Smelt Soup with Tomato and Pineapple

In Vietnamese Cuisine, anchovy soup with pineapple and tomato is one of popular soups in everyday meals. In an experiment of substituting smelt for anchovy, I made a similar Smelt Soup with Tomato and Pineapple, and I can confirm it has little difference from anchovy soup. If you are into Vietnamese Cuisine but living in Europe or North America, you can try this recipe.  

smelt soup

Ingredients

To make smelt soup, we need this type of fish, some other vegetables, and especially a bit of spices or herbs to eliminate the fishy smell. For making a smelt soup for 2 people, prepare:

  • 100g smelt (3-4 oz, or nearly a cup)
  • 2 tomatoes (200-300g, 7-10 oz)
  • A piece of Pineapple (200-300g, 7-10 oz)
  • 3-4 slices of shallot and ginger
  • 500ml water
  • A handful of chopped spring onions

Shallot, ginger, and spring onion are simple but effective ingredients to remove the fishy smell when cooking with any types of fish. I have learnt this from my mother since I was a child, and it always works.

The amount of each ingredient is totally flexible. Many Vietnamese dishes, especially dishes for daily meals, don’t require an exact amount in the recipes. You can add more or less than the suggested amount above, depend on your taste or just simply on the availability of those ingredients in your kitchen. However, to cook fish soup like anchovy or smelt soup, usually you should have tomato and pineapple. Some kinds of herbs can be skipped if it’s too hard to find, but spring onion is always a good idea to add green color and balance the color of the soup, as well as to mask the smell of fish.

How to make Smelt Soup with Pineapple and Tomato

Making smelt soup takes you only 15 minutes because it’s a very simple dish, suitable for daily cooking.

Step 1. Preparation

  • Smelt: if you use frozen smelt, defrost it by letting it thaw naturally at room temperature in 15-20 minutes. In case you forget to defrost, it’s still not a big deal: smelt is relatively small so you can directly add frozen smelts to the soup to cook.
  • Vegetables: cut tomatoes into wedges, each tomato to 6-8 wedges. With pineapple, after peeling, cut into thin slices. You can refer my guide on how to cut a pineapple here.
  • Chop spring onion, slice ginger and shallot.
smelt soup

Step 2. Cook smelts and vegetables

  • Boil the water. Once it boils, add the smelts, ginger and shallot first if you use frozen smelts, wait until it boils again, then tomato and pineapple. If you have thawed the fishes or cook with fresh fishes, add all the ingredients the same time except spring onion, because smelts are cooked even more quickly than tomato and pineapple.
  • Finally, add a pinch of salt, and if possible, fish sauce, to adjust the taste of your soup. Remember to add in little by little so that you can control the flavor until perfection. Garnish the soup with chopped spring onions.
smelt soup
Add all ingredients the same time if smelts are already at room temperature.

Serving and storing Smelt Soup

With soup like Smelt Soup or Tomato Egg Drop soup, you should always serve it hot because it’s easy to smell fishy once cooling down. Serving hot soup is also better when you enjoy it with steamed rice, vegetables and other meat/fish dishes in a lunch or dinner.

smelt soup

Consume smelt soup as soon as possible, and I recommend not to save it for the next day. Fish soup often spoils quickly, especially when the weather is hot.

That’s it! Enjoy your smelt soup. For more smelt recipes, check crispy pan-fried smelt and Vietnamese-style caramel smelt, these are all delicious!

smelt soup

Smelt Soup with Tomato and Pineapple

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

In an experiment of substituting smelt for anchovy, I made a similar Smelt Soup with Tomato and Pineapple, and I can confirm it has little difference from anchovy soup.

Ingredients

  • 100g smelt (3-4 oz, or nearly a cup)
  • 2 tomatoes (200-300g, 7-10 oz)
  • A piece of Pineapple (200-300g, 7-10 oz)
  • 3-4 slices of shallot and ginger
  • 500ml water
  • A handful of chopped spring onions

Instructions

Step 1. Preparation

  • Smelt: if you use frozen smelt, defrost it by letting it thaw naturally at room temperature in 15-20 minutes. In case you forget to defrost, it’s still not a big deal: smelt is relatively small so you can directly add frozen smelts to the soup to cook.
  • Vegetables: cut tomatoes into wedges, each tomato to 6-8 wedges. With pineapple, after peeling, cut into thin slices. You can refer my guide on how to cut a pineapple here. Chop spring onion, slice ginger and shallot. smelt soup

Step 2. Cook smelts and vegetables

  • Boil the water. Once it boils, add the smelts, ginger and shallot first if you use frozen smelts, wait until it boils again, then tomato and pineapple. smelt soup Add smelts first...smelt soup how to cookthen tomato and pineapple
  • If you have thawed the fishes or cook with fresh fishes, add all the ingredients the same time except spring onion, because smelts are cooked even more quickly than tomato and pineapple.smelt soupAdd all the same time if smelts are already at room temperature.
  • Finally, add a pinch of salt, and if possible, fish sauce, to adjust the taste of your soup. Remember to add in little by little so that you can control the flavor until perfection. Garnish the soup with chopped spring onions.smelt soup

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 400g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250

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