Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jan 31, 2012 06:04 PM

In Search of South Bay equivalent of "West Style fish fillet soup with 1000 Chilis"

I loved the Spicy Fish Soup from Foodtopia in Cupertino, but it is now closed. I am searching for the best version of this in Santa Clara County - Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mtn. View preferred.

I see on the Boards something very similar from China Village in Albany referred to as the 1000 Chili Fish Soup - including a picture which makes me think it is close.

Can I find this in the South Bay? I have tried a few places that have spicy fish soup, but their versions have been covered in chili oil and therefore are too hot for me. I would like a version with the floating red peppers that are taken out at the table.

thank you for any suggestions!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. China Village's West Style Spicy Fish Fillet isn't very spicy. The first time you have it you might expect it to be, from the layer of peppers they skim off, but they're not in there long enough to add much heat. It's basa filets in chicken broth.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I love the China Village version. It’s so comforting.

      This is what I do to spice it up:

      While they are removing the chilies ask them to leave a few in the soup.
      Put a chili pepper in your soup bowl when you take some soup. Cut open the chili pepper. The inside is filled with spicy liquid. Let the spicy juice inside the chili leak into your soup. I find that doing this adds just the perfect amount of heat to the soup and really increases the enjoyment for me. Try it!

    2. We had a version of water boiled fish at Z&Y that was tasty and not hot at all but it isn't technically soup (also happens to be my favourite Sichuan dish). There are a lot of chilis on top that get scooped off was listed as fish in chili oil on the menu

      3 Replies
      1. re: grayelf

        this is also one of my favorite dishes. the green onion pancake goes well with it too.

        1. re: grayelf

          theres a picture of Z&Y's dish here in the top row:
          It looks similar to Foodtopia's dish, except it appears to be fresh chilis, not dried like Foodtopia's. And the description of "flaming oil" seems like it would be hot, unlike Foodtopia's.

          1. re: mashemup

            FWIW they were dried at Z and Y when we had it, but still bright red per the photo. I've only had water-boiled fish with dried chiles... and I've never had one that was really spicy unless you scarf down the whole chiles, or get the one with ground chiles which are harder to avoid ingesting, though sometimes the huajiao if used can create a numbing effect. There was little or none of this in the Z and Y rendition. The oil that is used is very hot in temperature and often arrives at the table bubbling which might explain the flaming bit.

        2. Sichuan Fortune House in Pleasant Hill had this dish. It's different than the Sichuan "Boiled Fish" dish. It has a clear, thin ginger broth and is called "West Sichuan Style Spicy Fish Fillet Soup." I don't believe it's on the menu at Da Sichuan in Palo Alto, but you could call and see if they make it?

          1. When Trend Restaurant first opened in Mountain View, it served the dish you're looking for.

            But it has gone through a few iterations and is now called Trend China Bistro, so I can't vouch for the current quality. Still, might be worth a try - here's the online menu. Scan down to the "spicy" section.

            The dish you're trying to avoid is shui zhu yu (水煮鱼), one of the hottest dishes in the Sichuan repertoire and covered with an oil-bomb of hot peppers and sichuan peppercorns. It's B.3 Spicy boiled fish filet on the online menu.

            Nothing's jumping out at me as a translation for the fish soup with the chilis bobbing on top.

            Trend Restaurant
            400 Moffett Blvd, Mountain View, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Here's the Chinese name from China Village.