Our website has moved! Redirecting to RecipeStudio.com...
If this does not work, please click here.

Fish Soup - Ukha

Saturday, November 26, 2011

When you buy fish at a fish market they usually ask if you need it to be trimmed, beheaded, scaled, skinned, and filleted. Well, if you need just pieces of flesh for a main course - yes, but not when you intend to make a fish soup. Ukha (Russian fish soup) is made out of a whole fish, it only needs to be scaled, and the insides must be cleaned out. Fish bones is what makes a perfect fish broth, and a good broth is the key to a good ukha. So, heads and fins go in there! I remember very well the surprise on the face of that guy at a  Florida fish market, when I asked to take all bony fish parts with me. He just didn't get it. The woman is crazy, he probably thought. To me, it was surprising that people who lived at the ocean couldn't get a proper use of all the goodness they had access to.

There are many recipes of ukha, and every fisherman in Russia has his own recipe (unlike American amateur fishermen, Russian guys eat what they catch :). Recipes are created on the fly on a river bank or a sea shore, where everything is cooked in an open fire. Today's recipe is the simplest one we used in my family, the one I remember from my childhood. This recipe calls for just three main ingredients and a few spices, but the result is a hearty soup with a mouthwatering aroma.

Fireplace Cooking in the Storm

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Strange as it is, this sudden October snow freed me of a lingering writers block, hopefully for a long time. It was a fortunate coincidence (though she may disagree!) that Masha came to visit that Saturday, October 29. After a trip to Tower Hill Botanic Garden to see Ikebana arrangements that were magically enhanced by the first snow in the background, we were struck by power outage in the evening that lasted two days and two nights. Candles helped some, and then the fireplace was brought to life. As cell phone batteries drained, the crank radio kept our little window to the world open. When you don't expect the outage to last that long, it is fun. Fun it was. The first day... We talked and we laughed and, of course, we cooked.
How about cookies baked in the heat of a fireplace? Follow me to my dark house to see the fun of that evening...