Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Soups)

Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimps and Pineapple Recipe

(Canh Chua Tom)

While there are many versions of this popular South Vietnamese soup, the successful ones balance the sweet, hot and sour flavors that make this dish so appealing. This particular rendition calls for dusting the shrimps in tapioca flour or cornstarch and stir-frying them before adding them to the hot soup. This produces a more flavorful result and gives the shrimps added texture. This soup comes together quickly so try to have all ingredients ready to assemble.

Ingredients : Serves 4 -6

450 g

3 tablespoons

1 1/2 liters

4 tablespoons


400 g


8 pieces


225 g

2 tablespoons

1 1/2 tablespoons

1/2 teaspoon



Shrimps, peeled and deveined.  Tapioca flour or cornstarch for dusting


Chicken or fish stock, or water

Tamarind juice

Large stalks celery, thinly sliced or julienned

Ripe pineapple, peeled and cubed (from 1/4 whole pineapple)

Large tomato, cut into eighths

Ladies' fingers (okra), sliced

Red or green chilies, thinly sliced or to taste

Bean sprouts, rinsed

Fish sauce



Shallots, peeled and minced

Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and Thai basil leaves for ganish

Method :
  • In a large bowl, dust the shrimps in the cornstarch. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and stir-fry the shrimps until pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  • In a large saucepan, heat the chicken stock and tamarind juice over medium heat. Add the celery, pineapple, tomato, ladies' fingers and chilies, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the bean sprouts, and stir in the fish sauce, sugar and salt.

  • Heat the remaining oil in the pan and stir-fry the shallots until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the shrimps to the soup, stirring to combine well. Remove from the heat and serve, garnishing each bowl with shallots and the fresh coriander leaves and Thai basil.

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