Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Seafood)

Sour Carp with Tamarind Recipe

This northern style dish, made using the local river carp, is traditionally serves with noodles or rice wrappers, which are folded around the fish before dipping into a sauce. Alternatively, you could simply toss the cooked fish in the herbs and serve with rice and a salad. Any freshwater fish can be used for this recipe but, because it is stirred in a wok, you will need one with firm, thick flesh. Allow plenty of time for the fish to marinate.

Ingredients : Serves 4

500 g

30 ml

10 ml

1 small bunch



For the marinade

30 ml

15 ml



2.5 cm

A few sprigs

Carp fillets, cut into 3 or 4 pieces

Sesame or vegetable oil

Ground turmeric

Fresh coriander (cilantro) and basil leaves, stalks removed

Rice wrappers or lettuce leaves



Tamarind paste

Soy sauce

Lime, squeezed and juiced

Green or red Thai chili, finely chopped

Galangal root, peeled and grated

Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped

Method :
  • Prepare the marinade by mixing together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Toss the fish pieces in the marinade, cover with clear film (plastic wrap) and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

  • Lift the pieces of fish out of the marinade and lay them on a plate. Heat a wok or heavy pan, add the oil and stir in the turmeric. Working quickly, so that the turmeric doesn't burn, add the fish pieces, gently moving them around the wok for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add any remaining marinade to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until the pieces of fish are cooked through.

  • To serve, put the coriander and basil leaves into a small bowl, arrange the rice wrappers or lettuce leaves on a plate, and pour the dipping sauce into a bowl. Tip the cooked fish on to a serving dish and serve immediately with the herbs, rice papers and dipping sauce.

  • To eat, tear off a bite-size piece of fish, place it on a wrapper with a few herb leaves, fold it up into a little roll, then dip it into the sauce.

More Seafood Recipes