Hot and sour prawn soup recipe

By Jenny White

  1. Serves 4
  2. Ready in 30 minutes
  3. Rating

This fragrant broth is the most famous of Thai soups. Lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves are its main flavours, with a kick of bird’s eye chilli.

tried and tested
Hot and sour prawn soup


  1. 25g tamarind pulp
  2. 1 tsp sunflower oil
  3. 1 tsp palm sugar
  4. 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  5. 1 litre fish stock
  6. 2 lemongrass stalks, outer layer discarded and finely sliced
  7. 5cm piece galangal, sliced
  8. 2 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves
  9. 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced
  10. 250g raw king prawns, peeled, deveined with tail shells left on
  11. Juice of ½ lime
  12. 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  13. 1 spring onion, sliced
  14. Handful fresh coriander leaves


  1. 1. Put the tamarind pulp into a bowl and pour over 125ml hot water. Set aside for 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the palm sugar and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  2. 2. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Strain the tamarind liquid into the pan and add the lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves and chilli. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the prawns and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until pink and cooked through. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, spring onion and coriander. Serve straightaway.

Nutritional info

Per serving: 85kcals, 1.5g fat (0.2g saturated), 12.9g protein, 5.1g carbs, 3.9g sugar, 2.1g salt

Chef's tip

To freeze: Freeze at the end of step 2 for up to 2 months. Thaw and complete the recipe to serve.


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February 18

A stunk out the whole house making this soup - very fishy. Yummy but quite salty.

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