Delicious Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Are you looking for a hot, savory soup to warm you up on a chilly day or to spice up your taste buds? Look no further than this Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup recipe. This dish, also known as Canh Chua, originates from Southern Vietnam and is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine.

This soup balances the perfect combination of sweet and sour flavors with a hint of spice. It is made with a rich soup base that includes chicken or vegetable broth as well as lemongrass, onion, and fresh mushrooms. The flavorful broth is then combined with juicy medium shrimp, fresh bean sprouts, jalapeno chilies, and green onions. The acidity of lime juice and fish sauce are used to boost the already tangy tamarind paste.

This soup has been a personal favorite of mine for years because of its unique blend of spices and ingredients that will leave your taste buds tantalized. Additionally, this recipe is easy to follow and can be adjusted to your liking by adding different ingredients or altering the level of spiciness.

Whether you are looking for an alternative to traditional chicken noodle soup or just want to experience the flavor-packed dish that is Canh Chua, this Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup recipe is the perfect choice. Get ready for an explosion of flavors in your mouth with every spoonful.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup
Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup

Are you in search of a soup that will warm your insides, tantalize your taste buds, and appease your hunger? Look no further than this Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup recipe! This dish is the perfect combination of spicy, sour, and savory flavors that will leave you feeling satisfied and comforted.

What sets this soup apart from others is its unique blend of fresh herbs and spices. Fresh basil, cilantro, jalapeno chilies, green onions, and bean sprouts are just some of the delicious ingredients that make this soup both flavorful and nutritious. And with the addition of succulent shrimp, tender shiitake mushrooms, and zesty lemongrass, you’ll be transported to the bustling markets of Southern Vietnam with each savory sip.

Not only is this recipe absolutely delicious, but it is also incredibly versatile. It can be made with chicken or vegetable broth to cater to any dietary restrictions or preferences. Plus, it can be served as a standalone meal or paired with your favorite side dishes for a complete experience. The possibilities are endless!

So if you’re tired of bland soups that fail to deliver on flavor or satisfaction, try making this Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup. You won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to heat things up with this piping-hot Vietnamese hot and sour soup!
Get ready to heat things up with this piping-hot Vietnamese hot and sour soup!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make Vietnamese hot and sour soup:

Broth and Soup Base:

  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp or 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 oz medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 4 oz canned bamboo shoots, drained, rinsed, and julienned
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, trimmed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 fresh jalapeno chilies, thinly sliced (seeded for less heat)
  • 4 green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced


  • Fresh bean sprouts
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Lime wedges for squeezing

Note that you may need to visit an Asian grocery store to purchase some of these ingredients.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect balance of spicy, sour, and savory flavors in every spoonful.
The perfect balance of spicy, sour, and savory flavors in every spoonful.

Let’s Get Cooking: Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Are you ready to dive in this fiery yet sour soup, which is also known as Canh Chua in Vietnamese? This hearty soup consists of fresh and healthy ingredients that will light up your taste buds! Let’s start cooking this hot and sour soup, it is best accompanied by steamed jasmine rice or crusty bread.

Preparing the Soup Base

To make our Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup, we will need to start with a flavorful soup base. In a large pot, bring 8 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth to boil over high heat. To add depth of flavor, we will also stir in 3 stalks of lemongrass that have been lightly crushed with the side of a knife along with 4 shiitake mushrooms.

Add the Soup Ingredients

Next, add two thinly sliced medium-sized onions and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes or until they are slightly tender. Add 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste, which will give the soup its signature sour taste. Additionally, add 1 seeded and minced jalapeno chili pepper for a hint of spiciness. Then, slice 2 lbs. of or large shrimp into bite-sized pieces, put them in the pot and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Flavoring the Soup

Now it’s time to add some tasty seasoning to our delicious pot of soup. Add 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, followed by 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and then squeeze three juicy limes into the pot. Lastly, season with 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper to taste.

Final Touches

Finish off this fragrant colorful concoction by adding some fresh herbs such as chopped cilantro, basil, and sliced green onions. Serve hot and garnish the soup with fresh bean sprouts!

Congratulations, you have just made an amazing pot of Canh Chua! Enjoy your hot and sour soup’s burst of flavors in every spoonful.

Substitutions and Variations

 This vibrant soup is as delicious as it is beautiful. Just look at those vibrant colors and fresh herbs!
This vibrant soup is as delicious as it is beautiful. Just look at those vibrant colors and fresh herbs!

Are you looking to put a unique spin on this popular Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup recipe? Here are some substitutions and variations that will add an extra kick to the dish.

– Protein alternatives: If you’re not feeling like shrimp, switch things up by using chicken or catfish for a different taste. The soup can also be prepared vegetarian-style by adding tofu instead of fish or meat.

– Spice level: Want to dial up the spiciness? Add more jalapeno chilies or try Thai bird’s eye chilies. On the other hand, if you prefer a milder version of the soup, use red bell pepper in place of jalapenos.

– Broth base: While chicken and vegetable broth are traditional for this recipe, you could also try using beef broth or pork broth for a heartier taste. You can also combine these broths together to create a unique and complex flavor.

– Tamarind substitutes: If you cannot find tamarind paste, substitute with lime juice mixed with brown sugar as an alternative source of sweetness.

– Herb variations: Add different herbs like Thai basil, mint, or culantro (a stronger cousin of cilantro) for interesting and distinct flavors.

– Noodle type: Use vermicelli noodles instead of rice noodles which would absorb the sourness from the canh chua soup better.

Once you’ve found your favorite variations, feel free to mix and match these substitutions until you create your own signature hot and sour soup. Remember to keep experimenting and have fun along the way!

Serving and Pairing

 Imagine a cozy bowl of steaming broth filled with delicate rice noodles, juicy shrimp, and tangy veggies. That's what you'll get with this recipe.
Imagine a cozy bowl of steaming broth filled with delicate rice noodles, juicy shrimp, and tangy veggies. That’s what you’ll get with this recipe.

Now that your Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup is ready, it’s time to talk about serving and pairing. This soup is a meal in itself and is perfect when you’re looking for something filling, healthy, and light all at the same time.

Serve this hot and sour soup with steamed white rice or some crusty bread on the side. The crunch of fresh bean sprouts, green onions, and cilantro will add texture and freshness to every spoonful. Top it off with a squeeze of lime juice, sliced jalapeño peppers, and some fresh basil leaves to take the flavors to the next level.

To pair, try a crisp white wine like a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc to balance the sourness of the soup. A light beer like a pilsner can also work wonders. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option, try coconut water or unsweetened iced tea to keep things refreshing.

This Vietnamese hot and sour soup is perfect for any season- whether it’s cold outside and you crave something warm to fill you up, or during the summer when you want something light but still satisfying. It’s versatile in both taste and presentation, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this recipe until you find your perfect bowl of soup.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 One sip of this soup and you'll feel like you've been transported straight to the vibrant streets of Hanoi.
One sip of this soup and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported straight to the vibrant streets of Hanoi.

In order to save yourself some precious time, you can make this Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup ahead of time and store it until you’re ready to serve it. If you’re planning on making the soup in advance, it’s best to keep the soup broth separate from the other ingredients until you’re ready to eat. This will help the ingredients retain their crunchiness and texture, making for a better experience overall.

To store the soup broth, simply pour it into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve it, just heat up the broth on the stove until it reaches boiling temperature. Once that’s done, add in your ingredients of choice and let them cook until they’re done.

If you have any leftovers from your hot and sour soup, you can easily store them in an airtight container and refrigerate them for later. This soup can last for up to three days if stored properly. Alternatively, if you’d like to freeze the soup for even longer storage times, be sure to store it in a freezer-safe container instead.

To reheat your hot and sour soup, simply bring it up to boil on the stove. You can also use a microwave if you prefer – just be sure to transfer the soup into microwavable containers first. It’s important not to overcook or overheat this soup as doing so can cause it to lose its flavors and textures.

Overall, this Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup is perfect for those who want a delicious meal with minimal effort. With these storing and reheating tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a fresh-tasting soup whenever you want without having to worry about cooking from scratch every time!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Hot and sour soup is a classic dish found in many Asian cuisines
Hot and sour soup is a classic dish found in many Asian cuisines

To achieve great results when cooking the Vietnamese hot & sour soup recipe, there are a few tips and suggestions that I’d love to share with you. These tips will make sure that your soup is full of rich & bold flavors and has the perfect balance of sweetness and sourness.

First and foremost, always prepare fresh ingredients like cilantro, basil, green onions, jalapenos, bean sprouts, and mushrooms. When chopping these herbs, make sure your knife is sharp enough so that the pieces are neatly diced. Also, try to add these greens at the end of the recipe and while plating as toppings for a fresh aroma and flavor pop.

Next, it would be best to use chicken or vegetable broth as soup base rather than plain water. This will give your soup a richer taste, which is important since most of the other ingredients are quite simple in flavor. I also recommend using low-sodium chicken stock to maintain control over the sodium intake.

When it comes to seasoning, make sure not to add too much fish sauce at once. Fish sauce is the primary source of saltiness in Vietnamese cooking so be careful because it’s easy to go overboard with it; taste as you go to gradually develop the flavour of the broth.

If you want to elevate the taste of this hot & sour soup recipe further, add tamarind paste. You can also use vinegar instead if tamarind paste is not available in your local store; this addition can help balance sweetness and sourness in soups.

Finally, don’t forget about the shrimp selection! Large shrimp works best here because they give out added flavor complexity into the broth plus they are easier to pick up with chopsticks! Simply place there near enough until they turn pink-ish/red-ish color.

With these tips put into action alongside my simple recipe guide,you’ll surely impress your friends and family with a wonderful Vietnamese hot & sour soup dish that is comparable to something you would get in a Vietnamese restaurant in the bustling heart of Vietnam.”

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Recipe, also known as Canh Chua or Sour Soup, is a must-try for enthusiasts of Vietnamese cuisine. This soup is not only packed with flavors resulting from the combination of sour and hot ingredients but also a perfect pick-me-up for cold days. Moreover, with easy-to-find ingredients and simple steps to follow, this recipe can be easily adapted to suit different preferences and dietary needs, including gluten-free and low-sodium options.

As a chef specializing in Asian cuisine, I can attest that this dish is not only mouth-watering but has numerous health benefits. The soup’s ingredients, such as lemongrass, ginger, mushrooms, and lime juice, are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties excellent for boosting the immune system. Additionally, shrimp or other seafood such as catfish or squid are sources of lean protein that help in tissue growth and repair.

In summary, whether one prefers sweet or sour soups, Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Recipe offers an explosion of flavors that will excite taste buds. So put on your apron and get ready to make a delicious soup that is sure to impress your friends and family at your next gathering. Bon Appetit!

Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup

Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

This recipe was posted on the box of rice noodles, and I'm posting here so I don't lose it. It's slightly modified for our taste.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer/Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 216.8 kcal


  • 4 ounces rice noodles, cooked, rinsed and drained as directed on package
  • 5 cups chicken broth or 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, crushed and thinly sliced diagonally (use only bottom third to half of the stalk)
  • 1 cup shiitake mushroom, sliced (or button mushrooms)
  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb medium shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or slightly more to taste)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • 1 cup fresh bean sprout, trimmed and rinsed
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh jalapeno chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped


  • In a large pot, bring broth, lemongrass, mushrooms, and onion to a boil.
  • Add shrimp, fish sauce and lime juice to the pot.
  • Cook until shrimp is opaque (1 - 2 minutes).
  • Add rice noodles and heat another minute.
  • Serve in soup bowls with garnishes as desired.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 465gCalories: 216.8kcalCarbohydrates: 30.7gProtein: 16.4gFat: 2.6gSaturated Fat: 0.6gCholesterol: 71.6mgSodium: 1664.2mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 3.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Clear Soups, Vietnamese
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