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Asian, Thai
Hot and Sour Soup Recipe-100

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


I know that for some people nothing feels more restoring than something warm and unchallengingly bland, but when it’s succor and sustenance I need, it’s spice that I want. This soup, torn yam—the culinary equivalent of Friar’s Balsam—clears the tubes and brings fire to the jaded soul. And there’s nothing like a bit of searing heat to push away any hungover seediness. It’s good for those days when you’re thick with cold, too.

It’s easy to throw together: the chicken stock I make out of boiling water and bouillon granules, and the torn yam hot and sour paste is sold now at most supermarkets, along with the other ingredients, too.

Yield: Serves 4–6


  • 6½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 heaping tablespoon torn yam hot and sour paste
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped, optional
  • 1 stick lemongrass, tender inner part only, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2–3 small jalapenos or fresh red or green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons straw or button mushrooms, halved or quartered according to size
  • 1 pound 2 ounces peeled raw shrimp, thawed if frozen
  • 5 small scallions, cut into short lengths and then into strips
  • Small bunch cilantro, chopped


Heat the stock and torn yam paste in a decent-sized saucepan with the lime leaves, lemongrass, lime juice, fish sauce, chillies and sugar. Bring to the boil, add the mushrooms and simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the shrimp and scallions and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked but still tender. Sprinkle with a little cilantro and put more on the table for people to add themselves as they want.

© 2002 Nigella Lawson

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 6 servings.

204kcal (10%)
1543mg (64%)
5g (7%)
1g (6%)
137mg (46%)
66mcg RAE (2%)
10mg (16%)
66mg (7%)
3mg (17%)

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