Coriander Soup with Century Egg and Fish Fillet – for Curing Sore Throat? | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Coriander Soup with Century Egg and Fish Fillet – for Curing Sore Throat?

Coriander Soup with Century Egg and Fish Fillet

A feeling of dryness in my throat reminds me of making this traditional Chinese soup (莞茜皮蛋魚片湯) I grew up eating, a soup known for curing sore throat.

But this is not a soup only for the sick. You may find it here in Hong Kong in almost all hot pot (aka steamboat) restaurants where this soup is served as one of the broths for poaching foods. What we believe is, hot pot, like deep frying, add heat to foods and thereby to our bodies. So I guess there comes the idea of including this soup, which is also said to be good for tempering heat, as a broth for hot pots.

Coriander Soup with Century Egg and Fish Fillet

This soup, however, not too often healed my soar throat. Yet it did help soothing the syndromes like swollen gum and dried throat usually happened when I went to bed late.

I love the aroma of boiled coriander. While the soup was being cooked, my kitchen simply smelled gorgeous. Besides, it is quick to prepare and tastes delicious.

Coriander Soup with Century Egg and Fish Fillet

  • Ingredients
  • 8-10 sprigs coriander (also commonly called cilantro)
  • 1 century egg
  • 150g fish fillet
  • 3 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • sesame oil, optional
  • 1 tsp julienned ginger, optional
  • Marinades for fish fillet
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp corn starch
  • 1/8 tsp oil

Tilefish Fillet


Rinse fish fillet, pat dry, then cut it into about 1/4cm thick slices. Marinade them and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. The most popular type of fish used for making this soup is grass carp, but the tilefish I used this time is also very nice.

Rinse corianders (soak them in water before rinsing will help remove dirts); discard any bruised leaves, scrape roots but leaving them intact.

Shell the century egg. Rinse it, quarter, and dice them into your preferred sizes.

In a pot and over high heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add in diced century egg and sprigs of rinsed coriander. As soon as the water boils again, switch to low-medium heat. After a couple of minutes, the soup will turn foamy. To prevent it from spilling over, rest the lid slightly opened.

Keep boiling for about 15 minutes when the soup become greenish grey, then add in fish slices and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or till they are done. Before putting in fish fillet, I remove the cooked coriander sprigs to avoid them strangling the meat. But the corianders are tasty and good for eating.

Serve hot, add salt to taste and enjoy with a dash of ginger slivers and sesame oil.

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  1. Mary Moh

    Oh wow…soup for soar throat. Didn’t know such a soup exist…haha. I must remember. But it would be great for normal days also….so nutritious and looks very delicious. I love coriander, too. Thanks very much for sharing.

  2. tigerfish

    I seldom see so much coriander added into soups but I do not mind them at all! I like coriander …and this soup is completely new to me 🙂

  3. Mei Teng

    I love fish fillet and century egg in porridge. These ingredients go well in a soup based broth too. Delicious looking soup.

  4. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    Same to me. My mother used to cook this soup for us whenever we complain of having a soar throat. 🙂

  5. Angie's Recipes

    Had lots of them (with some fish brisket ( at the chef table when I worked in a Cantonese restaurant…didn’t know it is a cure against the sore throat…can’t find snakehead here….

  6. 5 Star Foodie

    Such unique ingredients in this delicious soup with the fresh coriander and the century egg – excellent!

  7. pigpigscorner

    wow, I’ve never had this before! Have to keep this in mind.

  8. anna

    I must try this

  9. Juliana

    The soup look very tasty since I love coriander…haven’t had century eggs for centuries 🙂

  10. Tastes of Home

    I’ve never tried this soup before but I love Chinese soups and this sounds yummy and nutritious 🙂

  11. TasteHongKong

    Hi There,
    Thanks to a reader who emailed me about my typos, mis-spelling sore as soar. Corrections made, sorry for any confusions!

  12. Cooking Gallery

    I love century eggs, normally I eat them with congee. Your soup looks super comforting!

  13. TasteHongKong

    @Cooking Gallery, Yes, we also have here a popular congee made with century egg and salted pork, which is also known for relieving heat.

  14. Carolyn Jung

    I think a sore throat just has to run its course, unfortunately. But hot tea with honey and lemon, as well as restorative, delicious soups like this definitely do help make a body feel better.

  15. Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    Looking very healthy soup! My husband will love this. He is a big fan of cilantro. Thanks for sharing.

  16. gaga

    I’ve never heard of it curing sore throats, but it’s delicious, so I’d eat it anyway 🙂

  17. Rasa Malaysia

    That’s great to know that!! I love it that Hong Kong cooks are always into natural remedy, especially soothing and delicious soups for curing small ailments. It’s genius, and not to mention Cantonese cooks make the BEST SOUP EVER, hands down!!!

  18. Jackie

    I made this recipe and it was good! Definitely hit the spot and I like how simple it is.

  19. TasteHongKong

    Thank you for advising me. I’m so glad that you like it. I bet you will find it even quicker to prepare as you should ‘own’ this recipe next time.

  20. Von

    Oohh….my mum makes this soup =D I love it! haha….
    didn’t know that it was good for sore throats though…..

  21. JJ

    I definitely want to try this. What a wonderful blog – please continue posting your yummy food online.

  22. TasteHongKong

    Many thanks! I’d love to, and also love to have you coming back to fuel my desire for posting.

  23. JJ

    Hi! I tried this today and it was really delicious. Hubby loved it too. Am trying your tofu cake tomorrow. Do you have a recipe for steamed fish?

  24. TasteHongKong

    Thanks for your feedback again, and I’m so happy that both you and your hubby enjoyed the soup.

    I also made the tofu cakes the other day. I sautéed the chopped mushrooms and carrots with oil before adding them into the tofu, and that variation infused some more flavors into the patties. But if you like a lighter version, just go for the original recipe.

    Yes, I always make steamed fishes. The reason for not posting any yet is that I don’t take pictures fast enough. Yet, I want the fishes to be served hot immediately after steamed. Hopefully, I’ll find a way to make it happen here soon.

  25. sensiblecooking

    I don’t mind this when I have or don’t have sore throat. Sounds yummy.

  26. Grace

    Will certainly give it a try! Cilantro and century eggs are both my favorite food. I can imagine how soothing it tastes.

  27. Grace

    Just tried this tonight. It’s wonderful. I vaguely remember how it tasted like when my mom made this long long time ago in HK. This brings back my memory on how much I loved this soup back then. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  28. TasteHongKong

    Wonderful to hear you like this. And hope your kid is going to love yours.

  29. Bite and Sip

    I don’t need an excuse of sore throat to make this delicious soup

  30. Helena

    I still didn’t dare to try century eggs : my fiancé, who has already been in China, said that it would be as shocking for a Westerner to eat them as for a Chinese to eat a french ripe cheese ; and the thing is, I don’t even like much ripe cheese, so I’ll leave aside century eggs for the moment ! Do you think of a convenient subsitute for it ? I like this kind of soup and I currently have fish and cilantro at the hand.
    By the way, thanks for your help about dried scallops and your kind answers !

  31. TasteHongKong

    I understand, century egg might be an acquired taste. You may consider excluding it as I doubt if there is any good substitute. Although the soup tastes lighter without the century egg, it is delicious too.
    Please don’t mention it, and hope this helps too. Enjoy!

  32. Helena

    Hi ! Your penultimate recipe finally gave me the idea to replace the century egg with some cashew nuts, since I knew they match well with coriander (I sometimes make a pesto with these ingredients, which I serve with pasta and seafood, it’s yummy), in order to have a less “light” taste. I also added some rice noodles because I wanted to have it as a full meal… and the result was truly great.
    But I think I will get some century eggs for the next time I’ll make this soup : I read some things about the taste they have and I’m less afraid now !
    Therefore, thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  33. TasteHongKong

    Thanks for your kind words, I’m sure you know the ‘inspiration’ is unintended. But I appreciate that you write again and share your ideas.

  34. Annie

    This soup was so tasty. I love century eggs but only eat them in jook. This was a really simple recipe and I had everything at home already. Cooking the eggs for a while definitely adds a distinct flavor to the soup that linger on your palette and makes you smack your lips for more. I did add some fish sauce to the broth and now I can’t stop drinking the soup. Really simple, really tasty. Thank you for posting this recipe. This will be on my soup rotation for sure!!

  35. TasteHongKong

    So glad that you find this tasty and simple. I’m also excited to hear that you consider this a repeater. Thanks for writing!

  36. Angela

    hello, I was wondering if I could use a fish head instead of fish fillets. or does it not matter as long as it’s fish of some sort?

  37. TasteHongKong

    I haven’t cook this with fish head before, but guess it would taste similar. You may want to briefly pan-fried the fish head (with a few slices of ginger) before adding it to the soup to get rid of any fishy smell and to bring out the flavors.

  38. Angela

    I ended up trying the recipe with fish head last night. It came out tasting pretty good! my only problem was the soup had this fatty taste feeling and I guess it is because fish head is fat in general. I was wondering if I could do anything to the soup to reduce that fatty taste. mb some lettuce or bok choi?

    nonetheless love your recipe, easy, fast, yummy.

  39. TasteHongKong

    Thanks for writing again and telling me you love this recipe.
    Wonder if you could skim part of the fat off the top by using a small strainer. Or you may consider scalding the fish briefly in boiling water before cooking it in the soup. I often scald frozen fishes (like this and this) to remove any unpleasant smells. Am afraid adding veggie to the soup might somewhat change the taste.
    Have fun cooking!

  40. Sandrine

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I have made this so many times and crave for it when I don’t even have sore throat 🙂
    My picky little toddler, will only eat fish this way.

  41. TasteHongKong

    Glad that your kid like this too! Yes, this soup is also good to enjoy even without a sore throat (but not on a daily basis considered the cholesterol level of century egg).

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