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Vietnamese Sweet Hot and Sour Catfish Soup

81 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Wooleybooger
Back when I first came to California, in the mid-1980s, I was asked if I'd be willing to house-sit for a lady who was going to Wisconsin for a reunion for a couple months, and feed her cats. I love cats, always have.

Does a bear [you know] in the woods, polar, teddy and Chicago Bears notwithstanding?

The lady lived right at the edge of what's called "Little Saigon" in Westminster, Orange County, California, that had a large population of Vietnamese. And lots of eateries. And great food.

One of the dishes was this catfish soup made with tamarind, pineapple, collards, onions and garlic, and it sounds weird but it's good.

3 pounds bullhead catfish steaks or fillets (steaks with bone in taste best)
1 medium to large onion peeled and cut into small pieces
5 - 10 garlic cloves peeled and ground
4 Oz. of Tamarind pulp (or vary to taste) - it's sour
a can of canned pineapple chunks, in juice (though syrup also works)
A bunch of collard greens (turnip greens, spinach will also work) cut into shreds or strips
Salt to taste

Heat about half a gallon of water in a pot to boil put in the tamarind pulp, and boil till the water turns brownish and it's mildly sour to the taste. Remove the spent pulp and any seeds, then put in onion, garlic and pineapple, juice and all, and bring to a boil. Let cook about five minutes, add the catfish and cook on low heat till done. Add collard greens and let cook on retained heat, till they darken and wilt, then serve with white "sticky" rice. Add salt to taste.
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