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Sweet Sour Fish Soup (Vietnamese Canh Chua)

Sweet Sour Fish Soup (Vietnamese Canh Chua)

This recipe is a traditional Vietnamese Recipe. Another must try recipe. This soup is not just sour but with a very balanced sweet and sour soup with a variety of vegetables.

Sweet Sour Fish Soup (Vietnamese Canh Chua)


  • 500g catfish steak (or other firm fish; salmon, mullet, red snapper)
  • 1 pinch salt, pepper, chili powder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 x 2″ Spring Onion, slanted (white part only)
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 red chili pepper, sliced in slanted
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 6 cup water
  • ½ cup tamarind juice (or use Sinigang Mix alternatively)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • ¼ cup pineapple chunks
  • 1-2 medium tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 6 okra thinly sliced in slanted
  • ½ cup Celery, slanted
  • 50 g bean sprout
  • 2 Tablespoon minced mint leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Fried Shallots
  • 1-2 sprigs of coriander to garnish


  1. Preparation: Season the catfish steaks with salt, pepper, and chili powder and rub the seasonings on both sides of the fish.
  2. In a stock pot, add vegetable oil and sauté garlic and spring onion until golden brown. Add the fish and cook both sides for 1 minute. Then, remove the fish. Pour in water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Then, add sugar and fish sauce to the soup. Next, add in pineapple, okra, celery, and cook for 1-2 minutes, adjust heat to medium and simmer for additional 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Add bean sprouts, tamarind juice, and tomato, and bring the mixture to the boil, skimming off any foam.
  5. Adjust the broth seasoning according to your taste with salt, fish sauce, and sugar. Turn off the heat. 
  6. Just before serving, reheat the soup, return the fish to the pot. Transfer the soup to a large serving soup bowl, garnish with fried shallots, mint leaves, coriander, and red chili pepper. 
  7. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!