Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup: A Step-by-Step Guide
Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup, or Canh Chua, is a traditional Vietnamese soup that combines sweet, sour and spicy flavors in one delicious bowl. It’s typically made with a fish broth base, tamarind paste for tartness, pineapple for sweetness and chili paste or bird’s eye chilies to add heat. Fish sauce and fresh herbs are then added to finish the soup.
Not only is Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup a robust blend of vital nutrients, but its preparation is also straightforward, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced cooks. The ingredients like fish, pineapple, and herbs are loaded with vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthier body. What’s more, the unique harmony of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors is incredibly satisfying, ensuring each spoonful is a delightful experience. This makes Canh Chua the perfect soup to savor during the holiday season, offering a comforting yet exciting culinary journey within the confines of your home.
- 2 quarts fish broth (substituting by water or chicken broth)
- 3-4 tsp of tamarind paste (substituting by lemon juice)
- 1 lb of shrimp
- 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pineapple, diced into small pieces
- 2 elephant ear stalks
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- Fresh herbs (cilantro, Thai basil, mint)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chili paste or bird’s eye chilies (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of fried garlic (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients
Start by cleaning the shrimp thoroughly. Make sure to devein them by removing the black line along the back of the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp and set aside.
Next, you will need to rinse the cilantro, Thai basil, elephant ear stalks and mint thoroughly under running water. If the okra is big, cut it in half or into thirds.
For the elephant ear stalks, peel off the outer layer using a knife, then finely chop it into segments of about 3 cm each. Make sure all the herbs are well-cleaned and fresh. Once they are rinsed and chopped, set them aside.
Step 2: Cook the Broth
Add the fish broth into a pot and heat it over a medium flame. Once the broth is warm, stir in the tamarind paste until it is fully dissolved. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
As the broth begins to gently simmer, it’s time to add the seasonings. Add the fish sauce, sugar, salt and chilli paste to taste. Go easy on the sugar at this point, as the subsequent ingredients will naturally sweeten the broth further. Stir the broth to ensure the seasonings are well incorporated and the flavors are balanced.
Step 3: Add the Remaining Ingredients
Next, into the simmering pot, add the shrimp, pineapple, tomatoes, and elephant ear stalks. Allow them to cook together for about 7 minutes, or until the shrimp are fully cooked and the elephant ear stalks are tender.
Once the shrimp are cooked and the elephant ear stalks are tender, turn off the heat. Now, it’s time to add the herbs and bean sprouts into the pot. Stir the bean sprouts into the soup, allowing the residual heat to cook them slightly. Then, cover the pot and let it sit until you’re ready to serve.
Step 4: Serve the Soup
When ready to serve, reheat the soup until it’s warmed to your liking. Ladle the hot soup into individual bowls, ensuring a good portion of shrimp, vegetables, and broth in each. For an added burst of flavor and a touch of elegance, you can garnish with a sprinkle of fried garlic and pepper on top. The garlic not only adds a delightful crunch but also imparts an irresistible aroma that enhances the overall sensory appeal of the Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup. Sit back and enjoy this comforting bowl of culinary delight.
Variations of Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup
Just like many Vietnamese dishes, the recipe for Canh Chua can greatly vary, showcasing the diversity and versatility of Vietnamese cuisine. Each family has their unique interpretation of this soup, subtly adjusting the balance of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors or introducing different ingredients to create their own signature dish. Vietnamese families often prepare Canh Chua with fish or pork ribs.
However, there’s also a delightful vegan version of this soup. Instead of using fish sauce and fish broth, you can use plain water for the broth and add more vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu to keep the soup hearty and nutritious. This vegan rendition allows those following a plant-based diet to enjoy Canh Chua’s unique combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. So, whether you’re a meat-lover or a vegan, there’s a version of Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup that you can enjoy. It just goes to show the adaptability of this traditional dish to cater to various dietary preferences and lifestyles.
Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup, or Canh Chua, is a traditional Vietnamese soup that can be enjoyed by everyone. With its robust blend of sweet, sour and spicy flavors along with nutritious ingredients like fish, pineapple, herbs and vegetables, this comforting bowl of goodness is sure to please the taste buds. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this easy-to-prepare soup is a great choice for any occasion. So, why not give this traditional Vietnamese soup a try today? You’re sure to love it!
Why Is Hot And Sour Soup So Good?
Canh Chua is a traditional soup from Vietnam that has an irresistible combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. The ingredients used in this soup are full of vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthier body. Furthermore, its unique balance of flavors make it both comforting yet exciting at the same time.
Is Vietnamese Hot And Sour Soup Healthy?
Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup is a very healthy soup, especially when made with fresh ingredients. Its main ingredients are full of vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthier body. Furthermore, it’s a low-calorie dish that’s highly nutritious.
Does Canh Chua Require Many Ingredients?
The recipe for Canh Chua doesn’t require many ingredients. It’s a simple dish that can be cooked with just a few basic items. The main ingredients are fish, vegetables, pineapple, and herbs. You can also add other ingredients to the soup depending on your preference.
What Vietnamese Soup Is Similar To Sinigang?
Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup, or Canh Chua, is the Vietnamese equivalent to the Filipino dish sinigang. Both dishes feature a blend of sweet, sour and spicy flavors. The main difference between these two soups lies in their ingredients: sinigang usually has pork or beef while Canh Chua typically uses fish or shrimp. However, the overall flavor profile and cooking techniques are very similar.
What Country Is Hot And Sour Soup From?
Hot and sour soup originates from China. The Chinese variation of this soup is typically meat-based, often incorporating ingredients such as day lily buds, bamboo shoots, and tofu. The broth which forms the basis of this soup is sometimes flavored with pork blood, infusing the soup with a rich and distinctive taste. This contrasts with the Vietnamese version, but both share an appealing balance of hot and sour flavors, making them popular choices in their respective cuisines.
I’m Godfrey Jensen, CEO and head chef at Lapps Meats. We’re a top-quality butcher with over 70 years of experience. Our goal is to provide our customers with the best, freshest products possible. We take our food seriously, and we love serving the community by providing them with quality meat products.