Catfish Soup Recipe

Here is a very fast and easy hmong / asian catfish soup tutorial. I hope you enjoy it! Please leave me a comment if you try this dish!  Some of you may or may not eat MSG anymore, but I can tell you that MSG does add a different flavor to this dish.  I'm not going to debate if MSG is good for you or not, but people use MSG in soups to enhance the flavor.


2 lbs catfish
3 tsp salt
2 cup tomatoes
1/2 cup shallots
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 lemon kaffir leaves
4 Thai chili, optional
1 cup mint
1 cup culantro
1 cup ladysthumb
1 tsp xyab txob (asian peppercorn roasted and grinded)
3-4 cups water

1.  Heat a pot on high and add water.

2.  Bring water to a boil and add the catfish, lemongrass, salt, fish sauce, tomatoes, kaffir leaves, shallots and thai chili.

3.  Cook for 10-15 min.

4.  Then add the veggies.

5.  Cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat.  Serve.


This is a great tutorial. I watched the video on YouTube and I will be trying it out. This is great for young women who doesn't live at home anymore. Growing up my mom didn't really teach me how to cook Hmong food because my dad liked American food. This is great now that I'm living alone and learning how to cook for myself. I'll write back after making the soup and give you some insight about the recipe!

Hi Megan! I look forward to hearing how the dish turns out for you.  I can honestly say that MSG does add a big difference to the flavor of the soup. I know many people don't eat it anymore but it's one of those things that omitting MSG does change the scope of the flavor. I still use MSG in fish dishes, papaya salad, and pepper. 

where do u get that ingredient? does the hmong store have it? i might've had it b4 but just didn't know what it was called.

You can buy it most southeast asian grocery stores. The hmong store usually has it and vietnamese stores. 

I have the ladysthumb grown in my back yard, lots of them. If you would like it fresh grown, send me an e-mail. I'll be more than happy to give out to you.

Annie, thank you so much for the all the wonderful receipes you've shared with us.  I love all your receipes.  Thank you so much!!!!


I'm Hmong but my mom was always working and she never really taught my siblings and I how to cook Hmong. I learned by watching others. Thanks so much for your recipe and tutorials. You are helping me become a better cook now that I'm a mom myself.

Hey just wondering if i can substitute the cat fish with shrimp? Would it still taste the same?

Annie, you're an awesome cook..
I love and enjoy watching all your videos. I inspired me Soooo much. I've learned Soooo much.
Anyways, I have a dish I have in mind.
It's steamed white bass with all the HMONG herbs.
Would u be kind enough to come up with a video for this?
I need a copycat recipe for my mom's bday this Saturday.. it might be too soon but..
I hope u can help.
Thks love,
Xai - Sacramento

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