Fish Maw Soup For Chinese New Year – 8 ingredients

Fish Maw Soup is normally served during special occasion such as Chinese New Year. Some of the ingredients (such as fish maw and scallops) are considered as delicacies, and high-grade ones can be expensive.

I loved this savoury soup since I  was a child. Now that I put some thought into it, I realise I don’t only love the unique taste of the sea product; it reminds me of my favourite festival. I also like the fact that it’s more humane and affordable than other delicacies such as shark’s fin soup. Now that I’m an adult and took over the role to prepare meals for Chinese New Year, I begin to appreciate this soup a lot more.

If you want to make something special on Chinese New Year but would want to keep to a budget, look no further than this recipe. I use the most affordable fish maw (higher grade ones can cost up to RM 400+ for a piece). It still taste delicious with sweetness from napa cabbage and red dates, on top of umami flavour from scallops and cuttlefish. On top of that, I use a thermal cooker: it saves time (30 minutes to cooking on the stove) and gives you an extra stove to work.
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Fish maw is dried swim bladders of large fishes. A quick search on Internet described it as almost tasteless which I disagree. I’ve bought a few grades of fish maw from Kuantan and Kota Kinabalu (both famed for seafood produce) and  noticed that higher quality ones smell and tastes significantly better.

Despite being seemingly an inferior fish product to many, fish maw is exalted and considered as a Chinese delicacy. Besides, it is a good source of collagen used in food industry to create water-resistant glue. It’s spongy texture allows it to absorb the flavours of other ingredients. More about fish maw

higher grade fish maw




  • Thermal cooker/ pot/ slow cooker


  • 750 g Chicken (carcass, breast & thigh)
  • 1.5 L (6 cups) Water
  • 10 pcs (30 g) Red dates
  • 3 pcs (30 g) Scallops
  • 1 pcs (35 g) Dried cuttlefish
  • 1 pcs (600 g) Napa cabbage
  • 30 g Fish maw, soaked
  • Salt to taste (Suggestion: 2 tsp)
  • Chicken stock powder (Suggestion: 1 tsp)

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