I had variations of sweet and sour shrimps and pineapple soup in several Vietnamese restaurants, some were good, others less so. Yet, even with the lesser ones, I always liked the combination of flavors of the shrimps, pineapple, okra and hardly cooked tomatoes, and I decided to make this soup at home. As I checked some traditional recipes, I realized that gathering the authentic ingredients will be hard, as certain greens and herbs are not available in most stores, or even in Asian markets.
So, I was set on making my own version of the soup, and the result is in front of you. This is by no means an authentic recipe, but I liked the result enough to write it down, and already made it twice. The soup is fresh, light and flavorful, with sweet and sour tones, and layers of flavors and textures. It is perfect for the season, when it’s still a bit chilly, yet already too warm to have a hearty, heavy soup. Try it and enjoy.
Prep time: 30 minutes (without the stock)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 Tbs oil
2 large shallots, roughly chopped
4 cup homemade shrimps stock (see HERE), or chicken stock
1 Tbs green curry paste
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
3 Tbs tamarind paste
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs date syrup
2 cups water
1 Tbs salt
A few drops of hot sauce (optional)
2 cups shredded Chinese cabbage
1 cup fresh okra, sliced
2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into large cubes
24 medium shrimps, peeled and deveined, tails on (use shells for stock)
2 medium tomatoes, cut into large cubes
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil and mint leaves
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and fry for a minute.
2. Add the stock, curry paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, tamarind paste, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, date syrup, water, salt and hot sauce, if using. Mix and bring to an almost boil.
3. Add the cabbage, mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the okra and pineapple, mix and cook for a minute.
4. Add the shrimps, and cook for 2 minutes, until they changes color. Add the tomatoes, cook for a minute and take off the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
5. Add the bean sprouts and fresh herbs, mix and serve.