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Sweet Sour Fish Soup – Canh Chua Cá

Ease of Cooking
Moderate

Method of Cooking
Boiling

Prep Time
10 minutes

Cooking Time
30 minutes

Yield
5 to 7 serving

Ingredients

  • 500 grams catfish steak
  • 1 pinch salt, pepper, chilli powder and chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1 red chilli pepper sliced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 7 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulps
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ¼ pineapple, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 medium tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 6 lady fingers (okra), thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 elephant ear stem, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 50 grams bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch rice paddy herbs, chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs sawtooth herb and spring onion

Method

1. Lightly season the catfish steaks with salt, pepper, chicken stock and chilli powder. Gently rub the seasonings on both sides of the fish steaks.

2. In a soup pot, add vegetable oil and fry the minced garlic till golden brown. Transfer the fried garlic to a small bowl (to be used as garnish for the soup later) but keep a little of the garlic oil in the pot. add the diced tomato and sauté for 1 minute. This helps to create a nice colour for the broth ( optional). Then add water and bring to a boil.

3. In a separate small saucepan, cook the tamarind pulp with 1 cup water for 2 minutes. Use a spatula or a spoon to break up the tamarind chunks. Then pour this liquid into the above soup pot through a sieve. Use a spoon to press and force as much tamarind through the sieve as possible. Scape the tamarind at the bottom of the sieve into the soup. Discard the leftover fiber..

4. Add sugar and fish sauce to the soup. Then add the fish steaks and cook on medium high for 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Then remove the fish from the soup. Add tomatoes, pineapple, okra, elephant ear stem, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add bean sprouts. Adjust the broth to your taste with salt, fish sauce and chicken stock. (I add 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp chicken stock).

5. 1 minute before serving, reheat the soup, return the fish to the pot and add the chopped herbs. Save some for garnish. Transfer the soup to a large serving soup bowl, garnish with fried garlic and red chilli pepper.

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