Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish Soup (Canh Chua Ca Loc Recipe)

  • Preparation: 25 mins
  • Cooking: 15 mins
  • Skill level: Medium
  • Servings: 4

Description Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish Soup Recipe (Canh Chua Cá Lóc)

Also known as Vietnamese tamarind fish soup, Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish Soup (Canh Chua Ca Loc) is a light and refreshingly fragrant soup, making use of fresh herbs and pineapple. The recipe calls for the firm white-fleshed mullet, also called mud-fish, which has a strong "fishy" flavor. Red snapper or catfish fillets may also be used.


  • 4 cups (1 liter) water
  • 1 lb (500 g) fresh snapper, mullet or catfish fillets, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) sliced pineapple
  • 2 okra (lady's fingers), sliced
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) sliced taro stems or celery
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) tamarind juice
  • 1/4 cup (10 g) bean sprouts
  • 1 ripe tomato, cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Crispy Fried Shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint leaves (about 40 leaves/5 g)
  • Sprigs of coriander leaves (cilantro), to garnish

Method Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish Soup Recipe (Canh Chua Cá Lóc)

1, Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan and poach the fish for 3 to 5 minutes until just cooked. Remove from the heat and transfer the fish to a large serving bowl. Strain the fish stock.
2, Return the clear fish stock to the pan and bring to a boil again over high heat. Add the pineapple, chili, okra and taro stems or celery, and mix well. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tamarind juice, bean sprouts and tomato, and bring the mixture to a boil again, skimming off any foam that floats to the surface. Season the soup with the fish sauce and sugar, and remove from the heat.
3, Pour the hot soup over the fish and top with Crispy Fried Shallots, mint leaves and coriander leaves (cilantro). Serve hot.

Chef's Note

If using canned pineapple, drain the syrup and reduce the amount of sugar used.

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