Hot and Sour Thai Mushroom Soup with Nam Prik Pow

Hot and Sour Thai Mushroom Soup with Nam Prik Pow

Spicy Thai is probably my favorite cuisine after Indian cooking. Oddly enough, I have rarely cooked authentic Thai food, opting instead for take out from Thai Taste, my favorite Thai restaurant in London. I suppose that is one of the reasons I chose Thai soups and salads for the theme for this month's No Croutons Required — this challenge inspired me to come up with a Thai meal in addition to getting some lovely ideas from fellow bloggers.

I always prefer to make my own spice blends and sauces, and so I made a fresh nam prik pow sauce in preparation for this fragrant and delicious hot and sour mushroom soup. Also spelled as nam prik pao, this traditional Thai chili paste is almost always prepared with shrimp paste — a warning to vegetarians going out to eat, just because you order a vegetable or bean curd dish with nam prik pow does not mean that you will be eating vegetarian! So this is a vegetarian version using tamari sauce to infuse that wonderful salty or briny taste into the sauce. You will end up with more of the sauce than you need for this recipe, but this sauce is delicious served over egg noodles or with some fresh or lightly cooked vegetables as well.

Served alongside a homemade Thai massaman curry, this soup was a great hit with wonderful layers of spicy, sour and lemony flavors contrasting beautifully with tender chunks of tasty oyster mushrooms. It was light at the same time to provide a balance with the heavier massaman curry.

Just a quick note: most of these ingredients are available in large grocery stores these days, but a quick trip to an Asian grocer will locate green eggplants and kaffir lime leaves for a more authentic taste — I have however included substitutes for these ingredients.

Hot and Sour Thai Mushroom Soup with Nam Prik PowHot and Sour Thai Mushroom Soup with Nam Prik Pow
Recipe by
Adapted from Thai Vegetarian Cooking
Cuisine: Thai
Published on January 18, 2010

Simple but delicious hot and sour mushroom soup seasoned with a vegetarian Thai Nam Prik Pow chili sauce

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Nam prik pow (Thai red chili) Sauce:
  • 6 fresh green or red chilies, seeded
  • 2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 green eggplant or baby purple eggplant
  • juice from 1 small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 oz (14 g) dried mushrooms
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons Nam Prik Pow sauce (above)
  • 1-inch piece lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped (or 1 teaspoon lemon zest)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • juice from 1 small lemon
  • 2 cups oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 3 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • coriander leaves to garnish (optional)
  • Begin by making the nam prik pow sauce. Wrap the chilies, garlic, shallots, tomato and eggplant in foil and roast under the broiler until they begin to soften — about 30 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and add the lemon juice, tamari sauce, salt and sugar. Pulse to combine.

  • Meanwhile, soak the dried mushrooms in how water for 20 minutes, then drain and chop.

  • Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the Nam Prik sauce. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over medium-low heat until the mushrooms are just cooked — tender but not too soft.

  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh coriander leaves if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Other Asian recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen to try:
Miso Seaweed Broth with Mushrooms and Carrots
Yunnan Stir-Fried Azuki Beans and Green Pepper
Miso Soup with Wild Mushrooms
Oseng Oseng Tempe

On the top of the reading stack: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, Book 2) by Suzanne Collins

Audio Accompaniment: Consciousness by Windy and Carl


Rachana said...

Dear Lisa,
The Soup looks yummy... and your blog looks great:) with awesome recipes...
Looking forward to your recipes...

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Looks great Lisa! I have always been put of thai food, by the thought of the fish sauce that crops up so often in recipes and I never got around to making any thai food myself, so I am pleased to feel tempted by your recipe :)

Soma Pradhan said...

Nice soup....looks hot and tangy

Johanna GGG said...

looks lovely - I love eating thai when out but get frustrated by the ubiquitous thai sauce so am always glad to find thai recipes - and I like to control the heat

I don't think I will be able to put anything in to no croutons required this month as I need to have energy to cook thai and haven't had that - have been doing easy stuff that often doesn't require much forethought - am sorry not to as I would like to do more thai

Priya Suresh said...

Prefect soup for this chilled weather..

Lisa Turner said...


I'm sorry you won't get a chance to submit something this month as your recipes are always tempting.

Shah cooks said...

lovely soup..mushroom is the perfect foil for the hot n sour soup.

Miri said...

Looks awesome - thanks for the Nam prik recipe - will be trying it

I posted a Hot and Sour soup 2 weeks back and yes, they are wonderful!

CurryLeaf said...

Wow.Authentic soup.have heard of nam prik pow sauce therecipe is new to me.
Hope you got my mail.

PJ said...

This hot and soup soup looks delicious and so very comforting! Its the perfect bowl I am wishing in this rainy week. Sauce looks very tempting too.. this is my first time stumbling over your blog; you have a great space here with delicious vegetarian recipes.. I'll be sure to come back for seconds!

Hamster said...

If you like cookiing Thai food, may I recommend this site

test it comm said...

This soup sounds good. I have been looking for Nam Prik sauce for a while. Making your own is the perfect solution!

TiaMaria said...

Hi Lisa,

You recipe looks delicious. I'm going to try it next week. I have 365 recipes for soup, but I haven't tried "Hot & Sour yet".