Vietnamese Sour Soup, or "Canh Chua" ("Canh Chua Ca" if there's fish) This is a fast and easy recipe you can make in 30 minutes. It's my slight variation from Wandering Chopsticks' version, which you can find here: http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/2007/08/canh-chua-ca-vietnamese-sour-fish-soup.html#ixzz4CLhMIH3L (Check out her blog for many other Vietnamese recipes. Really great story-telling to preface the recipes themselves.)
Ingredients (Makes 5 Quarts):
4 catfish fillets / (Tofu, Fried Tofu or Seitan for Plant-Based Eating) 3 stalks of bac ha (Vietnamese taro stem). Option to replace with celery if you can't find it. Sliced diagonally 2 tomatoes, large chunks 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks 1 cup bean sprouts 12 okra pods, sliced 2 or more cloves garlic, minced 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised with a pestle or end of a butcher knife, cut in 3 inches and tied together with a string 2 tblsp tamarind (Option to buy as a block or in paste or liquid concentrated form.) Nuoc Mam/Vietnamese Fish Sauce (Light Soy Sauce for Plant-Based Eating)
Add a tblsp of oil to your pot and sauté garlic, tamarind, and lemongrass. Add the cleaned catfish fillets.
Fill the rest of your stock pot 3/4-full of water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium to simmer, and scoop out any excess foam.
Add tomatoes, pineapple, bac ha, and okra. Let simmer. Add fish sauce to taste.
After about 15 minutes, when the fish is fully cooked and the veggies have slightly softened, taste soup again and add fish sauce if needed.
Add bean sprouts when the soup is almost done since they cook almost immediately.
Fill your big bowl with the soup. Option to serve on rice or on thin rice vermicelli noodles (my favorite for this soup).