Recipe: Sweet Sour Fish Soup- Canh chua cá

Sweet Sour Fish Soup- Canh chua cá

By Helen Le Published: August 13, 2013

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Ready In: 35 mins

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Sweet and sour soup with fish and Vietnamese special herbs and garnish

  • Lightly season the catfish steaks with salt, pepper, chicken stock and chili powder. Gently rub the seasonings on both sides of the fish steaks.
  • In a soup pot, add vegetable oil and fry the minced garlic till golden brown. Then transfer to a small bowl. This fried garlic will be used to garnish the soup later. Keep some of the garlic oil in the pot, add the diced tomato and sautee for 1 minute. This helps to create a nice color for the broth (This step is optional). Then add water and bring to a boil.
  • 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 fiberous leftovers.
  • 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 beansprouts. Adjust the broth to your taste with salt, fish sauce and chicken stock. (For your reference, I add 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp chicken stock).
  • 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 chili pepper.

Post By Helen Le (313 Posts)

Since 2011 Helen has shared her Vietnamese home cooking video recipes on Youtube, helping viewers cook Vietnamese Food in the easiest, fastest and most authentic way possible. Subscribe to receive her newest videos for FREE:

Website: → Danang Cuisine


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2 comments on “Recipe: Sweet Sour Fish Soup- Canh chua cá

mausie sylvani

The only fish I eat are salmon and trout, I could use salmon, though, but, of the ingredients listed are kind of unknown to me: sawtooth herbs, elephant ears and paddy herbs.???!!!!


    Haha, sawtooth herbs are just cilantro! In place of elephant ears, you can use celery (chop it up the same way, about an inch thick with a diagonal cut). You don’t need rice paddy herbs if they are not available to you.
    Are you sure you don’t want to try catfish? It’s very good! You can get some at your grocery store’s seafood section, either catfish nuggets or catfish fillets (fillets taste better when you cut them yourself, nuggets are cheaper).
    My family uses a similar recipe… actually, no, it’s not very similar at all!
    I think it would be worth your while to try out this recipe though. Then again, your post was two years ago… who knows if you even use Disquis any more?

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