Hot and sour oyster mushroom and pumpkin soup

Gaeng juet

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Food and Travels: Asia

Food and Travels

By Alastair Hendy

Published 2004

  • About

Clumps of oyster mushrooms, their bone-white gills as delicate as porcelain, are lovingly arranged and displayed in baskets by the ladies of Luang Prabang’s Talaat Naviengkham morning market. Their silken slipperiness is the stuff of broth dreams. Whack in some herbage on serving.


  • 1 litre Asian chicken stock
  • 2 sticks lemongrass, trimmed and smashed
  • 3 cm piece fresh galangal, sliced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, ripped
  • 3 shallots, halved
  • 4 tbsp tamarind water
  • salt
  • 200 g peeled firm pumpkin, cut into small chunks
  • 12 small oyster mushrooms, stems trimmed
  • 4 small tomatoes, halved
  • small handful of garlic chives or 2 spring onions, sliced
  • bowl of mixed herbs and lime halves, to serve


Put the stock, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, tamarind water and a dash of salt into a saucepan and bring to a bubble, then simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Fish or strain out all the flavouring ingredients, discard them, then taste, adding more salt if the stock needs it. Add the chopped pumpkin to the stock and allow to gently bubble until the pumpkin is almost tender. Next, throw in the mushrooms and gently poach for about a minute, then add the tomatoes and the garlic chives. Bubble up, then ladle into four bowls. Flore herbs can be added at the table - doled out in help-yourself little bowls.