A Deliciously Tasty Mexican Fish Soup Recipe

One of the best dishes you will enjoy from the shores of Mexico is the Mexican Fish Soup Recipe. This classic dish embodies the spices and flavor of this beautiful country with the overflowing seafood that is readily available just off the beaches. This soup is one that you can make your own to fit your personal taste and flavor palette for your family and friends.

Mexican Fish Soup Origins

For hundreds of years, Mexican communities off of the coast have enjoyed seafood as a primary protein in their daily diets. When the Spanish moved into Mexico hundreds of years ago, they brought with them spices and a flair for seafood soup similar to their French neighbors. With the base of the soup being a blend of seafood broth and spicy tomato, the flavors embody the Mexican culture.

Gathering Your Ingredients

When you make Mexican Fish Soup, there are so many options and flavors you can add. The recipe below, however, packs a small punch of heat, but is fully flavorful and a great option no matter who you are planning to dine with.

  • Four fish fillets or one whole fish
  • Two cans of tomato sauce
  • Eight cups of seafood broth
  • One small onion
  • 1/2 cup of pickled jalapenos
  • Two garlic cloves or two tablespoons of minced garlic
  • Three fresh or dried bay leaves
  • Two diced carrots
  • Two diced Russet potatoes or six small red potatoes
  • One tablespoon of either Adobo or Chipotle seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • LIme wedges
  • Cilantro


When it comes to the actual fish you will be using for your Mexican fish soup, you can choose from snapper, salmon or swordfish for the meatiest flavor. If you are not able to get these fish, any frozen white fish will also work. You will need to thaw them out first, however, and you may want to add a couple of additional fillets to the recipe.

When it comes to the fish or seafood broth, you can use seafood bouillon and mix with eight cups of water if you cannot find the seafood broth in liquid form. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, you can also make your own seafood or fish broth from scratch. You’ll want to do that before you start your soup though and have it ready.

Jalapenos are optional, as they give a mild spicy flavor to the soup. If you do not want much spice, you can omit these peppers. If you think you a little more spice, you can a few dried chilies in its place to pack a hotter punch.

If you are looking for less calories and not as much starch in your diet, you can sub out the potato and carrots as veggies in the soup. Cabbage, celery or calabacitas have less starch and still give the soup that crunch that you are looking for. They also do not take as long to cook, shaving off about ten minutes from the overall cooking time.

Begin Building Your Soup

Once you have all your ingredients gathered, either premade or homemade, it is time to start building your soup. This process will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour for both preparation and cook time.

1. Prepare your Veggies

The first thing you need to do is start dicing and breaking down the root vegetables. The potatoes and carrots need to be diced up so that they can cook evenly and at the same rate as the rest of the ingredients in the soup. You do not want large chunks because they take longer to break down.

You should also begin dicing your onion and fresh garlic if that’s what you chose. Your pickled jalapenos can also be diced and chopped up so that they spread evenly through the soup.

2. Prepare the Fish

Whatever fish you opted for, it is time to prepare it for the soup. If you have a whole fish, you need to clean, scale and fillet the meat. Once it is off to the side, you can dice up the pieces you plan to use in large chunks and the waste from the fish can be added to your compost.

3. Build Your Base

In a large soup pot on medium high heat, add your olive oil for about 60 seconds. Once it is warm, add the tomato sauce and let it start boiling. Once you see a small boil beginning, add in your seafood stock to the pot and let it warm.

4. Add Your Veggies

You do not have to wait for the broth to boil. Go ahead and add in your potatoes, carrots, and bay leaves. It will take between five and ten minutes, but the soup will start to boil and the vegetables will begin tenderizing. Let the soup continue to do a rolling boil until your potatoes and carrots are tender

5. Bring it all Together

Once your vegetables are tender, you can add your fish to the soup. Your fish only needs between five and seven minutes to cook on medium heat. After five minutes, bring the temperature down to simmer, cover your soup, stir, and let the flavors marry together for the next five minutes.

During this time, grab your limes and cut them into wedges and do a rough chop on the cilantro. Place both of them in their own serving dishes and make them available for garnishes.

Ladle your finished soup into serving dishes and top with your favorite garnish.

Storing Your Leftovers

If you made a lot of Mexican fish soup for meal prep or for a large group, you may have some leftovers that you need to store. This soup can keep safely in the refrigerator for three days. If you would prefer to freeze your leftovers, make sure they are sealed tight in freezer safe bags and they can remain safe and hold the flavor up to six months.

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