Hot and Sour Soup

Delicious Thai Hot & Sour Soup!
Delicious Thai Hot & Sour Soup!. About.com
    16 min
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Hot and sour soup is similar to Tom Yum soup, but it has a delightfully different flavor, plus it relies on egg instead of coconut milk to thicken it. The egg cooks in the soup, shredding into beautiful white "clouds". This recipe includes lots of greens, plus shrimp or mixed shellfish. If you prefer, it can be made with chicken or tofu. This soup is also delicious with Asian rice or wheat noodles (just boil according to directions and place in bowls, then pour soup over). 

It's a great soup if you're fighting a cold or flu, or simply craving some warm comfort food.  It's super easy to make, and wonderful as either an appetizer or main entree.

What You'll Need

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, grated or finely sliced into matchstick-like pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 fresh red or green chili, minced, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried chili flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or substitute apple cider vinegar OR regular white vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, OR 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1-2 cups raw shrimp, shells removed, OR mixed shellfish (shrimp, squid, scallops)
  • VEGETABLES (choose from the following, or add your own selection):
  • handful fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1-2 cups Chinese cabbage such as bok choy or baby bok choy, roughly chopped
  • handful fresh or frozen spinach
  • bamboo shoot strips
  • GARNISH:
  • handful fresh coriander and lime wedges
  • optional: Thai chili sauce to serve on the side

How to Make It

    1. Heat broth in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, galangal or ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, chili, vinegar, brown sugar and lime leaves/lime juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and allow to simmer while you add next ingredients.
    2. Add shrimp/shellfish plus the vegetables. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes, or until shellfish is cooked and/or vegetables are lightly cooked (still colorful).
    3. Crack eggs into a cup and lightly beat with a fork. Slide eggs into the soup and stir immediately several times (the eggs cook fast). ​Tip: If you want the egg to be finely shredded, stir rapidly. If you prefer larger "clouds" of floating egg whites, only stir once or twice clockwise.
    4. Do a taste test and add more fish sauce if it's not salty enough. If too sour, add a little more sugar. For an extra kick of flavor and spice, add a teaspoon or two of Thai chili sauce (such as  Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce).
    5. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with fresh coriander and lime wedges.