Canh Chua Vietnamese Soup
with Fresh Pineapple and Crispy Shallots
Canh Chua is a Vietnamese soup popular in fishing villages. We’ve kept the traditional tangy broth, full of tamarind and chili, and loaded it with produce instead of fish. A tangle of rice noodles and chunks of juicy pineapple give the stew texture and sweetness.
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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the rice noodles. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Mince 2 cloves garlic. Roughly chop the Swiss chard stems and leaves. Cut the pineapple into bite-sized pieces. Drain the tofu and cut into cubes. Thinly slice the Thai chile.
Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Once hot, add the sliced shallot and cook until browned and crispy in places, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Without rinsing, return the saucepan to medium heat with 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add the minced garlic and red miso paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tamari and tamarind paste and stir to incorporate. Add 2½ cups water and ¼ tsp salt. Bring the broth to a boil.
Add the rice noodles to the large pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Once the broth is boiling, add the chopped Swiss chard, pineapple, and cubed tofu. Return the broth to a boil and then lower the heat so it bubbles steadily. Cook until all the ingredients are hot, but not mushy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning with salt.
Halve the lime and add the juice from half to the soup. Cut the remaining lime half into wedges. Divide the rice noodles between large bowls and top with the hot broth, vegetables, and tofu. Hand tear the Thai basil leaves. Garnish the canh chua with crispy shallots, lime wedges, Thai basil, and as much of the sliced chile as you’d like.