Canh Chua Ca – Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish Soup



Get ready to cook some delicious Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish Soup..




  • 4 catfish steaks (500g)

  • salt, pepper, chili powder and chicken stock

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 tbsp garlic

  • 1 small tomato

  • 1.5 liters (6 cups) water

  • 2 tbsp (50g/2oz) tamarind pulp + 250ml (1 cup) water

  • 4 tbsp sugar

  • 4 tbsp fish sauce

  • 1/4 pineapple

  • 1-2 medium tomatoes

  • 6 lady's fingers (okra)

  • 1 elephant ear stem

  • 50g (2 oz) bean sprouts (1 cup)

  • 1 bunch rice paddy herbs

  • 1-2 sprigs sawtooth herb

  • 2 spring onions, chopped (optional)

  • salt, sugar, chicken stock, fish sauce to taste

  • red chili pepper


Cooking time!!!


  1. Firstly, we are going to slightly season the fish steaks with salt, pepper,  some chicken stock and chilli powder. Then lightly sprinkle the seasoning on the fish, making sure that you cover the seasoning on both sides of the fish. Then set aside for about 15 minutes.


  1. Next, we are going to cut the vegetables. Remove the core of the pineapple and slice thinly into bite size pieces. Then cut a tomato in half, remove the core and cut into wedges. For the ear elephant stem, just peel it and slice thinly. For okra (or lady finger), just remove the stem and also slice thinly on a diagonal angle. Typical herbs that we use for this soup is sawtooth herb and rice paddy herb which is super fragrant, without it you can not call this dish Vietnamese sweet and sour soup, so chop the herb up.


  1. Now in the soup pot on medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and fry 2 tbsp of minced garlic until slightly brown, then just pour it in a small bowl and set aside. This will be use to garnish the soup at the end.


  1. Fry some tomato and then pour 1,5 litres of water. In a separate small sauce pan, add one cup of water and 2 tbsp of tamarind pulp. Bring it to a boil water and use a spoon to break up the tamarind junk, this tamarind paste will makes our soup sour. Just cook for 2 minutes and then transfer it to the large soup pot to a sieve, use a spoon to press and to take the juice from the tamarind as much as possible.


  1. Into the soup, we are going to add 4 tbsp of sugar, 4 tbsp of fish sauce, then add the fish into the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the fish is ready on medium high heat and then remove the fish from the soup


  1. Now we can add in the vegetables. Pineapple and tomato go in first then the elẹphant ear stems, and okra. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then add in the beansprouts. Now , have a taste and adjust the broth to your liking with salt, sugar, fish sauce or chicken stock


  1. Just a minute before serving, return the fish into the soup to warm it up then add the herbs, just bring it to a boil again and transfer to a serving bowl.


  1. Finally, top up with the fried garlic in the beginning and some slices of fresh chili. The fragrance of the garlic makes a lot of different to the soup



That is all of sweet and sour fish soup, it is perfect for summer and also great for any other seasons and I hope you like it!

In Short!
Recipe Name
Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Fish Soup
Published On
Preparation Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Average Rating
5 Based on 2 Review(s)

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