It’s been two weeks since we moved from North California to North Florida. Boy! Life is so so different here.

Having lived in Shanghai and San Francisco for the most part of my life, I considered myself a city girl. The transition from Shanghai to San Francisco wasn’t too bad because both cities offer super diverse culture, international environment, strong economy, Asian vibes, and last but not least, great public transportation!

However, the transition from San Francisco, CA to Jacksonville, FL is a totally different story.

It’s an interesting experience for me to live in a place where driving is absolutely required if I want to move my butt from home to…literally anywhere. I see no pedestrians on the streets but occasionally, raccoons. Comparatively, meeting ducks is easier than meeting people as there is usually a pond every two blocks in the area we live.

Another unexpected big difference is that we often get intruders from the back of our house under bright daylight. Extra caution is taken whenever I shoot food photos on the patio connecting the family room to the backyard. Otherwise, I am afraid that my whole scene will be ruined. Did I mention that they are a bunch of fat geese and lizards? The geese are not afraid to get close because my mother in law used to feed them with bread. It’s probably not good for them, but they surely know where to find food now.

Oh right! The backyard.

That’s new to me too. The entire yard is covered with thick green grass that requires lawn care every week! As someone who has only lived in apartments like me, that’s not something would EVER come into my mind, until now.

I remember that Han purposely closed every single door in the house before going to sleep on our first night in the house. When he reached out to the bathroom door and closet door in our bedroom, I couldn’t stay quiet anymore and asked why.

“I think you are scared. You think the house is too big.” His response left me frozen with question marks popping up in my head.

Really? Was I scared? I am not sure. What’s certain is that it’s going to take me some time to get used to the fact that it costs the same amount of money to buy a parking space in San Francisco as to buy a 4-bed house in Jacksonville and the house is considered small in Florida.

While trying to digest all the changes slowly, San Francisco is still on the back of my head. What do I miss the most? Our friends and the FOOD!

On my god! San Francisco has the best food from all over the world. For example, my first Burmese meal happened there. I haven’t been to Burma yet, so I can’t really justify it’s legit or not. But I can say this out loud – it’s freaking delicious and unique!

The restaurant is called Burma Superstar. It’s rewarded as the best Burmese restaurant in San Francisco Bay Area. If you find the line is too long (most of the time, it is!), walk two blocks towards north to Mandalay Restaurant, the first Burmese restaurant in San Francisco. The food is just as good but the line is much shorter. One of my favorite dishes there is the Fish Chowder. Now that we are not in SF anymore, I think it’s time to make my own.

It starts with cooking potatoes and carrots in boiling diluted chicken broth. Then we blend the tender vegetables with white onion and cilantro to form a creamy chowder base. Wholesome!

Our fish is baked so that it retains the most nutritions and flavor. Adding small fish pieces into the chowder base lightens up the already healthy orange color with lovely white bits. Beautiful!

Season and enjoy with a squeeze of lemon juice. Delicious!

It’s creamy and rich but not too heavy.
It’s freshly appetizing and so darn healthy.
It’s gorgeous and of course, fishy.
It’s perfect to comfort your stomach during winter.
…And, it’s surprisingly easy to make. Seriously.

Give this Wholesome Fish Chowder a try and I promise that you will love it.

Showing up fully exactly where you are is the fastest way to get to where you want to go.Marie Forleo

Here I am, bringing my full energy, attention and enthusiasm to cook this fish chowder, to write to you, and to embrace every moment of the present at the southeast corner of America. Cheers!

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Wholesome Fish Chowder

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  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
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Baked fish boasted in a healthy creamy chowder base with fresh veggies like potatoes and carrots. This Wholesome Fish Chowder is uber healthy and delicious!


Units Scale
  • 1 lb tilapia fillet (I used 4 frozen fillets)
  • 1 lb yellow potatoes
  • 12 oz carrots
  • 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 2 tsps Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Thaw fish and pat dry with a paper towel. Brush fish with olive oil. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper on each fillet.
  2. Lay prepared fish fillets in a baking dish without overlap. Bake for 14 minutes.
  3. While fish is baking, add chicken broth and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a rapid boil.
  4. Peel and chop up carrots and potatoes. Place them in the boiling broth, then reduce heat to medium-high. Cover to cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Transfer vegetables and just enough broth into a blender, add cilantro and onion, and blend for 10 seconds or until smooth. Now you’ve made a wholesome chowder base.
  6. Return chowder base into the same sauce pan.
  7. Use a fork to break cooked fish into small pieces and transfer fish pieces into the chowder base.
  8. Add Old Bay Seasoning and stir well. Simmer for 5 more minutes over medium heat.
  9. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.


I love using homemade chicken broth for this recipe. Here’s how to make yummy chicken broth at home, plus you get a few cups of perfect shredded chicken.


  • Serving Size: 6

About the Author

Sharon Chen, StreetSmart Kitchen

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.