500 g catfish steak
1 pinch salt, pepper, chili powder and chicken stock
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 red chili pepper, sliced
1 small tomato, chunks
1.5L + 250ml water
2 tbsp tamarind pulps
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 pineapple, remove core and thinly sliced
1-2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 lady fingers (okra), thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 elephant ear stem, peel and thinly sliced on the diagonal
50 g bean sprouts
1 bunch rice paddy herbs, chopped
1-2 sprigs sawtooth herbs and spring onion
You can use any white fish, but it’s traditionally cooked using catfish or mudfish.
In a soup pot, add vegetable oil and fry the minced garlic till golden brown. Transfer the fried garlic to a small bowl (to be used as garnish for the soup later) but keep a little of the oil in the pot.
Add the diced tomato and sauté for 1 minute. Then add 1.5L water and bring to a boil.
In a separate small saucepan, cook the tamarind pulp with 250ml water for 2 minutes. Use a spatula or a spoon to break up the tamarind chunks.
Then pour this liquid into the soup pot through a sieve. Use a spoon to press and force as much tamarind through the sieve as possible. Scape off the tamarind paste at the bottom of the sieve and stir into the soup pot. Discard the leftover fiber in the sieve.
Add sugar and fish sauce to the soup.
Bring to a boil before adding the fish steaks and cook on medium high for 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
Remove the fish from the soup.
Add tomatoes, pineapple, okra, elephant ear stem, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add bean sprouts. Adjust the broth to your taste with salt, sugar, fish sauce or chicken stock. (I added an extra 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp chicken stock).
Elephant ear steam can be replaced by celery.
1 minute before serving, reheat the soup, return the fish into the pot and add the chopped herbs. Save some for garnish.
Transfer the soup to a serving bowl, top it with fried garlic and red sliced chili.