For better or worse, I don't really think about soup when it comes to getting in my weekly serving of seafood. I've never really liked clam chowder, although I did enjoy a delicious touristy helping in a sourdough bread bowl at Boudin on Fisherman's Wharf, and the similarly creamy oyster stew never struck my fancy. However, one of the finest meals I've had in my life has to be the legendary cioppino at Tadich Grill in San Francisco, so I'm not against the concept entirely. Although this soup comes nowhere close to recreating the culinary glory of that meal, it too has a wonderfully flavorful broth and is satisfying without being heavy, but it won't take hours to prepare or an ocean's worth of seafood. The flavors here are all classically Asian and equally as wonderful in a soup as they would be in a stir-fry, a balanced combination of freshness, saltiness, and savoriness. An quick Asian-inspired slaw perfectly rounds out this easy meal for a delicious twist on the classic soup-and-salad lunch.
Asian Salmon-and-Rice Soup
adapted from Food and Wine
1 cup brown rice
1 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed, fish cut into 8 pieces
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted Asian sesame oil
10 cilantro stems, chopped, plus 1 cup cilantro leaves for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
4 cups water
3 scallions including green tops, chopped
Rice vinegar, to taste (optional)
1. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
2. Coat the salmon with the soy sauce and sesame oil.
3. In a large pot, combine the cooked rice, the cilantro stems, the ginger, salt, broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
4. Add the salmon to the pot. Simmer, covered, until the salmon is just done, about 5 minutes. Remove the cilantro stems. Add rice vinegar to taste, one splash as a time, if desired, and serve the soup garnished with the cilantro leaves and scallions.