Maw Soup

Fish maw is an unusual food, to say the least, it the dried gas bladder of certain large sea fish. In Thailand, it is eaten as a soup, as here, or in a salad (Yam Grapor Pla). The texture is interesting, slightly chewy but with little flavour; it provides texture to the dish. We used large fish maw, there are smaller ones about 1/3 the size; the small ones are preferred in Thailand. We used half a bag of fish maw, about 15-20 fish maw, there would, of course, be far more with smaller ones. We also used about 1/3 of a roasted chicken we bought, feel free to use any leftover chicken you might have around. I suppose that this soup might even be good without the fish maw, but the fish maw gives it an added edge.

Grapor Pla - Fish Maw Soup
Dried fish maw
Shredded cooked chicken
3-4 shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water
slivered bamboo shoots
chicken broth
3-4 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
2 coriander roots
3 cloves of garlic
5 white peppercorn
cornstarch stir in water
sliced coriander and spring onion for garnish
chili sauce

Soak dried fish maw in cool water for 30 minutes, then blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Cut it into long slices.

Grind coriander roots, garlic, and white peppercorn together with mortar and pestle.

Slice softened mushrooms into thin long slices.

Blanch bamboo shoots; set aside.

Mix cornstarch with a little water.

Bring chicken broth to a boil, then add the coriander roots, white peppercorn and garlic. Add fish maw, shiitake mushrooms, sliced bamboo shoots and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Add shredded chicken and season with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and ground white pepper. Add cornstarch in water and stir soup until thickened.

Garnish with sliced coriander and spring onion. Add chili sauce as desired.

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