cambodian sour soup

Cambodian Sour Soup

Lime juice and Cambodian herbs and spices shine through this very simple broth-based sour soup recipe.

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Cambodian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Craig Fear


  • About 4 cups water
  • 1 whole small fish, chopped into 5-6 pieces (including head and skin)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass only bottom third of stalk, tough outer layers removed, sliced thin
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2-3 green onions, bottom half only, chopped into large pieces
  • 2-3 cilantro stems, chopped into large pieces
  • 5-6 tsps fish sauce
  • 1 tsp organic sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Juice of 2-3 small limes
  • 2-3 whole bird's eye chiles
  • ¼ white onion, chopped into fine strips

Seasonings (add as much of each as you want)

  • Fried garlic
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Green onions
  • Fish sauce
  • Lime wedges


  1. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients (except the chiles and onions), including the whole fish, and simmer about 10-15 minutes until fish is cooked through. If you're not using a whole fish, sub fish or chicken broth for water and simply add the fish filets in step 4.
  2. Taste and add more fish sauce, sugar, salt and/or lime, to taste.
  3. Add whole chiles and simmer for about another 10 minutes.
  4. Add white onion in the last few minutes.
  5. Ladle soup into individual bowls and serve with a side of white jasmine rice.
  6. Add garnishes of green onions, fried garlic, cilantro leaves, lime wedges and fish sauce, to taste.