Fish and Tomato Soup-Canh Ca voi Ca Chua

Vietnamese food

Make 4 serving
1 lb fresh fish, whole or portions, scaled and gutted, but keep the head and bone for more flavor
3 medium tomato, cut into wedges
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 few sprigs of cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
1 small shallot or 1/4 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cups of water or fish stock, chicken stock, or canned pineapple juice
2 Tbs fish sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 small red hot chili, seeded and thinly sliced
Cooked rice or vermicelli and fish sauce dip to serve

In a medium sauce pan, bring the liquid to boil.  Add garlic, shallot, fish sauce, salt, sugar, and ground black pepper, .  Do not use sugar if use pineapple juice.  If use fish stock or chicken stock, taste the fish stock first, if it is salty enough then omit fish sauce and salt. Add fish and tomatoes, bring it back to a boil.  Then turn down the heat to simmer (medium low or lower) taste and adjusted seasoning if needed:  it should taste slightly salty with a hint of sweet and sour.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Check to make sure the fish cooked, no more transparent color inside. Add green onion, cilantro, hot chili (omit if spicy is a matter).  Serve warm or hot with cooked rice, vermicelli.
Fish sauce dip:
   1 Tbs fish sauce
   Juice from 1 slice of lime
   A few slices of red hot chili
Mix them together in a small dip bowl and use to dip poached fish pieces.

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