Canh Chua – My Sunshine Soup

Canh Chua is one of my favourite Vietnamese soups. Always best when my mother makes it and we share it together over some steamed rice. The whole fish then goes into a separate plate with good fish sauce and crushed birsdeye chillis. Its a sweet, sour and hot fish soup. Sometimes, I even use chicken stock instead of water to give it more depth. It is very quick to prepare and it always reminds me of my mum’s happy face, the sunshine and being in Vietnam – standing at the edge of water, on sand and flying my kite.

Ingredients for 4
2 fillet of seabass/ or whole seabass/ seabream/ salmon
2 tomatoes quartered
1/4 pineapple – cubed
12 inch stick of taro toot (also called elephant ear) (optional) – peeled and thinly sliced
50g beansprouts
10g rice paddy herb or coriander/ sweet basil/ vietnamese parsley – crossly chopped
1 lime
1  tps sugar
1 tbs fish sauce
500ml water (good quality chicken stock – optional)
1 chilli – sliced
2 small shallots – diced
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped

In a large sauce pan, bring water to boil then add tomatoes, pineapple and the juice of a lime. Add sugar and fish sauce. Taste and adjust the balance. Add more sour if it is too sweet, more sugar if too salty and more salty if too sweet. Bring to the boil for a further 2 minutes then add the fillet or a whole fish – bring to the boil again for another 2 minutes.

In a separate frying pan, brown off the shallots then add the garlic.
in a serving bowl, add the raw beansprouts, taro root and chilli. Then add the fried shallots and garlic on top.

Once the soup is ready, pour the entire contents into the serving bowl. The hot broth should cook the beansprouts and the taro root soaks in the broth like a crunchy sponge.

Sprinkle the herbs on top. Serve with steamed rice, with vermicelli or on its own.
You can also use prawns, squid and different types of seafood as an option. Fish heads always bring out a great flavour or not at all for Vegetarians.

This recipe has been commissioned by Seewoo.