Canh Chua Recipe

Delicious Canh Chua Recipe

I want you to take a tasty adventure with an easy dish that will elevate your overall taste – try the canh chua recipe.

In this blog post, we will discuss the complete process of preparation of canh chua. Later, we will also look at variations, pro tips to level up the taste, storage and freezing tips and much more. 

What is Canh Chua?

Canh Chua also known as Vietnamese sour fish soup is a classic dish from Vietnam. It combines sweet, salty, sour and spicy tastes thoroughly. The word Canh Chua means ‘sour soup’.

The soup contains a lot of different vegetables, shrimp, fish and herbs. The tangy flavour of the canh chua makes it taste unique, which comes from ingredients like pineapple, tamarind, or Vietnamese rice vinegar.

Canh Chua Recipe Tips

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Make sure to choose fresh ingredients, especially herbs and vegetables like okra, pineapple and tomatoes.
Canh Chua Recipe tips
  • Balance the Sourness: Canh Chua tastes tangy because it contains sour ingredients like lime juice, vinegar and tamarind. You can adjust the amount as per your preference.
Canh Chua Recipe tips
  • Choose the Right Fish: You can use different fishes but catfish and snakehead fish are popular choices. Choose a fish with a firm flash that won’t fall apart in the soup.
Canh Chua Recipe tips
  • Prepare the Broth: You can start with a delicious broth prepared by cooking shrimp shells or fish bones with garlic, ginger and onion. It provides a delicious flavour to the soup.
Canh Chua Recipe tips
  • Add Fresh Herbs: You can add fresh herbs like Vietnamese Coriander, cilantro and sawtooth herbs. These herbs provide a refreshing twist to the meal.
Canh Chua Recipe tips


  • Canh Chua Cá (Fish Sour Soup):  This is a classic version of Canh Chua, that contains fish as a main source of protein. It includes okra, pineapple, tomatoes, bean sprouts and tamarind leaves.
Canh Chua Cá (Fish Sour Soup)
  • Canh Chua Tôm (Shrimp Sour Soup): You can use shrimp instead of fish for this variation. You can either add the shrimp as a whole or with the shells removed.
Canh Chua Tôm (Shrimp Sour Soup)
  • Canh Chua Thịt Bò (Beef Sour Soup): You can use thinly sliced beef like flank steak as the main protein source. Add veggies like tomatoes and pineapple with the beef into the soup.
Canh Chua Thịt Bò (Beef Sour Soup)
  • Canh Chua Chay (Vegetarian Sour Soup): You can use vegetable broth instead of fish or shrimp as a base. You can add mushrooms or tofu along with veggies like tomatoes, okra and pineapple for a boost of protein.
Canh Chua Chay (Vegetarian Sour Soup)
  • Canh Chua Măng (Bamboo Shoot Sour Soup): For this variation, you can include bamboo shoots for a special taste and crunch. They are generally cut into thin slices and then put in the soup with other vegetables.

What to Serve

  • Steamed Rice: You can serve with canh chua, steamed rice absorbs the tasty broth and makes the meal more comforting.
Steamed Rice with Canh Chua
  • Crusty Bread: You can serve crusty bread with the soup on the side for dipping. Crusty rolls or baguette slices are great for soaking the soup.
Crusty Bread with Canh Chua
  • Stir-Fried Vegetables: You can serve stir-fried vegetables like broccoli, snap peas and bok choy which makes the meal nutritious and delicious. They provide flavour and texture to the dish.
Stir-Fried Vegetables with Canh Chua
  • Spring Rolls: You can serve spring rolls with shrimp, tofu or vegetables. It provides a satisfying crunch to the meal.
Spring Rolls with Canh Chua
  • Grilled Meats or Seafood: You can serve seafood or grilled meats with canh chua for a delicious meal. Grilled meats go well with the tangy soup.    
Grilled Meats or Seafood with Canh Chua

Storing and Freezing

  • Before storing or freezing the canh chua, let it cool at room temperature.
  • You can use freezer bags or containers to store the soup. Also, ensure that they are freezer-safe to avoid freezer burn.
  • If you are planning to consume the soup within a few days, put it in the fridge. It can last up to 3-4 days.
  • To freeze the portions, divide the soup into meal-sized portions. This makes it easier to reheat and thaw only the amount you want later.
  • Label the containers with the date of preparation. It helps you to track how long it’s been in the freezer.
  • Put the containers in the freezer. Make sure they are placed flat for even freezing and to save space.


In conclusion, the canh chua recipe provides flavours of Vietnamese cuisine through a classic dish of canh chua that offers both culinary adventure and cultural experience. This soup perfectly balances sour, salty, sweet and spicy flavours.

So, whether you are an experienced cook or just trying out, I would suggest you try the canh chua soup. Trying out this soup not only lets you taste Vietnamese cuisine but also celebrates tradition and creativity.  

Read More:- Busy Day Soup Recipe

Canh Chua Recipe

Canh Chua Recipe

Canh Chua also known as Vietnamese sour fish soup is a classic dish from Vietnam.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
5 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine vietnamese
Servings 4


  • 500 g fish fillet such as catfish or tilapia, cut into chunks
  • 200 g shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 6 cups water or seafood broth
  • 2 tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks fresh or canned
  • 1 medium sized onion sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2-3 bird’s eye chilies optional, for spice
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste or 1/4 cup tamarind juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful of fresh herbs such as Vietnamese coriander, Thai basil, or cilantro
  • 1 cup bean sprouts optional
  • Sliced green onions for garnish
  • Cooked rice for serving


  • In a pot, add water or seafood broth and boil it.
  • Add minced garlic, sliced onion and bird’s eye chilies. Let everything simmer for few minutes to make a tasty broth.
  • Then, add tamarind juice or paste, fish sauce and sugar. You can adjust the sourness and sweetness as per your preference.
  • Now, put fish pieces in the pot and cook them for around 3-5 minutes until they are almost done.
  • Add tomatoes, shrimp and pineapple chucks to the pot. Let it simmer for more 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes are softened and shrimp turn pink.
  • You can taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with sugar, salt or fish sauce.
  • Right before serving, add fresh herbs and bean sprouts to the pot. Let them a little soft in the hot soup.
  • It’s time to enjoy the canh chua soup by garnished with chopped green onions on top. You ca enjoy it with rice on the side.
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