Ukha- Russian Fisherman’s Soup

Traditional Ukha

Ukha Mirepoix

How to re-create this recipe: 


(Yields 2.5 Quarts/ 8 Servings)

  • 10 Cups of Water
  • 2 Pound Whole Red Snapper (scaled, gutted and cut into 3 sections including the head )
  • 5 Carrots 
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 2 Large Red Skinned Potatoes
  • 2 Small White Onions
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 6 Black Peppercorns 
  • 1/4 Tsp of Saffron (optional)
  • Small Bunch of Dill (about 3 stems )
  • Small Bunch of Flat Leaf Parsley (about 3 stems)
  • Salt to taste

Putting it together: 

  1. Rinse your Fish off with cold water and place it in a Medium sized pot with the bay leaves and black peppercorns. Add 10 cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil the fish for 30 minutes with the lid on.
  2. While your fish is cooking, you can prep the rest of your ingredients. Wash all your vegetables, peel your carrots and cut them into small sized chunks. Set aside. 
  3. Cut your celery and potatoes into small chunks and set aside. 
  4. Cut your white onions into a fine dice and set aside. 
  5. After the fish is done cooking, strain your broth into a fine mesh sieve and into a clean pot. Set your fish aside so that it can cool down a bit. Clean the pot that you cooked your fish in and place the broth back into that pot. Add all your vegetables, Dill, Parsley, saffron, and continue to cook the broth for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. 
  6. While the broth is cooking, remove the skin and bones off the fish and pull off chunks of the white flesh into a small bowl. 
  7. After 15 minutes, add the chunks of fish and adjust your seasoning by adding salt to taste. 

Nourishment for your body: Ukha soup has a distinctive, delicate and subtle flavor. Fishing is a popular pastime in Russian culture and families would prepare this soup with the “catch of the day.” Ukha is a traditional and typical item to have on menus in Russian Restaurants. The broth is healthy for you in that the nutrients extracted from the bones while cooking contain a good amount of calcium, iodine, Omega 3 fatty acids, and gelatin (which contains collagen).  

Tips when cooking: Using Saffron is completely optional and traditional Ukha does not call for it. I like it because it tends to add color, rich flavor and aroma to any broth. You don’t necessarily have to use Red Snapper to make this soup. You should aim to have a soup that is transparent with a sweet broth. You can either use one whole fish or several different types of fish such as Pike, Perch, Catfish. Good quality fish heads, bones and tails are key to making this delicious soup.





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