8th November 2014

Japanese-style fish soup with cockles and prawns

By MaitreMarcel

From time to time, I go to a Japanese shop in the area around the rue Sainte Anne in Paris, where there are many Japanese restaurants and travel agents. I stock up on some instant soups, seaweed, sesame, yuzu and dashi – a yellow soy paste.

On the outdoor market in our village, the fishmonger had cockles, live prawns and cheek of cod. I combined this into a very nice and healthy soup.  Freshly cooked prawns have a much better taste than pre-cooked prawns.


  • One tablespoon of dashi
  • One sachet of bonito stock
  • One leek
  • Three cheeks of cod
  • 200 grams of prawns
  • 200 grams of cockles
  • Tapioca “pearls”
  • Japanese pepper with seaweed
  • White pepper
  • Some coriander leaves
  • Water


  1. Bring one litre of water to the boil, add a tablespoon of dashi and mix.
  2. Cook until you have an even yellow liquid.
  3. Add the fish stock and cook and mix for a few minutes
  4. Add the tapioca (called ‘Pearls of Japan’ in French) and cook for 20 minutes until the tapioca has turned into small transparent balls.
  5. Slice the cod and put the cockles in a small pan with a little bit of water. Heat for 5 minutes, drain above the soup liquid and let them cool.
  6. Slice a leek.
  7. Add the cod to the soup and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Add the leek and cook for another 15 minutes.
  9. Take the cockles from their shells.
  10. Put some olive oil in a skillet, heat and add the prawns. Stir-fry until they are pink, set aside on paper towels to remove the oil. Let them cool down and shell the prawns.
  11. Wash and dry the coriander and cut it up.
  12. Add the cockles and prawns to the soup and stir.
  13. Add the Japanese pepper and stir.
  14. Heat until warm and add some twists of the white pepper mill and sprinkle coriander over the soup.  Present.

Optional – you could add raw oyster to the soup, some soy sauce or hot sauce, spring onion, peas.