Canh Chua Ca

Canh Chua Ca

If you love sour soups like the Sinigang or Tom Yam then I suggest you try this delicious dish from Vietnam, the Canh Chua Ca. A dish indigenous to the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam where fish commonly cat fish is cooked in a tamarind, pineapple and tomato infused soup together with vegetables such as taro stems, okra, bean sprouts, coriander and scallions to name some.

I love this in every way, its delicate but pack some good flavours, the combination of sweet pineapples, sour tamarind and savoury fish sauce blends well together creating this wonderful soup full of flavours. It’s also tastes clean so it’s very pleasing to the palate, the freshness and sour ingredients masks any fishy smell or taste on any fish used. Like I mentioned above catfish is the common dish but I’ve seen several variations where fish head was also used but for today I will be using some milkfish from the Philippines because that fish goes really well in dishes like this, its fatty and meaty.

Canh Chua Ca
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5-6
  • 2 large milkfish, sliced (or any equivalent)
  • 2 stalks taro stems (use celery as an alternative)
  • 400 g pineapple chunks, reserve liquid
  • 1 packet tamarind mix
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
  • 12 pcs okra, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • coriander, to garnish
  • fish sauce
  1. In a pot add 1 litre of water, red onion, lemongrass, tomatoes and celery. Bring it to a boil.
  2. Add the pineapple, okra, milkfish and tamarind mix, Bring to a boil then cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until fish is cooked.
  3. Remove the lemongrass, add the bean sprouts then season with fish sauce then turn the heat off. Garnish with coriander then serve with freshly cooked jasmine rice.


Canh Chua Ca Wide


7 Responses

  1. I always learn a new dish / cuisine whenever I visit your blog. The fusion of tamarind, tomato and pineapple sounds delicious, a pity I didn’t bring tamarind with me!

  2. Kristy says:

    Never would have combined these favors. Beautiful photo and soup arrangement. Looks inticing!

  3. suituapui says:

    I love sinigang and tom yam too. This does not look sour, no lime, no lemon – oh, I see, you have tamarind. Yes, we use that, add tumeric and you get what we call asam fish…or dried tamarind slices, and you’ll get my masak kunyit, great with fish or prawns:

  4. An interesting soup with both sour and sweet notes.

  5. I’m not sure it’s for me but my husband would be over the moon for this soup! I love your photographs!

  6. This soup looks so flavorful and healthy!! I love lemongrass.

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