Known as Canh Chua Ngọt in Vietnamese, this recipe is an easy-to-prepare restaurant quality dish, which serves 4-6 as part of a shared meal.
This recipe is courtesy of Luke Nguyen, chef, TV host, and co-owner of acclaimed Sydney restaurant Red Lantern (www.redlantern.com.au), which he runs with sister Pauline Nguyen and chef Mark Jensen.
Ingredients (serves 5)
- 6 Asian celery stalks
- 6 spring onions (scallions), white part only, chopped
- 2 bird’s eye chillies, chopped
- 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) barramundi fillets, skin on, pin-boned
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 litres (70 fl oz/ 8 cups) fish stock
- 125 ml (4 fl oz / ½ cup) fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 1 large handful bean sprouts
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Pick the leaves from the celery stalks, reserving the leaves for later use, then roughly chop the stalks. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the celery stalks, spring onion and chilli into a paste. Set aside.
- Slice the barramundi widthways into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, then add the oil and pan-fry the barramundi fillets, skin side down, for 3 minutes, or until the skin is crisp. Remove and set aside in a warm place.
- Put the celery paste, fish stock, fish sauce and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and then gently add the fish fillets, placing them skin side up. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and celery leaves.
- Divide the fish evenly among serving bowls, placing the fish in the bowl skin side up, then pour the soup over the top. Garnish with the bean sprouts and a wedge of lime.