Plenty of umami goodness, this fish noodle soup is topped with crisp garlic and shallots fried in pork fat for extra flavour.






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (22 votes)


  • 375 g dried rice vermicelli
  • 1 litre hot homemade chicken stock (see Note)
  • 200 g coral trout fillet, cut into 1 cm–thick slices
  • 1 bunch Chinese celery, cut into batons, including the leaves
  • 3 spring onions, cut into 1-cm lengths
  • 3 stems coriander, cut into 1-cm lengths
  • ground chilli, to taste

Fried garlic and shallots

  • 1 kg pork back fat, rendered
  • 2 heads garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 red Asian shallots, thinly sliced

Seasonings, to taste

  • fish sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • umezu (plum vinegar)
  • best-quality sesame oil
  • white pepper

Cook's notes

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.


  1. For the fried garlic and shallots, divide the rendered beef fat between 2 saucepans. Add the garlic to one pan and the shallots to the other and cook over low–medium heat, stirring regularly until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Stand until cool, then store in an airtight container. Reserve the back fat to add to the noodles.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Place the noodles in a Chinese noodle strainer and cook until al dente. Lift the noodle basket out and drain the noodles well. Place in a large bowl and toss with the seasonings and a little of the reserved back fat to taste.
  3. Add the trout to the same pot of boiling water you used to cook the noodles, reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer very gently until cooked to your liking. Drain and set aside.
  4. To serve, place the noodles and trout in soup bowls and top with a handful of Chinese celery, spring onion and coriander. Ladle over the stock. Serve immediately scattered with a little ground chilli and the fried garlic and shallots.



I like to season the stock with coriander root, sliced daikon, sliced onion, garlic and ginger but you can use any aromats you have on hand.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.