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  • Bute St Seafoodie

Sesame and Ginger Fish Soup

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

This dish stems from my childhood. I have a vivid recollection of sitting at the table, aged possibly around 8, having this soup in the company of my grandmother when we were living abroad. I made it for the family a few Christmases ago and it went down very well.

Then I used plaice, but I actually think this is an extremely good dish in which to use whiting. Being one of the most flaky-fleshed fish available it is ideal as the meat naturally breaks into perfectly soup-spoon-friendly little chunks. Other cheap white fish would also suit, such as dab and flounder, but pollack would also be a fair contender.

Being such a simple concoction, ingredient quality is key, foremost of which, the fish stock. The coriander is an essential flavour so I’m afraid, if you’re on the hate side of the Marmite argument when it comes to coriander, then this soup is probably not for you!

The flavour combination of sesame, ginger and lime is a well-known alchemy. I have given approximate quantities for 300ml of stock (which will serve 1-2), but what the objective really is is to find the balance of the flavours that achieves your own satisfaction.

Of course the broth could be made ahead so that, when it comes to serving time, it only needs to be reheated and the final ingredients added for a couple of minutes. As such, this dish makes for a hassle-free dinner party starter.

Sesame and Ginger Fish Soup

Ingredients (per 300ml of stock)

Fillet(s) of whiting, skinned and cut into small pieces (or other white fish)

1 tbsp sesame oil, plus a further 1-2 tbsp according to taste

1 tbsp ginger cut into small thin matchsticks (i.e. 1 tbsp of matchsticks)

300ml fish stock

Juice of approximately 1 lime

Salt and pepoer

2 tsp finely chopped coriander

Red (or green) chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced, to taste


  1. Heat the 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a sauce pan and gently fry the ginger so that it releases its aromas but does not colour.

  2. Add the fish stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat so the stock only simmers.

  3. Leave for around 10 minutes and then check the flavour. At this point you can add sesame oil, lime and salt and pepper, allow to continue cooking and repeat as necessary until you have a broth that is to your liking.

  4. Add the fish, allow the soup to return to a simmer and as soon as the fish is just cooked (a couple of minutes), add the coriander and sliced chilli if using, and serve.

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