Posts in canh
Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Catfish Soup (Canh Chua Ca Tre)

Whenever I come home from traveling, I long for nothing more than traditional Vietnamese home-cooked food. And nothing's more traditional than Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Catfish Soup (Canh Chua Cá Trê) and Vietnamese Caramelized Clay Pot Cat Fish (Cá Kho Tộ). One fish. Two easy dishes. Add steamed white rice and you have a complete Vietnamese home-cooked meal. 

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Vietnamese Sour Soup with River Leaf (Canh Chua La Giang)

La Giang, also called River Leaf, mainly grows in Southeast Asian countries. During my recent trip to Vietnam, I made sure to bring some home with me. The leaves were boiled, frozen, and tucked neatly into my check-in baggage. Now when I have that craving for Canh Chua, I just thaw out my frozen boiled La Giang and I'm ready to go.

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Vietnamese Kabocha Squash Soup with Pork (Canh Bi Do Nau Suon Heo)

During the cold months, Kabocha Soup or Canh Bi Do is my one of my go-to soups. Kabocha squash is plentiful, starting in the early Fall. You can find them in both Asian and American supermarkets. They are similar to pumpkins but instead of a bright orange skin, it is deep green. Some may have bumpy knobs on the surface, and the center of the squash is hollow and filled with large seeds. The flesh is bright yellow/orange and hard as a rock. When cooked, it softens and tastes sweet, making it perfect for soups and stews. If you can't find kabocha squash, substitute with pumpkin.

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Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Soup with Squid (Canh Chua Muc)

Time and time again, I proclaimed Canh Chua is the best Vietnamese soup for a Vietnamese home cooked meal. I just love the smorgasbord of bold flavors: sweet, sour and spicy. Plus, you can use whatever protein and vegetables you like. The only requirements are the tomatoes (for the vibrant red color), and the green aromatic garnish of either Thai Basil, Culantro, or Rice Paddy Herbs. The rest is entirely up to you. For this version, I use squid for the protein and thin Enoki mushrooms for the vegetables. And of course, loads and loads of Thai chili for that wonderful kick of heat. Nothing makes me happier than a very spicy Canh Chua that makes me cry.

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Vietnamese Papaya Soup with Pork (Canh Du Du Nau Thit Nac)

Vietnamese folk remedy says Papaya Soup, or Canh Du Du, stimulates lactation in new mothers. Whether it's true or not, I surely didn't complain when I was endlessly served Canh Du Du after the birth of my children. Canh Du Du and Vietnamese Sour Catfish Soup (Canh Chua) are two my favorite Vietnamese soups.

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Vietnamese Stuffed Cabbage Soup (Canh Bap Cai Cuon Thit)

When eating a Vietnamese rice dinner, it's not a complete meal unless you have a soup side dish, also known as Canh. One of the quickest and simplest Canh is ground pork with cabbage. It can, however, look dull in a bowl. To fancy it up, I would stuff cabbage leaves with ground pork and tie it with a green onion, making cute little packages of savory goodness. The taste is the same whether I stuff the cabbage or not, but it makes a pretty presentation. It requires a little bit more labor but it's a great way to fish for the needed compliments once in awhile.

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Vietnamese Chicken Soup with Bamboo Shoots (Canh Ga Nau Mang)

My mother-in-law makes a killer Vietnamese Chicken Soup with Bamboo Shoots (Canh Ga Nau Mang). The first time I made this soup myself without any instructions from the expert, it was a complete disaster. I didn't know that you can't use bamboo shoots straight from the grocery store. Bamboo shoots have a very pungent smell. They need to be boiled and rinsed at least three times before using them in any dish. Once you remove that overpowering smell, bamboo shoots are delicious with a nice crunchy texture.

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Vietnamese Fish Soup with Chinese Celery and Tomatoes (Canh Ca Nau Ngot)

Fish Soup with Chinese Celery and Tomatoes (Canh Ca Nau Ngot) is a traditional Vietnamese soup that can be whipped up in mere minutes. This soup is similar to the Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup (Canh Chua Ca) but it's more mild in flavor and utilizes fewer ingredients. It's a great alternative when you don't have all ingredients for Canh Chua. 

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