This soup is a variation on a classic Japanese carp soup called Koi Ko Ku, which is traditionally recommended as a tonic and blood strengthener for women who have given birth.  Because of the long cooking, the fish bones are completely softened and become edible and quite delicious.  It is a superior source of natural calcium and other essential bone minerals:  in fact, one cup provides over 800 mg of calcium.

Buy only the very freshest fish wild (wild caught) Ask that it be cleaned, leaving on the head and tail, and cut it into 3-4 pieces.  Rinse well before cooking. fish


  • 1 whole fish (e.g., ), about 1 ½ to 2 lb
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 3 small carrots (about ½ lb), scrubbed and roll-cut
  • 1 medium onion, medium dice
  • 1 cup white wine or 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup mellow barley miso

To prep ginger:  cut 4 thin slices off a knob, lay them on top of each other, then slice them lengthwise into thin slivers.


In a 6-quart pressure cooker, place the fish, onion, carrot, ginger, wine, water, and miso.  Bring up to pressure, reduce heat to low, and simmer very gently for 5 hours.  Allow to sit until pressure is down, open pot, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to harmonize all the flavors.  Check the proportion of liquid:  it should be soupy, not too dry;  add some water if needed.  Find a bone and taste test;  it should be easily chewed.  If a little too hard, pressure cook for another hour.  Makes 6-8 servings.  This soup/stew can be kept in the refrigerator for 4 days.  I do not recommend freezing because it kills the taste and makes it flat.  Reboil each time before serving, adding a little stock or water if necessary.




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