This hot and sour soup has a tanginess that is imparted by tamarind (key ingredient), and is chock full of tofu, veggies, and pineapple. This is one of my favorite soups, but, it turns out, it may not be your favorite. I raved about this soup to my partner, and when he tasted it he was unimpressed. He also didn’t like the pineapple, which is my favorite part of the soup. I’ll put the recipe out there, though, in case there’s someone else out there that would enjoy the soup. This is not Huong Viet’s recipe, but one I found that is similar. I have no idea where I got the recipe from; I’ve been using it for about ten years.
Vietnamese Hot And Sour Soup
3 tablespoons tamarind pulp
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ tablespoon chili paste
½ medium onion, cut coarsely
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
5 cups water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup pineapple, cut into chunks
1 can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
½ can baby corn, cut lengthwise, drained and rinsed
½ pound tofu, fried
3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
tops of celery with leaves
1-2 cups mung bean sprouts
- Pour ½ cup of boiling water over tamarind pulp and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and save water from pulp. Discard pulp.
- Heat oil, and fry shallot. Set aside.
- Add chili, onion, garlic, and soy sauce to hot pan and sauté.
- Add water, reserved tamarind juice, sugar, lime juice, and salt to sautéed onion mix, and bring to a boil for a couple of minutes.
- Right before serving, add pineapple, mushrooms, baby corn, tofu, tomatoes, celery tops, and bean sprouts. You don’t want to really cook the vegetables, or else the tomatoes will fall apart, and the celery leaves and bean sprouts will lose their crunch.
- Garnish with fried shallots, and fresh basil.