Vietnamese tamarind sour soup is like chicken noodle soup of western culture. Satisfying, same basic ingredients, and always soothing. To ease a cold and since summer shorts season is round the bend, it’s time for something lean but filling.
Sour base is tamarind and pineapple. Dissolve tamarind paste (2-3 big spoonful) in cup of warm water, strain through a sieve for the sour base. Add tamarind broth to large pot of water, add ingredients below – minus the sprouts (add at the end). Season broth with a dash of sugar, generous dashes of fish sauce (or soy sauce if it’s a veggie base). Sauté minced garlic and add to broth right before serving. The herbs bring a lemony freshness.
Traditionally made with catfish but my husband fished with his dad as a kid and says he can’t eat a bottom feeder. He hates okra but seems to like it served this way…With or without the cat fish, you can add other white fish, tofu or shrimp.