Tangy Star Fruit and Clam Soup Recipe

Looking for a unique and delicious soup recipe that will impress your guests at your next dinner party? Look no further than Canh Ngheu, also known as Star Fruit and Clam Soup. This traditional Vietnamese dish is the perfect combination of sweet and sour flavors, while the infusion of fresh herbs adds an extra kick to the flavor profile.

Canh Ngheu has been a staple in Vietnamese cuisine for generations, and for good reason. Not only is this soup packed with nutrients from the star fruit and clams, but it is also easy to prepare and customize according to your preferences.

In this article, I will take you step-by-step through the process of making Canh Ngheu, offer tips for perfecting the recipe, suggest variations to experiment with, and provide serving suggestions to make your meal complete.

So, whether you are a fan of seafood or simply want to add more flavor to your weekly meal plan, Canh Ngheu is the perfect recipe for you. So why not give it a try? Your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Canh Ngheu (Star Fruit and Clam Soup)
Canh Ngheu (Star Fruit and Clam Soup)

If you’re looking for a seafood soup that has a unique and tangy flavor, then Canh Ngheu, also known as star fruit and clam soup, is your answer. This Vietnamese dish is the perfect combination of salty and sour flavors, with a fruity twist.

What makes this recipe even better is that it’s not only delicious but also healthy. The star fruit used in this soup is an excellent source of Vitamin C and fiber, while clams are loaded with protein, iron and Omega-3 fatty acids.

One great aspect of Canh Ngheu is that it’s incredibly versatile; you can customize the recipe to make it spicier or more sour to suit your taste preferences. You can also switch up the seafood used in the soup depending on what’s available at the market.

Another reason why this recipe stands out is that it’s easy to prepare. With just a few simple ingredients like garlic cloves, shrimp paste, nuoc nam (fish sauce), clams and star fruit, you can make a bowl of soup that will impress your guests. The recipe also doesn’t require any special cooking techniques or equipment, making it perfect for beginner cooks.

If you’re looking to impress your guests or simply craving some heartwarming soup with flavors that pack a punch, then Canh Ngheu should definitely be on your must-try list. Don’t wait any longer to experience the sour-savory goodness of this classic Vietnamese dish!

Ingredient List

 A warm bowl of Canh Ngheu, perfect for a chilly night
A warm bowl of Canh Ngheu, perfect for a chilly night


  • 2 lbs clams
  • 1 star fruit, sliced into thin pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon nuoc nam (fish sauce)
  • 4 cups water
  • Vietnamese coriander and leek (optional)

This recipe requires just a handful of ingredients, many of which may be already available in your pantry or refrigerator. The most important ingredient in this soup is the clams. I recommend using small-sized clams or ‘la-la’ as they are called in Vietnamese, as they contain more flavor and juice compared to larger ones. The dish’s name itself suggests the star ingredient: a whole star fruit that adds sweetness and tanginess to the soup. For an umami-heavy aroma, add a teaspoon of shrimp paste. As for seasoning, you’ll need the trusty nuoc nam or fish sauce to add saltiness and depth to the overall flavor. Finally, round off with garlic for its characteristic sharpness. If you have access to them, don’t forget to add some Vietnamese coriander and leek for extra fragrance!

The Recipe How-To

 The savory aroma of this soup will fill your kitchen
The savory aroma of this soup will fill your kitchen

Preparing the Star Fruit and Clams

  • Rinse 2 cups of clams in cold water, brushing them under running water to remove any dirt or sand.
  • In a large pot, add 4 sliced garlic cloves, and sauté them over medium heat for around 1 minute until they turn fragrant.
  • Add the rinsed clams into the pot and stir-fry for around 1 minute.
  • Add 5 cups of water into the pot and let it boil until all the clams have opened up (Discard any unopened ones).
  • Take out the cooked clams from the pot and filter the clam broth through a sieve to remove any dirt. Set both aside.
  • Wash and slice 2-star fruits to around 0.5cm thick.

Making the Soup Canh Ngheu

  • In a separate cooking pot, heat some oil over medium heat then add 2 tablespoons of shrimp paste.
  • After frying for around 1 minute, add 2 sliced shallots and fry until they turn fragrant.
  • Add in the star fruit slices and stir-fry quickly for around 1 minute before adding in the clam broth.
  • Bring the broth to boil, then reduce to low heat.
  • Season with 2 tablespoons of nuoc nam, sugar, salt, some Vietnamese coriander, coriander leaves and leek sprouts.
  • Add back the boiled clams and let everything simmer for another 1 minute.

Serving the Star Fruit Clam Soup

  • Serve hot with steamed rice or noodles, garnish with more coriander leaves if needed.

Enjoy your deliciously sour star fruit clam soup – canh ngheu!

Substitutions and Variations

 The star fruit adds a unique tangy twist to this classic dish
The star fruit adds a unique tangy twist to this classic dish

Canh Ngheu is a traditional Vietnamese soup that can be easily adapted to different ingredients and flavors, depending on personal preferences and availability. Here are some ideas for substitutions and variations to this delicious and refreshing soup recipe:

– Instead of clams, you can use other types of seafood such as shrimp, squid or fish. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as these ingredients may require less time in the pot.

– If star fruit is not available, you can use other sour fruits such as green mangoes or tamarind paste. Pineapple also works well in this soup, adding a sweet and tangy flavor that complements the seafood.

– For a vegetarian version of Canh Ngheu, you can omit the clams and use vegetable broth instead. Add mushrooms, tofu or tempeh for extra protein and flavor.

– To make the soup spicier, add sliced chili peppers or chili paste to the broth. You can also garnish with fresh herbs such as Thai basil or cilantro for an extra kick of flavor.

– If you don’t have shrimp paste (which gives the soup its signature umami taste), you can substitute with fish sauce or soy sauce in smaller amounts.

– Experiment with different types of greens such as Vietnamese coriander (rau ram), bok choy, kale, spinach or mustard greens. These will add a fresh and nutritious touch to the soup.

– For a heartier meal, serve Canh Ngheu with rice noodles or steamed rice on the side. You can also add extra veggies such as carrots, tomatoes or lotus root.

With these substitutions and variations, Canh Ngheu can be customized to suit any taste preference or dietary requirement. Feel free to get creative with your ingredients and make this soup your own!

Serving and Pairing

 A spoonful of freshly chopped herbs completes the flavor profile
A spoonful of freshly chopped herbs completes the flavor profile

Canh Ngheu, or Star Fruit and Clam Soup, is a light and refreshing dish that is perfect served on a hot summer day. This soup can be enjoyed on its own or paired with some traditional Vietnamese dishes for a complete meal.

Serve the Canh Ngheu hot in bowls, and pair it with steamed rice or vermicelli noodles to make it a hearty meal. Add some pork belly, shrimp, or fish to the soup for more variation and texture.

The sweet-sour flavor of the soup pairs perfectly with crunchy vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, or water spinach. Top the soup with some fresh herbs such as Vietnamese coriander, leek, or basil to enhance the aroma and taste.

When it comes to beverages, you can pair this dish with a cold beer or iced tea. If you are feeling adventurous, try pairing it with some fresh pineapple juice for a tropical twist.

Overall, Canh Ngheu is a versatile dish that can be served in many ways depending on your preference. Whichever way you choose to enjoy this soup, you’re sure to appreciate the unique combination of flavors and textures that make it an all-time favorite Vietnamese delicacy.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This soup is loaded with protein-rich clams, making it a nutritious meal
This soup is loaded with protein-rich clams, making it a nutritious meal

Canh Ngheu soup is a classic Vietnamese dish that can easily be made ahead of time and reheated later. In fact, this soup actually tastes better the next day as the flavors continue to meld together.

To make ahead, simply follow the recipe instructions until the soup reaches the point where you add the clams. At this point, remove the pot from heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the soup into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.

When ready to serve, reheat the soup on low heat until heated through. Note that if you plan on reheating frozen Canh Ngheu soup instead of refrigerated leftovers, you will need to thaw it out in the fridge overnight before reheating.

While this dish can be stored in the fridge, it is not recommended that you freeze it as freezing can negatively impact both the texture and flavor of the clams.

One tip for optimal reheat results is to add a splash of Nuoc Mam (or fish sauce) before serving as it helps refresh the dish’s savory flavor while adding even more umami notes that are found traditionally in Vietnamese cuisine.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Adding a dash of sriracha will give it a nice kick of heat
Adding a dash of sriracha will give it a nice kick of heat

When it comes to making canh ngheu, getting the clams just right makes all the difference. Here are some tips to ensure you achieve a delicious and satisfying soup every time:

Firstly, make sure to clean the clams thoroughly before cooking them. Soak them in cold water for at least half an hour to remove any sand or grit. Discard any clams that are already open or have cracked shells.

When cooking the clams, be careful not to overcook them as they can become tough and rubbery. Once they have opened up, immediately remove them from the heat and strain the broth using a fine mesh sieve to get rid of any impurities.

To give your soup an extra depth of flavor, add some homemade clam broth instead of using store-bought chicken or vegetable broth. You can easily make this by boiling the clam shells with some garlic cloves and lemongrass.

In addition, garnish your soup with fresh herbs like Vietnamese coriander or leek for a burst of fragrance and color. You can also add some pineapple chunks or star fruit slices for a sweet and sour twist.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this recipe! Try substituting the clams for shrimp or mussels, or adding some vermicelli noodles for a heartier dish.

By following these tips and making the necessary adaptations, you’ll be able to whip up a perfect bowl of canh ngheu that will impress any dinner guest!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you have never tried canh ngheu before, you are missing out on delicious and healthy Vietnamese cuisine. This soup recipe is easy to make, packed with nutrients and flavor, and perfect for any occasion. Whether you are hosting a dinner party or just looking for a comforting meal, canh ngheu will not disappoint you.

With its unique blend of sour and savory flavors, the canh ngheu soup recipe will leave your taste buds begging for more. The star fruit adds sweetness and tanginess, while the clams provide umami and protein. When combined with garlic cloves, shrimp paste, nuoc nam, and other Vietnamese herbs, this soup becomes a true culinary masterpiece.

So why not try making canh ngheu tonight? With all of the valuable tips, substitutions and variations suggested in this article, I am confident that you can make a perfect bowl of this delicious soup. Invite your friends over and impress them with your culinary skills. Share a bowl of canh ngheuand let yourself be transported to Vietnam. Enjoy!

Canh Ngheu (Star Fruit and Clam Soup)

Canh Ngheu (Star Fruit and Clam Soup) Recipe

From a small beach reataurant in Nha Trang, Vietnam.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 251.3 kcal


  • 6 1/3 cups chicken stock
  • 24 white clams
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons baby leeks, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons nuoc nam
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 2 star fruit, sliced
  • coriander, to garnish
  • rau ram, to garnish


  • Bring the chicken stock to the boil.
  • Add the clams and cook until the shells open.
  • Remove the clam flesh and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and baby leeks until they are soft.
  • Add the cooked clams and season with nuoc mam and shrimp paste.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add the chicken stock and star fruit, then immediately turn off the heat.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 532gCalories: 251.3kcalCarbohydrates: 19.7gProtein: 21.7gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1.8gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 1288.2mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 8.2g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Asian, Beginner Cook, Easy, Vietnamese
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