(Sweet & Sour Soup)

Kim & Suong's Sweet & Sour Soup

Pre time: 45 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Serves: 6


600g firm white fish fillets, skin removed and reserved, flesh chopped

Peanut oil, to deep-fry

6 garlic cloves, sliced

600g tiger prawns, peeled with tails intact, deveined, cleaned

1 bunch kang kong (water spinach), trimmed

100g beansprouts

2 red bird’s-eye chillies, thinly sliced

Steamed jasmine rice, to serve


1kg chicken bones and wings

1 onion, skin intact, quartered

4 celery stalks, chopped

½ bunch spring onions, white part only, chopped

1 bunch coriander roots and stalks, chopped, leaves reserved, to serve

1 tbs sugar

1 tbs salt

2 lemongrass stalks, bruised, chopped

5 kaffir lime leaves

1 bunch Thai basil stalks, chopped, leaves reserved, to serve

1 bunch rice paddy herb stalks, leaves reserved, to serve (optional)

¼ pineapple, coarsely chopped

4 stalks elephant ear, thickly sliced (optional)

4 okra, thinly sliced

3 tbs tamarind paste

2 tbs fish sauce


1. To make broth, place chicken bones and wings, onion, celery, spring onion, coriander roots and stalks, sugar, salt and 2L (4 cups) water in a stockpot. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, regularly skimming surface, for 1 hour or until reduced by half. 

2. Add lemongrass, lime leaves, Thai basil and rice paddy herb stalks. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain mixture into another saucepan, discarding solids.

3. Meanwhile, pat fish skin dry with paper towel and season. Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with peanut oil and heat over medium heat to 180C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Working in batches, gently drop fish skin and garlic into the oil and fry for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

4. Add pineapple, elephant ear and okra to strained broth. Simmer for 5 minutes or until just tender. Stir in tamarind paste and fish sauce. 

5. Add fish to broth and simmer for 3 minutes. Add prawns and simmer for 2 minutes or until seafood is almost cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove seafood and set aside. 

6. Add kang kong to broth and simmer for 1 minute or until just wilted. Divide kang kong and broth among serving bowls. Top with beansprouts, seafood, coriander, Thai basil and rice paddy herb leaves.

7. Garnish with crispy fish skin, crispy garlic and sliced chilli. Serve with rice to the side.