Hanoi Sweet and Sour Shrimp Soup


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Hanoi Sweet and Sour Shrimp Soup is one of our traveler’s favorite dishes on our Hanoi cook class, they specially love the taste of the broth as well as the selective ingredients that we put into the soup. If you are thinking of cooking an authentic Vietnamese soup, this soup it is!

The recipe is very similar to Thailand’s tom yum soup, except it replaces lemongrass with tamarind pulp. There are many types of sweet and sour soup with different stock bases and assorted veggies. It’s truly up to you what type of acidic veggies you like pairing with your seafood.

For sweet and sour soups, our chef recommends using chicken stock to give the soup more body, especially if shrimp is your only protein. Other types of seafood such as mussels and crab may add more flavor. Alternatively, you can use large whole shrimps with head on to add more flavor and color to the soup.

Making Hanoi Sweet and Sour Soup

Hanoi Sweet and Sour Soup


  • 10 large shrimp
  • 3 tsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 64 oz chicken stock
  • 2 oz of tamarind pulp
  • 3 tsp of fish sauce
  • 5 tbsp of sugar
  • ½ lb of okra
  • ½ lb of pineapple
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cilantro bunch
  • 1 bird’s eye chili


  1. Use large shrimp with the head, shell, and tail to get a richer shrimp flavor to the soup. Wash shrimp with 1 tsp of salt. Set aside.
  2. Slice garlic cloves to look like thin chips. In a small pan, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil and sliced garlic. Heat on medium and stir constantly to make fried garlic chips. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, add 64 oz of chicken stock and set to medium heat. Add 2 oz of tamarind pulp through a strainer.
  4. Add 3 tbsp of fish sauce, 2 tsp of salt, and 5 tbsp of sugar.
  5. Halve the okra diagonally and char it. slice the pineapple into small chunks. Add these and the shrimp to the pot. Turn to medium-high heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
  6. Slice tomatoes into quarters and add to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes to turn off the heat.
  7. Serve in small individual bowls and garnish with fried garlic chips, cilantro, and chili.

There you go. That’s how to cook Hanoi Sweet and Sour Shrimp Soup for 4 persons, with just about 20 minutes preparation and 30 minutes cooking. We hope you enjoy your cook, and please contact us if there is anything we can help.

If you are a fan of Vietnamese shrimp dish, check out our recipe for caramelized shrimp with pork.

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