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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.
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.