• Vietnamese hot and sour soup (The Chefs' Line S2)Source: The Chefs' Line S2

The balance of the hot and the sour, the sweetness from the tomato and the smooth kick of chilli are all present in this soupy sensation. The Chefs' Line






Skill level

Average: 2.6 (89 votes)


  • 80 g tamarind pulp  
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) hot water  
  • 8 cherry tomatoes  
  • 1 litre light fish stock  
  • 100 g fresh pineapple, peeled and diced  
  • 3 tsp fish sauce    
  • 1 tbsp sugar  
  • 250 g barramundi fillet, skin on  
  • Sea salt
  • Vegetable oil, for pan-frying
  • 1 stem elephant’s ears, peeled and thinly sliced  
  • ½ cup bean sprouts   
  • Finely chopped red chilli, to taste  
  • ½ bunch sawtooth coriander, leaves picked  
  • ½ bunch rice paddy herbs, leaves picked  
  • ½ bunch Thai basil, leaves picked  
  • 2 tbsp garlic oil  
  • Steamed jasmine rice, to serve  

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the tamarind pulp and hot water in a bowl and stand for 10minutes or until soft, then push through a fine sieve and discard the seeds. Chargrill half the cherry tomatoes until blackened and blistered. Pour the stock into a large saucepan, place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the tamarind water, blistered cherry tomatoes, pineapple, fish sauce and sugar and return to a simmer. The stock should taste sweet, sour and salty so adjust if necessary. 

Meanwhile, lightly score the skin side of the barramundi and season with salt. Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and add a splash of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, place the fish into the pan, skin-side down and pressing the fillet with a spatula so all the skin is in contact with the pan. Cook for a few minutes or until the skin is golden and crisp, then turn and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Place the thinly sliced elephant’s ears in the bottom of a deep soup bowl. Cut the remaining cherry tomatoes in half and scatter on top with the beans shoots and chilli. Add the barramundi and scatter with the herbs.

Drizzle with garlic oil, then pour the broth around the fish. Serve with steamed rice.


• The broth will make more than you need for this recipe but keeps well in the freezer.


This recipe is from Series 2 of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood  and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!