This Sweet and Sour Thai Fish Soup recipe comes easily and quickly together for a weeknight meal. Tom Som Plah Duk is translated as Sour Sour with catfish. This tasty dish highlights the simplicity of using fresh ingredients to create complex flavors. It was a childhood favorite that has remained steadfast in my cooking repertoire.
3 cups water
2 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped finely
1 small shallot, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3-inches of fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
3/4 pound of catfish fillets, sliced into 2-inch chunks
1/4 cup of tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
In a mortar and pestle, finely pound cilantro, shallots and ginger and black pepper until you achieve a coarse paste.
In a medium sauce pan, bring water and cilantro paste to a boil over medium high heat. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium. Add fish to the broth.
When the broth comes back to a boil, add tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, palm sugar and salt. Allow the fish to cook for about 8-12 minutes. Check the doneness of the fish.
Remove from heat Stir in scallions. Serve immediately.
Cook notes: if you want to add a level of spiciness add a dash of red pepper flakes to each soup bowl at the end.