Traditional Russian Fish Soup Recipe - Ukha

Small pie traditional Russian fish pie and fish so
Zoryana Ivchenko / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
232 Calories
2g Fat
6g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 232
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 1230mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 57mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 650mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are as many recipes for traditional Russian fish soup, known as or uha, as there are cooks in Russia. It can be made elegantly with clear fish stock and served with a side of mini fish dumplings known as pelmeni or mini fish pies (kulebiak). Or it can be very rustic and flavorful as I have done here. This is my adaptation using walleyed pike, but any white-fleshed or even salmon can be used. Traditionally, it is made with fish heads and bones as well as different types of fillets. This soup is hearty enough to be eaten as a main course.


  • 2 pounds cod, or pike, perch, or salmon fillet, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1/2 pound fish heads, and/or bones

  • 8 cups water

  • 2 medium onions, sliced

  • 1 stalk celery, chopped

  • 2 large carrots, sliced

  • Black peppercorns, to taste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 sprigs parsley

  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

  • Fresh dill, optional, for garnish

  • Chives, chopped, optional, for garnish

  • Green onions, chopped, optional, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. In a medium-large saucepan, place fish bones and water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Add onions, celery, carrots, peppercorns, parsley, and salt and again bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove bones and strain, if desired, pressing on the vegetables to extract all the juices. We leave the vegetables in.

  2. Add fish pieces and simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until fish is cooked. Serve in heated bowls with fresh dill or chopped chives or green onions, if desired. Traditionally, the fish soup would be served with mini fish dumplings or mini fish pies.