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Fish and Vegetable Soup with Lime, Ginger, and Cilantro

User Rating 3 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Fish and Vegetable Soup with Lime, Ginger, and Cilantro

Star Anise

Jen Hoy
This fish soup, with the addition of lime juice and coconut milk, is a departure from strict traditional macrobiotics, and is a delight to eat. It is a strengthening and warming soup, great for dinner parties, and well worth the preparation involved. Once the ingredients are assembled, it takes a mere 20 minutes to prepare. Try serving it ladled over cooked soba noodles for a one-dish meal.

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots (about 3 medium shallots)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or Bonito Dashi
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass or 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 whole star anise (optional, see note)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 ½ cups hot water for 15 minutes. Discard stems, chop, reserve water
  • 2 tablespoons tamari, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted fish fillets (such as snapper, orange roughy, and sea bass), cut into 2x1-inch strips
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 small can coconut milk, stirred until well blended (optional for garnish)


Grind shallots, garlic and ginger in suribachi or small food processor to a coarse paste.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add paste and sauté until aromatic, about 2 minutes.

Add stock or Dashi, 2 cups water, 4 tablespoons lime juice, lemongrass, and star anise; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Remove star anise. Add carrots, shiitake mushrooms and their soaking liquid, and tamari. Simmer 2 minutes.

Add fish; cook until just opaque, stirring gently, about 3 minutes.

Stir in scallions, cilantro and remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice.

Carefully ladle fish, vegetables and some broth into individual bowls, garnishing with a dollop of coconut milk.

Note: Star Anise is available at Asian markets and in the spice section of some supermarkets. It is a mild spice, and aids digestion.

Copyright Jen Hoy 2007

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
We loved this soup, Member Vchef

We found this soup delicate and delicious, with plenty of flavor. No confusion at all, just a choice of ingredients that are the healthiest available (tamari vs soy sauce, Bonito Dashi is just a Japanese fish broth) and therefore crossed ethnic lines. Nothing wrong with that!

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

See all 2 reviews

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