Slow-cooker Vietnamese Seafood Broth


  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) tamarind concentrate
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar, or to taste
  • 2 lemongrass stems, bruised
  • 1/4 small pineapple, peeled and cut into 3 cm chunks
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 100 g snake beans, trimmed and cut into 4 cm lengths
  • 750 g firm white fish fillets, cut into chunks
  • Stock
  • 1 kg fish bones
  • 1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
  • 3 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 bunch (45 g) coriander, roots scrubbed, stems and leaves roughly chopped


  1. Place the stock ingredients in the slow cooker with 6 cups (1.5 litres) water. Cover and cook on low for 3–4 hours. Strain the stock and discard the solids.
  2. Return 4 cups (1 litre) of the stock to the slow cooker. Stir in the tamarind, fish sauce and sugar until combined. Add the lemongrass, pineapple, tomatoes and snake beans and gently combine. Add the fish, then cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Discard the lemongrass. Ladle the fish, pineapple and vegetables into warm bowls. Ladle the broth over the top and serve with your choice of fresh herbs, spices and chopped vegetables.

TIP Wok-ready noodles can be added for the final 10–15 minutes of cooking.

On the stove

  1. Place the stock ingredients in a large saucepan with 6 cups (1.5 litres) water. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Strain the stock and discard the solids.
  2. Return 4 cups (1 litre) of the stock to the pan and add the other ingredients as directed in step 2. Cover and simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until the fish is tender, adding more stock if necessary.

Serves 4
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 5 hours 30 minutes

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