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MY BEST RECIPE

Chinese Chowder

February 22, 1990

"For many years, I have had a simple fish chowder recipe that used chicken stock, rice, bacon and green onions," Sharon Gable writes. "My husband loves hot cuisines, spicy food and Chinese cooking, so I combined the three to make this soup.

"It took some trial and error to come up with this version; and sometimes I use rice or noodles, instead of cellophane noodles. It is hot and spicy, so I serve ginger ice cream for dessert, otherwise it's a meal by itself."

CHANNEL ISLANDS SICHUAN FISH CHOWDER

4 ounces cellophane noodles

2 (48-ounce) cans clear chicken broth

1 cup rice vinegar

6 tablespoons Sichuan chili sauce

6 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons minced garlic

1 pound bean sprouts, rinsed and drained

1/2 pound Chinese pea pods, stringed

2 large onions, sliced

3 bunches green onions with tops, chopped

1 (14-ounce) can straw mushrooms, drained

1 (8-ounce) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained

2 (8-ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 pound bacon, diced

4 pounds fish fillet (cod, snapper or halibut)

1 (16-ounce) package frozen Oriental style vegetables

1 large can crunchy chow mein noodles

Soak noodles in hot water 30 minutes, then drain.

Combine chicken broth, rice vinegar, Sichuan chili sauce, sugar and garlic in large soup kettle. Simmer 10 minutes.

Combine bean sprouts, pea pods, onions, green onions, straw mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Set aside.

Fry bacon in large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Remove all but 4 tablespoons bacon drippings from skillet. Reheat pan and fry fish fillets just until done. Drain on paper towels.

Add cellophane noodles, fresh and frozen Oriental vegetables to broth mixture. Simmer until vegetables are tender-crisp. Serve hot topped with fried fish, bacon and chow mein noodles. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

--SHARON GABLE

Oxnard

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