There is nothing remotely fishy about this soup. The fish-shaped wontons worked by nimble fingers, gives the name to this dish devised by Loan from Vietnam. Such detail is typical of the finesse and delicate touch of many dishes, as is the enticing blend of colour, texture and myriad tastes of salty, sweet, hot and spicy and all shades in between so redolent of Vietnamese cuisine. Who would dream that there is a touch of custard powder in this wonderful soup recipe, but there it is, adding a subtle dimension which challenges the most jaded of palates to decipher the elements which make up the whole.
- 1 free range chicken
For the 'Golden Fish'
- 500 g minced pork
- 1 small tin water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
- ½ cup black funghi mushrooms which have been softened in hot water for 5 minutes and drained.
- 2 medium onions chopped finely
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp oyster oil
- 1 ½ tbsp custard powder
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 small packet angel hair vermicelli
- 1 packet wonton skins
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 onion, chopped finely and fried in oil until crisp and brown (see Note)
- 2 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic bulbs, cut into slivers and fried in a little oil until crisp
- 1 chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup finely chopped coriander
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Make a chicken stock, place the chicken in a saucepan and cover well with water. Simmer for several hours, and then allow the chicken to cool in the stock. Remove the chicken carcass from the stock.
Dry fry the minced pork in a large non-stick frying pan for 10 minutes. Mix together the pork, water chestnuts, mushrooms, onions, oil, custard powder, sugar and salt. Soak the vermicelli in water to soften and add to the mixture.
Take a wonton skin and place a teaspoon of mixture in the middle. Run a finger which has been dipped into the beaten egg around the edge of the wonton. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Shape the wontons into the fish shape by pinching a tail and head to resemble.
Reheat the stock, drop the golden fish into the stock and simmer for a few minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, and add the garnish according to taste.
You could substitute with 2 tbsp pre-packaged dried fried onion