Cambodian Sweet and Sour Fish Soup


(Serves 4 - 6)


  • 4 cups (1 litre) water

  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock

  • 7g chicken stock cube

  • 4 kafir lime leaves

  • 2cm piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin batons

  • 2cm piece galangal, peeled and cut into thin batons

  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced

  • 1 lemongrass stalk

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tamarind puree

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups (300g) chopped pineapple triangles

  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges

  • 1 celery stick, thinly sliced

  • 500g firm white fish fillets, cut into 4cm pieces

  • 1 bunch choy sum, trimmed and cut into thirds

  • 160g snow peas, trimmed and halved

  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced

  • Fresh basil, mint and coriander leaves, to serve

Crispy Garlic

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced



To make the crispy garlic, heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium to high heat. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute or until golden and crispy. Remove garlic and drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

STEP 2.    

Add the water, chicken stock, stock cube, lime leaves, ginger, galangal and chilli to the same pot. Halve the lemongrass and gently crush using the back of a knife. Tie each piece into a knot. Add to the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

STEP 3.    

Stir in the fish sauce, tamarind, sugar and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes.

STEP 4.    

Add the pineapple, celery and tomatoes and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

STEP 5.    

Add the fish. Continue simmering for another 5 minutes or until fish is just cooked through. Stir in the spinach, snow peas and spring onions. Simmer for 1-2 more minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat.

STEP 6.    

Divide the soup between serving bowls. Sprinkle over the crispy garlic, basil, mint and coriander leaves, to serve.

TIP: You can use fresh ling or red emperor fillets for this recipe.