This soup brings back memories. I used to fight with my siblings to suck the bone marrow of the fish bone. Unfortunately, I have not been able to use spinal bones for this soup, so no sucking.

A very, very simple dish that is useful for people who are lactose-intolerant like myself. A lot of East Asians are lactose-intolerant. This means that we cannot digest cow’s milk, but it doesn’t mean we cannot digest sheep or goat milk. But as a result, dairy products are featured rarely in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cooking. In order to get calcium from other food sources, such as bones, we have a lot of clear soups made with boiling huge chunks of bones. This is the reason why an East Asian always swears by his daily bowl of soup.

For me, a simple meal is rice and a soup, or a noodle soup. A soup offers me the necessary nutrition: calcium from the bones, protein from the meat, and vitamins and fibre from the vegetables I add in the soup. The accompanying staple like rice and noodles give me the carbohydrate my body needs. This dish offers delicious fish protein plus loads of calcium.


  • 500-800g fish bones and cheeks (I use cod)
  • 5cm fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch of Sichuan pickled mustard leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper


  1. First, marinate your fish bones with salt and pepper;
  2. Deep-fry it with slices of ginger. Drain away the oil.
  3. Boil a pot of water with slices of Sichuan pickled cabbages and two cloves of garlic. Once the water is boiling, place your fish bones and ginger into the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Do not add salt because the cabbage and fish already had salt. It is spicy because of the chili powder coating on the Sichuan cabbage.
  5. Enjoy it with a bowl of rice!