Ukha (Russian Fish Soup)

Here’s a Russian favorite. Ukha, sometimes also spelled as Uha, is a Russian “fish soup” which is mostly just fish broth. The story goes that Russian fishermen would prepare this soup in the woods on open fire using the day’s catch.

The recipe is loose but revolves around making the fish broth. Almost any kind of fresh water fish can be utilized, but small, young fish are more common. We used store bought perch that was only gutted, not scaled or beheaded. Tried to keep things authentic but convenient at the same time.


  • 1 kg fresh fish (fillet of atlantic salmon)
  • 2 medium size potatoes
  • 2 medium size carrots
  • 1 medium parsley root
  • 1 onion
  • 5-6 bay leaves
  • 10-15 black peppercorns
  • Fresh dill
  • Salt
  • Small slice of lemon per serving


  • Fill cooking pot with 100 oz (3 liters) of cold water, take pot big enough as you will need to fit there all water, fish and vegetables. So make sure you have at least 2-2.5 inches of pot above the water after you fill it. Put cooking pot on the burner on moderate heat.
  • Prepare fish if it is not ready yet. Scale it (if needed), wash in cold water and slice into big pieces.
  • Wash and skin potatoes, parsley root, carrots and onions. Dice potatoes. Slice carrots. Cut parsley root into 4 pieces, I usually remove boiled parsley root from the pot after fish soup is ready and it is easier to do when it is cut into bigger pieces, if you want to serve it with your soup you may slice it as you usually do for the other soups. Pierce whole onion in several places with a knife:
  • Add salt to the pot when water begin to boil. Add all vegetables you’ve prepared at step 3 to the boiling water.
  • Boil vegetables till the moment when potatoes get almost ready (depends of the side of potato dices it can take from 8 to 12 minutes). Add all bay leaves and all black peppercorns.
  • Let pot content to boil for 2-3 minutes. Add fish to the pot and keep it boiling for 7-8 minutes.
  • Wash and chop dill, add to the soup. Try the taste and add more salt if you feel like it. Boil for 2-3 minutes more and turn the burner off.
  • Put a slice of lemon to the soup bow, put piece of fish, some potatoes and carrots. Let it stay for several minutes before serving. Don’t serve onion and parsley.

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