Sweet and Sour Fish Soup
I love it. Most of the family loves it. But it is an acquired taste. Fiance's mum uses catfish but I use pompano.
Gut the fish and rub it down with salt and let it sit for about 10-20 minutes. Afterwards rinse and place in a pot of water with some salt and let it
boil for a while (until you're confident the raw fishiness smell and flavor is out of it). I usually cut the fish into sections for this part. Dump
the water and set fish aside. (If you haven't removed any fins, now's your chance. They come off easily and without the need of a knife. I just pull
them off with my fingers.)
Cut 2-3 tomatoes into wedges.
Mince 2-4 green onions.
Mince a few cloves of garlic.
Cut pineapple into chunks (if you don't have a can of chunks and only a fresh pineapple. If it IS from a can, make sure it's the kind NOT in
Peel the outer layer of several taro stalks and then cut them into bite sized pieces. (This is my favorite part of the dish, so I put HEAPS of it
Break into small pieces several sprigs of vietnamese rice patty herbs (my fiance loves the flavor from these so we usually do a large handful. I would
suggest adding to taste as you go.)
And a large handful of bean sprouts.
And for the soup itself you'll need...
The flavor you'll be aiming for is strong but not overwhelming. The fish sauce works like salt, tamarind (in case you don't know what it is. I know
I didn't know until I made this recipe the first time) is the sour, and the sugar is... well... sweet. You'll want to find a balance of all three. I
can't give measurements because we go by taste as we go along.
STOP. Before you begin making the base, you'll want to saute the green onions and garlic in your soup pot. Once they start to appear slightly brown
around the edges you'll add your water and your fish. Make sure the water level is high enough to cover the fish and deep enough to submerge your
other ingredients. You'll want to add your tomatoes and pineapple now.
At this point I usually start to add in the tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, and rice patty herbs until i'm satisfied with the flavor. Once the soup
comes to a boil, I add the taro stalks and let them cook for only a few minutes. You want them soft but still with a little "crunch" to them. Then I
add the bean sprouts very last and turn the heat off (once again, you don't want to overcook the bean sprouts, just like the taro stalk.).
Soup is ready at this point. Just serve over white rice or serve without.
I would highly suggest looking around for a recipe that gives appropriate measurements if it's your first time, since you probably don't know what
to expect for the general taste of the dish. There are several variations to this recipe also with different cooking instructions. I find many include
okra, but I haven't found a way to include the okra without making the soup slimey (but I know it can be done! My fiance's mom manages it.)
I love this recipe. Wish I could have some right now.