This recipe starts off as a simple, aromatic broth that can be served as is, but by adding chiles and lime juice, the dish becomes a hot-and-sour soup. As with other Southeast Asian cuisines, such as Burmese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Thai, lemongrass and galangal are often used in aromatic soups. The application of these herbs goes beyond cooking as they are widely used in folk remedies. Both lemongrass and galangal have medicinal properties as antibacterials and tonics to aid indigestion. Recipe from Vietnamese Fusion: Vegetarian Cuisine* by Chat Mingkwan (Book Publishing Co.), reprinted by permission.

Vegetarian Hot-and-Sour Soup

Serves: 6


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, cut into several 2-inch-long pieces and bruised to slightly split
  • 5 pieces thinly sliced galangal or ginger, each piece 2 x 2 inches
  • 1/2 lb fresh…

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