Cambodian Fish and Pineapple Soup


This tasty, fragrant and light soup is so good that you will make this again!

The first time we had this delicious soup was in Sihanoukville in Cambodia in a small restaurant called “Rose’s place” and where it is called Somlaw/Somlor Machu Youn.Similar versions of this soup are known in Vietnam where this is called Canh Chua Thom Nau Ca.

Notes of a simplified version of this soup taken during our vacation in 2004:  Heat chicken stock, add pineapples chunks and sliced cabbage. Let boil for 5 minutes, add fish and season with sweet Asian basil, fresh cilantro and sawtooth cilantro.

Guide to Cambodian/Khmer herbs:

This is the version I would like to propose you now!

Cambodian Fish and Pineapple Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



You need:

  • 6-8 cups water
  • 5-10 Asian basil leaves, or to taste
  • 3 kaffir leaves, optional
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves chopped,
  • Saw leaf herb, optional if you can find it!
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon grass stick, trimmed and make cuts lengthways (alternative some leaves of lemon verbena)
  • 1/2 tablespoon galanga, thinly sliced (substitute 1/2 tablespoon ginger thinly sliced), optional
  • 2 tablespoon tamarind paste dissolved with hot water (substitute 1 lime juice)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetal oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 500-700 g cat fish or other white fish fillets such as ling, blue eye or snapper, diced in 2 cm pieces
  • 12 shrimps (about 250 g), optional or more fish
  • 3 cups pineapple, diced (about ½ small ripe sweet pineapple)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • Fish sauce to taste (light soy sauce)
  • chili peppers and ground black peppers, to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar or to taste (substitute brown sugar)


  1. Bring water with chicken stock concentrate to boil, add kaffir leaves, cilantro, saw leaf herb, green onion, lemon grass, galanga and tamarind to boil. Simmer for at least 10 mnutes
  2. In the meantime heat the oil and fry garlic as well as fish and shrimps.
  3. Add to the stock the stir fried fish and shrimps.
  4. Add pineapple and tomatoes.
  5. Season with fish sauce, chili peppers, pepper and sugar.
  6. Cook covered for 2 minutes.
  7. Ladle into individual serving bowls or soup dishes and serve garnished with herbs.


3 thoughts on “Cambodian Fish and Pineapple Soup

    • Thanks a lot Koko for you comment! This makes me very happy: I feel honored by your words! Blogging is a way to process souvenirs, but I never though that this would be a way to bring someones else memories back! HUGS!

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