Friday, November 22, 2013

Canh Chua Ca - Vietnamese Sour Soup with Salmon

Canh Chua Ca (Vietnamese Sour Soup with Fish)
This is one of my favorite traditional Vietnamese soup. It is loaded with tasty vegetables and fresh herbs. In Vietnam people usually use catfish in this soup, but I like to use either salmon or shrimp.

Canh Chua Ca

2 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
Rock Sugar, or granulated sugar
Fish sauce
2 stalks of lemongrass (Bruised and cut into 3 part length wise)
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced shallot
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Medium size salmon filet or 2 small salmon steak
3 Celery stalks (peeled and cut 1 inch thick on a bias)
3 Roma tomatoes (cut into wedges)
2 Cups of fresh or canned pineapple (cut into chunks)
1/2 lb Okra
1 Medium size king oyster mushroom (peeled and cut 1 inch thick on a bias) - Optional
2 stalks of taro stem (peeled and cut 1 inch thick on a bias)
1 lb Bean sprout
1 Cup ngo om (coarsely chopped)- Ngo om is rice paddy herb
1/2 Cup ngo gai (coarsely chopped)- Ngo gai is sawtooth herb
2 Thai chili (think
3 Tbsp fried shallots - optional


1. In a frying pan add 2 tablespoon of oil and fry salmon on medium-low heat until fish is completely cooked. Set fish aside.
2. In a stock pot heat up a tablespoon of cooking oil on low heat. Add minced garlic, shallot, tamarind paste, and lemongrass. Sautee everything for a couple of minutes until garlic and the shallot is slightly brown. 
3. Pour 2 quarts of water into the stock pot, add the pineapple, and bring stock to a boil.
4. Add tomato, taro stem, celery, oyster mushroom, and okra. Cook soup for 5-6 minutes or until vegetable are slightly soften.
5. Add fish sauce, sugar, and cooked salmon. Continue to cook soup for an additional 5 minutes, remove from heat then add bean sprout. 
6. Before serving top soup off with ngo om, ngo gai, fried shallots, and thai chili.