Canh Chua Tom, Sour Soup with Shrimp

Yesterday was a Friday in our house. It was the last day of my husband’s service week and now he deservingly gets a few days off… which means a bit more help at home for me! yay.

I’ve been making Canh Chua more often lately. It’s so simple and comforting. I definitely didn’t appreciate the soup as much when I was younger and now that I’m older (and wiser) I can appreciate it for it’s nutrition and the memories of my parents making it for us. I’m trying to introduce as much foods to my kids while they’re young in hopes of having them appreciate it also when they’re older.

My parents and my husband’s parents as well, didn’t put fried garlic on the soup but I really enjoy the extra note of flavor that it adds. This soup is so versatile in that you can add as much or little protein or vegetables that you like. I like a lot of broth in my soup so I tend to be cautious with how much vegetables I put in. But if you like more, feel free to add more, and if you think I’m adding too much..feel free to add less! ahh the beauty of cooking for yourself =)

Typically served with Braised Claypot Fish (which is really good too), but my dad usually did fried salmon and I like doing the same. Served with some fresh or pickled veggies and dipping sauce….it’s nearly a perfect Vietnamese meal!

Canh Chua Tom
6 cups water or chicken broth
2-3 roma tomatoes quartered  (about 1/5-2 cups) (1/2 cup for stir-frying)
1 1/2 cup pineapple
2 Tbs vegetable oil
3 Tbs minced garlic
1/4 chopped shallots
1 cup ngo om
1 cup culantro
1 1/2 cup chopped okra
1 1/2 cup elephant ear stem (peel, cut in small slices and soak in salt water)
1 lb shrimp
4 Tbs tamarind concentrate
3 Tbs fish sauce
1 inch rock sugar (30 grams)
2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt (1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised (optional)
2 slices of ginger
1 kaffir lime leaf

Marinate shrimp with 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and back pepper
Fry garlic, remove for later
Using garlic oil, sauté, shallots and lemongrass, ginger
Add shrimp and sauté for 1 minute, remove to plate
Add pineapple and sautee for 1 minute
Add tomatoes and sautee for 1 minute
Add water and sugar and bring to boil
add tamarind and lime leaf, stir
Bring to boil
Add fish sauce and salt, 
Simmer 5 minutes
Add okra and elephant ear steam
Simmer another 1 minutes
Simmer 3-5 minutes
Add tomatoes
Add shrimp
Once shrimp is cooked taste broth and adjust as necessary
And add herbs and bean sprouts.
Add fried garlic (remove lime leaf and lemon grass stalk)

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