Vietnamese Spicy & Sour Soup

Total Time
Prep 25 mins
Cook 20 mins

This is a recipe that I have had for many years and for the life of me, cannot remember where I got it. But I do remember that it tastes very much like the soup I adored from South Vietnam, a small Kingston, Ontario Vietnamese restaurant. This is one of those foods that is great during the winter or also great when one feels the start of the cold. And by the way, don't skip the coriander leaves as garnish, they really add to the soup!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Whisk tamarind with 80 ml water and set aside.
  2. Dust shrimp with cornstarch. Heat 30 ml/2 tbsp of oil in large frying pan over medium heat and stir-fry shrimp just until pink, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In large saucepan, heat stock and tamarind juice over medium heat. Add celery, pineapple, tomato, okra, ginger, garlic and chilies; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; add sprouts. Stir in fish sauce, sugar and salt.
  4. Heat remaining 15 ml/1 tbsp oil in frying pan and stir-fry shallots until golden, taking care not to burn, about four minutes.
  5. Add shrimp to soup, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and serve, garnished with shallots and fresh cilantro. Serves 6-8.
  6. Note: Try to use fresh pineapple, not canned, for this dish. It makes all the difference.
Most Helpful

I followed the recipe with respect to the flavour profiles but had to make some substitutions as I could not find fresh okra or bean sprouts this week at local markets. I added diced white mushrooms in place of Okra and added some cooked rice vermicelli to my bowl then poured the hot soup on top. Had I had the bean sprouts it would tastealmost exactly like the soup I love at Saigon in Ottawa. Thank you for posting! There are no vietnamese nor thai restaurants where I live and having food allergies I frequently live on an asian style diet. This will be regularly making this soup from here on in. Yummmmm.

foodwhisperer1 January 01, 2013

To me, I though of the soup as a kind of sweet and sour soup which I thought was very tasty. I had to add more of the red chili in the chili oil to the soup to bring it up to my level of spicy. I like it hot. Otherwise, a very good soup for a cold winters day. Made for Chinese/Vietnamese New Years Tag Game 2012.

Member #610488 January 31, 2012