Vietnamese Fisherman's Soup

READY IN: 45mins
Recipe by Hey Jude

Posted for a request, this recipe is from 'The Best of Vietnamese & Thai Cooking' by Mai Pham. I haven't tried this recipe yet, the description in the book says it's spicy, sour and a little sweet. Prep and cook times are approximate.

Top Review by EmSeeta

This is a wonderful recipe from a great cookbook. Easily found ingredients (with rarer ones omitted), great citrus flavor, and rave reviews. Everything I've made from this book over the past decade have become family favorites and often requested.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 14 lb medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 13 lb boneless skinless salmon, cut into bite size pieces
  • 14 lb scallops
  • boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 5 cups unsalted chicken stock or 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 cups freshly cut pineapple chunks
  • 12 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp, soaked in
  • 13 cup hot water, and pushed through a sieve
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rice paddy herb or 1 tablespoon saw-leaf herb (this ingredient gives the soup it's 'sour' flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Thai basil
  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots, for garnish (instructions follow)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying shallots


  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium pot.
  2. Using a strainer with a long handle, blanch all seafood for about 10-20 seconds (this removes impurities and keeps the chicken stock clear when you add the seafood later); set seafood aside.
  3. Discard water and wipe the pot dry; add the oil and heat over moderate heat; add the chili paste and garlic and allow to sizzle until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil; add the seafood, tomatoes, pineapple, onion, fish sauce, sugar, salt, tamarind and lime juice; cook until seafood is just done, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add bean sprouts and herbs; garnish with fried shallots and serve piping hot.
  6. Fried shallots: line a cookie sheet with paper towels and spread thinly sliced shallots on top (use about a cup of shallots); let sit for 15-20 minutes to air dry (makes the shallots crispier); heat the oil in a skillet over low heat; add the shallots and and stir them so they don't tangle; fry the shallots until golden, about 5 minutes and with a slotted spoon, remove and drain them on paper towels.
  7. When shallots are cool, transfer to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and they'll keep at room temperature for 2 weeks.

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