- 2 salmon (heads, cut in half)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
- 3 inches ginger (thumb of, peeled and sliced)
- 2 leeks (tops discarded, chopped)
- 4 green onions (chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 red peppers (Thai, thinly sliced)
- Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
- 1 tablespoon aji mirin (optional)
- 1 can vegetable (Szechuan prepared, optional)
- 1 can straw mushrooms (optional)
- 1/2 head napa cabbage (shredded)
- 1 handful cilantro (for garnish, stemmed, with stems reserved)
- 1 package asian noodles (e.g., udon, soba, ramen)
- Over medium-high heat, brown fish heads and ginger in oil for a few minutes, turning at least once. De-glaze pot with a splash of wine and add chopped leeks, garlic, and half the green onions and red peppers. Saute together for several minutes.
- De-glaze pot again with another splash of wine, then add 8 cups of water and optional fish sauce. Bring to a light boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain contents, picking and reserving as much salmon meat as possible. Return soup to simmer. Adjust for salt. Add half the remaining green onion and the cilantro stems. (Optional seasoning: Add a tablespoon or two of each: Chinese wine, rice vinegar, aji-mirin; add a few heaping tablespoons of Szechuan prepared vegetables.) Simmer another 15-30 minutes.
- Strain soup a second time and return to low heat to keep warm. Dole out reserved salmon meat into bowls, along with noodles, a handful of shredded cabbage, and spoonfuls of both Szechuan prepared vegetables (optional) and straw mushrooms. Ladle soup. Garnish with green onion, cilantro, and Thai red pepper.