As I understand it, there is not really a singular formula for making ukha and it is even a point of contention as to whether it is a soup at all.
Some say that although ukha is made with fish broth, it is not a soup but something closer to a stew. Some claim that ukha can only be made with freshwater fish. And still some others say that “real” ukha has no vegetables at all. I don’t which is which, but this is how I saw the soup prepared in “I Am Love”.
Fish heads and bones are simmered, the heads are scooped out, the flesh is separated and set aside while the bones go back into the pan. The simmering continues until all the flavors from the bones have been transferred to the broth.
The broth is strained, vegetables are added and simmered until tender. At this point, the flavors of the vegetables have combined with the flavors of the fish, and the broth is truly delicious. All the soup needs is fish.
Cubes of fish fillet are dropped in and simmered. The flesh from the fish heads go in last, and the soup is simmered for five minutes longer until everything is evenly heated.
- 2 salmon heads - about 800 grams
- 600 grams trevally - filleted (bones reserved)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups cubed potatoes
- 2 cups cubed carrot
- ½ cup sliced celery
- ⅓ cup sliced leeks - white and light green portions only
- finely sliced scallions - to garnish
- chopped parsley - to garnish
- Place the salmon heads and trevally bones in a pot, and cover with water.
- Add the garlic.
- Cook over medium heat just until the salmon heads are done.
- Scoop out the salmon heads without turning off the heat.
- Season the broth with salt and pepper, and continue simmering.
- Pick the meat from the salmon heads and set aside.
- Return the bones to the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Strain the broth.
- Pour the strained broth back into the pot.
- Add the vegetables.
- Sprinkle with more salt and pepper, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Cut the trevally fillets into cubes, and simmer for five minutes.
- Add the salmon, and simmer for another five minutes.
- To serve, ladle into bowls, sprinkle with scallions and parsley, and serve hot.