Cookbook:Canh Chua

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Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Cuisine of Vietnam

Canh Chua is the Vietnamese "Hot & Sour" soup. It is closest to the Thai and the Cambodian Tom Yum Soup although it is more sweet and sour than its spicier counterparts. Somehow each family has its own Canh Chua recipe and sometimes, members from the same family has their own; mine is different from my parents, which is different from their parents.


For soup[edit]

  • 1 whole Cat fish or firm white fish
  • 1 quart (950ml) Water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons Nước mắm
  • ½ cup (120g) sour bamboo
  • ¼ fresh pineapple – core removed, cut lengthwise and sliced

For marinade[edit]

  • 2 scallions, remove green part and reserve for garnish – crush white part
  • 4 teaspoons Nước mắm
  • 1 teaspoons salt


  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander – chopped
  • Green part of scallions - chopped


Traditionally, the fish head is not removed, but if you prefer, it’s not necessary for this dish. Marinate the fish for 15 minutes with the crushed scallions, black pepper, 1 tsp salt, and 4 tsp Nước mắm.

Bring water to the boil. Add the sour bamboo and pineapple slices. Boil for 5 minutes. Add marinated fish and continue to boil for a total of 10 minutes. While the fish is boiling, add 2 tablespoons Nước mắm, and 1 teaspoon salt.

For serving, the soup can be garnished with coriander and the green part of scallions.