Southeast Asian-Inspired Salmon Soup

8 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine March/April 2008

A touch of chile-garlic sauce and hot sesame oil add heat to this delicately flavored salmon soup without being overpowering.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 2 ounces bean thread noodles (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
  • 7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sesame oil, or to taste
  • 1 1/4 pounds wild salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Place noodles in a large bowl, cover with hot tap water and soak until softened, 20
  2. to 25 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, heat canola oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel with a slotted spoon. (If the oil is too hot, the garlic will burn and become bitter so try a "tester" slice first before frying the rest.)
  4. Carefully pour broth into the pan (it may spatter a little); bring to a boil. Stir in tomatoes and their juice, fish sauce, chile-garlic sauce and hot sesame oil. Stir in salmon, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the salmon is nearly cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the drained noodles and scallions and simmer 1 minute more.
  5. Top with cilantro and the crispy garlic. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
  • Notes: Look for bean thread noodles (sometimes labeled mung bean, glass or cellophane noodles) in the Asian section of most large supermarkets or at an Asian market.
  • Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our nutritional analyses.
  • A blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar, chile-garlic sauce is commonly used to add heat and flavor to Asian soups, sauces and stir-fries. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets (sometimes labeled as chili-garlic sauce or paste) and keeps up to 1 year in the refrigerator.
  • Tip: Place the salmon fillet on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 2 cups
  • Per serving: 284 calories; 13 g fat(2 g sat); 1 g fiber; 16 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 31 mcg folate; 60 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 848 IU vitamin A; 17 mg vitamin C; 40 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 1140 mg sodium; 649 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (30% daily value), Potassium (19% dv), Vitamin A (15% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 8

March 24, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
We love this soup and make it all the time!
March 10, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
This was good but you really can't eat it for leftovers. It gets especially fishy fast!
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
Cooked this for my husband during Lent and loved it. My husband was very hesitant about salmon soup, but now he asks for the soup at least once a month! LOL Its one of his favorites. The flavors are great together, perfecctly described as sweet sour and spicy. We both like spicy so we added more spicyness. Awesome soup! Katrina, Flushing, NY
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
Absolutely delicious! Would also be good with tofu, shrimp, or whatever in place of the salmon. Tracy, Truckee, CA
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This soup is similar to the wonderful pho, sold at our local Vietnamese restaurant, that my children love so much. I don't understand why the rating isn't higher. I served this to a friend yesterday, and he said it's now his favorite soup, beating out my salmon chowder. Plus, this is quick to make. I'm sending my son back to college with the ingredients, because he wants to fix it for his friends. Barbara, Kirkland, WA
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This soup was excellent and I have shared the recipe with several people who loved it as well. There should be a note about the flavors of Thai cooking which are a lovely mixture of sweet/sour/spicy. I would also suggest that when making it the first time to be conservative with the chili-garlic sauce AND the fish sauce as they are both very strong and overuse of either could be unpleasant! RC, Washington, DC
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I really enjoyed this soup - it had good flavors, and was very easy to make! My chile-garlic paste was HOT, though, so although I used less than 1 tsp the dish was still plenty spicy. Rae, Bristol, VT
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
After reading the accompanying salmon article, I purchased wild salmon and followed this recipe. The flavors were so unappealing, I added a pint of sour cream to the soup to take the bite away. The noodles fell to the bottom of the pot and became difficult to "fish" out. I'm sorry I wasted a beautiful fish on this dish. Marianne, Bristol, VT