Part of an experiment to live on greens that our garden produces, this fish soup with tamarind leaves and lime is reminiscent of sinigang but milder in acidity. More like sinampalukan but more aromatic because of the limes.
This is a dish for two so I used only one fish that weighed about 600 grams. A whole fish with the head and the bones, naturally, because this is a soup dish and the broth won’t have the full richness of a good soup unless the broth is made with fish bones and head. Fillets? Not for a soup unless you have fish broth that you can use.
Fish soup with tamarind leaves and lime
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 cloves garlic pounded
- a generous knob of ginger sliced
- 1 onion sliced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- patis (fish sauce), to taste
- 600 to 700 grams fish scaled and gutted, and cut into head and tail portions
- a handful of tamarind leaves stripped off the stalks
- 2 limes sliced into rings
- Heat the cooking oil in a pot.
- Saute the garlic, ginger, onion and tomatoes with a drizzle of patis until softened and aromatic.
- Add the fish to the pot and pour in enough water to cover.
- Throw in the tamarind leaves. Drizzle in more patis.
- Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the fish is almost done.
- Take the end slices of the limes and squeeze the juice into the pot. Add the rest of the lime slices into the pot. Simmer for another five minutes and serve.
- A very important end note: Do now allow the lime slices to steep for too long in the broth because the pith beneath the rind will make the broth bitter. You want the lime slices to just get hot enough to release the juice and for the rind to lend its aroma to the dish. So, for best results, serve the soup immediately.