Literally translated Canh Chua means sour soup. However the flavors carried by this soup are far more than just sour. There are many versions of Canh Chua the recipe below is the basic recipe. Adjust the ingredients to create what ever version you’re in the mood for.

-1lb “meat” (see below)
-1 stalk Bạc Hà (taro stem)
-1/2lb bean sprouts
-1 stalk celery
-1/2 pineapple
-1 medium tomato
-1/3 lb okra
-tamarind soup base or sour tamarind
-fish sauce
-jalapeño peppers (optional)
-ngò gai (saw tooth herb)
-ngò om (rice patty herb)
-fried shallots
-3 cloves garlic

What to Do:
If using fresh sour tamarind; soak tamarind in hot water (about 100g tamarind in 1 cup of water) for 1 hour and strain, use the “tamarind juice” to flavor the soup. Peel taro stem and slice into thin pieces. Slice tomato and pineapple into bite size pieces. Cut okra into half or into slices. Slice celery into thin pieces. Peel and mince garlic. Chop cilantro, basil, saw tooth herb, and rice patty herb.

Heat1 tbs oil in a pot and fry garlic until fragrant, add stir “meat”, and fish sauce stir fry for a few more minutes. Add water sugar, salt, and tamarind juice or tamarind soup base. Bring the soup to a boil and give it a taste test, all flavors (sweet, sour, and salty) should be the same. Add in veggies and bring the soup back to a boil before serving. Garnish with chopped herbs, jalapeno slices and fried shallots.

Meat Choices/Versions:
Canh Chua Cá Bông Lau (Cat Fish):
>>Use Catfish Slices

Canh Chua Tôm (Prawns):
>>Use prawns, with head if possible.

Canh Chua Gà (Chicken):
>>Use chicken breast or thighs.

Canh Chua Chay (Vegan):
>>Omit garlic, use tofu (fresh and fried), and straw mushrooms.

Comments (2)

On 3:08 PM , Anonymous said...

mmmmmm, my favourite "regular" dish. i can eat this every night and not get sick of it.

On 11:55 AM , Helen in Houston said...

Oh my - I have been looking for this recipe for so long. Thank you, thank you for posting it.