Vietnamese Inspired Shrimp Soup

My vegetable broth is piling up in the freezer. I knew I’d better start using it or I’d run out of room for, you know, everything else. Soup made sense but I wanted something kind of light since it’s started heating up here in LA. Maybe hot N’ sour or vegetable barley… I decided to attempt a version of pho. You may have noticed that I did not title my recipe pho, however. I spoke with my Vietnamese neighbor (after I had already begun to flavor my broth) and what I had already done was in the realm of pho but wasn’t really pho. Thus, the birth of this soup. Vietnamese inspired. The flavors are reminiscent of the basic Vietnamese soup and since we’re talking, the flavors were on point! This soup was a fantastic way to use my broth! We ate it on the patio while the peacocks called their bitches… I mean the pea hens home to roost and The  Rockstar added enough jalapeños  and Sriracha for several people, resulting in him being drenched in sweat by dinner’s end. Good stuff!

You will need the following:

  • 10-12 cups vegetable broth You can buy it but, of course you made your own from scraps like I did here.
  • 3/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Three inches ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 package rice noodles
  • 1 lbs shrimp,peeled and deveined
  • 1 bunch basil (Thai basil if available)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1-2 jalapeños, diced (I like hot so I did not remove the seeds. If you want mild, removed them prior to dicing)
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 limes, sliced to wedges
  • Oyster sauce


  1. Place vegetable broth in a large pot and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. While the broth is simmering, prepare all basil, cilantro, jalapeños, bean sprouts and limes on a large plate or in small bowls. These will be your “side dishes” according to my naive or, or what I would probably call condiments.
  3. Return broth to a rolling boil and add the rice noodles and shrimp. Stir constantly to keep the noodles from sticking. Once the shrimp is pink the noodles should be cooked and your ready to serve.
  4. Spoon it immediately into bowls and top with your choice of condiments.
  5. Serve with oyster sauce and Sriracha or chili sauce of your choice. Finish it off with a generous squeeze of lime and enjoy! Swearing Mom out.

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