An elegant sweet-sour and spicey soup.
Fish: sprinkle fish with salt, and let sit 15 minutes. In a medium saucepan, boil 2 C water, add fish pieces, and simmer gently till fish is opaque, 3-5 minutes. Remove fish and reserve liquid. Set both aside.
Soup: heat oil in skillet or wok over medium heat, add onion, and cook 5 minuites. Add pineapple, tomato, bamboo shoots, and sugar. Dilute tamarind paste in 1/4 C water and add to pineapple mixture, along with pepper flakes. Add chicken stock and simmer gently over low for 5 minutes.
Assembly: add fish and its liquid to pineapple/chicken broth. Add lime or lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste. Simmer 2-3 more minutes.
Tips & Glossary
Southeast Asian cuisine seeks a balance of hot, sour, sweet, and salty—all in a single dish. Adjust to suit your taste perferences.
Fish Sauce: a liquid made of fermented anchovies and bottled (like soy sauce).
Galanga: a root related to ginger though with deeper tones of citrus and pine. Tough to slice...use a sharp knife. (If galanga is not to be found, use ginger root.)
Lemon Grass: tall, stalky, critus-flavored grass. Prior to cooking, pound or crush gently to release flavor.
Rice Sticks: aka rice noodles or vermicelli; thin dried noodles from rice flour. Soak before using, about 1 hour, or less, (depending on how soft or chewy you like your noodles.)
Shrimp Paste: fermented, ground shrimp. It carries a pungent aroma but is essential in cooking.
Tamarind: tropical tree grown in Africa and Asia; its fruit pulp is used as souring agent. It’s also found in Worcestershire sauce and some ketchup.
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