July 10, 2015

Vietnamese Canh Chua Soup

My very first food blog post is my very first favorite food, a Vietnamese dish my mother would make for me growing up in Virginia. Canh Chua directly translates to English as “sour soup” and originates from Southern Vietnam, in the Mekong Delta region. It’s somewhat similar to Thailand’s Tom Yum Soup.

Canh Chua is a soup with a tamarind broth, full of tomatoes, pineapple and bean sprouts. From there, you can personalize it many different ways. Usually, fish, Bac Ha (also called elephant ear stems) and okra is added, served with Jasmine rice. I prefer to add enoki mushrooms and serve over quinoa.

I prepare my fish sous-vide, which preserves the beautiful vibrant orange color of Salmon as well as keeps the texture, moisture and flavor of the fish intact. Sous vide cooking is great for cooking food evenly, ensuring the core is fully cooked without overcooking the exterior. It’s putting your food in a zip-loc baggy and putting it in a food jacuzzi. It’s fun! (If you do not have a sous vide, you can boil your salmon in the broth, but remove promptly after it’s cooked through because the fish will crumble and fall apart into the soup. This is the traditional way to cook Canh Chua, however I find that the salmon loses a lot of its own flavor and dries out this way. I am also in love with my Sansaire, so I may be biased!)

 Here’s my step-by-step non-traditional, healthy take on a Vietnamese staple. No sugar, no salt, no chemicals or preservatives!

Canh Chua with Sous Vide Salmon over Quinoa
Canh Chua with Sous Vide Salmon over Quinoa

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