Hot-and-Sour Shrimp Soup


Growing up, Ming Tsai loved the flavors of traditional Chinese hot-and-sour soup, but he didn't like the heavy texture. This is his riff on that soup, with a much lighter and tangier broth. More Chinese Recipes

Hot-and-Sour Shrimp Soup
Photo: © Dana Gallagher
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 Thai chiles, minced

  • 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, inner bulbs only, thinly sliced

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger

  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce

  • 2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 cup small basil leaves


  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the shiitake and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until tender, 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until the shiitake are golden, 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the chiles, lemongrass, shrimp shells, onion and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and golden, about 7 minutes. Add the fish sauce and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Strain the shrimp broth into a large bowl.

  3. Return the broth to the skillet; bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Add the shrimp and shiitake and cook until the shrimp are pink and curled, 1 minute. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the basil leaves and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Look for a crisp, citrusy Riesling from Germany's Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, which will complement the sour lemongrass and lime here.

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