Vietnamese Catfish, Shrimp and Cellophane Noodle Soup

by Karin Calloway
Almost every culture finds a way to turn fish and seafood into a delicious soup, and the Vietnamese are no different. This Vietnamese Catfish, Shrimp and Cellophane Noodle Soup combines U.S. farm-raised catfish and shrimp in a very flavorful broth. The soup is actually quite quick and easy to prepare. Serve it as part of a Vietnamese Soup and Sandwich supper (see other recipes on this site), or as the centerpiece to a quick weeknight family meal.

  • 1 pound U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger  
  • 1 teaspoon salt  
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper  
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or other vegetable oil  
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil  
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 3 large cloves cloves 
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced  
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 12 basil leaves, cut into thin slivers
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp paste or anchovy paste  
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth or fish stock
  • Juice of 2 lemons 
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc mam)  
  • 1 6-ounce package cellophane noodles, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained
  • 6 green onions, sliced, for garnish
  • Mint, sweet basil and cilantro leaves, for garnish 
Combine fish, shrimp ginger, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside. Heat oils in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté until light brown, about 7 minutes. Add turmeric, shrimp or anchovy paste, broth, lemon juice and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Add fish and shrimp mixture and cook for 4 minutes. Add noodles and serve in individual bowls. Garnish each serving with some of the green onions and fresh herbs.

Makes 6-8 servings.
Vietnamese Catfish, Shrimp and Cellophane Noodle Soup

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