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Thai Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup

While I'm working on the next weekly diet plan for my challenge, my friend, DJ Foodie has a great low-carb recipe for you. His Thai Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup is also suitable for my Clean Eating Challenge! I'm a big fan of Thai cuisine and this soup from DJ has soon become one of my favourites :-)

One of my absolute favorite soups meals is the famous “Tom Kha Gai”, which means “Chicken with Galangal”. I only mention this, because THIS particular soup tends to have a similar taste sensation, except … with shrimp! If you’ve enjoyed the famous Thai Soup and you enjoy sweet tasty crustaceans, and occasionally feel that coconut milk just gets in the way … then … move this to the top of your list!

This one is based in a FANTASTIC and incredibly flavorful shrimp broth, which is made from fresh shrimp shells and other aromatics. I like to make this and freeze it, when I’ve got excess shrimp shells. Then, making a quick batch of this soup becomes easy!

Note: Because about half of the ingredients are strained out of this recipe, I omitted them from the nutrition, which likely makes the nutrition on this recipe slightly suspect, but mostly accurate.

Preparation time


Nutritional values per serving:

6.2 grams 1.4 grams 27.7 grams 8.7 grams 224 calories
Total Carbs7.6grams
Net Carbs6.2grams

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • 1 lb shrimp (16-20), peeled with the tails left on, and deveined (454g / 15.9 oz)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, divided (28g / 1 oz)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (110g/ 3.9 oz)
  • 4 each garlic cloves (12g / 0.4 oz)
  • 1 one inch piece galangal (Thai ginger - ginger is an acceptable substitute), peeled and slice into 8 chunks (22g / 0.8 oz)
  • 1 each lemongrass stalk, ½-inch rough chop from the white portion (22g / 0.8 oz)
  • 3 each fresh kaffir lime leaves, rough chop (or ½ tsp fresh lime zest) (3g / 0.1 oz)
  • 1 each red thai chilies, rough chop (188g / 6.5 oz)
  • 5 cups chicken broth (896g / 31.7 oz)
  • ½ lb crimini, shiitake, oyster or button mushrooms, washed and sliced into wedges (227g / 8.1 oz)
  • 1 small green zucchini (118g / 4.2 oz)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (31g / 1.6 oz)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (36g / 1.3 oz)
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro, very coarsely chopped (25g / 0.9)
  • ¼ bunch fresh basil, very coarsely chopped (25g / 0.9)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Peel and devein the shrimp, setting the shrimp shells aside.

  2. In a large pot, heat 1 coconut oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp shells and quickly stir to cook them. They burn easily, so keep them moving. Cook until they are red in color and lose any ammonia aroma. Add onion, garlic, galangal (or ginger), lemongrass, lime leaf (or a small amount of fresh lime zest), chilies and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until onions are slightly translucent. Add chicken broth to the pot. Simmer.

  3. Once the shrimp stock has simmered for about 30 minutes, strain it. Discard shells. This is when I will often chill the broth and then freeze it. If continuing, place the stock back on the stove to slowly simmer.

  4. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Once hot, add the coconut oil, zucchini and mushrooms with a bit of salt and pepper. Saute until cooked through, but still slightly firm. Add to the shrimp broth.

  5. Add the raw shrimp to the shrimp broth. Allow the vegetables and shrimp to simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and a bit of salt and pepper. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning. When the shrimp is cooked through, about 1 more minute, add the fresh cilantro and basil. Serve!

A Bit About Me

I’m a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY. I have worked under some of the best chefs within the United States: in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and Vail, CO. While I am extremely able to create food, I somehow missed the lesson on “eating” food. For me, it was anything, anywhere, at any time. In early 2010, I had ballooned to 352 lbs and was certain I’d developed diabetes. Life wasn’t good. I read a book promoting a real food, mostly raw, mostly vegetarian diet, at a time I was willing to listen. This started a journey, which has taken me through a variety of eating styles.

Since then, I’ve lost a total of 142 lbs. I am still losing, but slowly. In the interim, I have gained more than I could have ever imagined.

In response to the ubiquitous question, “How’d you do that?!” … I have started a blog, located at My blog is devoted entirely to that question. Near 400 recipes strong, with a new one added regularly, I share my adventures in the kitchen and my life in a lighthearted and humorous manner.

Today, I eat copious amounts of bacon, loads of meats, vegetables and a wide assortment of other ingredients. I focus on lower carb, but also focus a lot of interesting cooking techniques and creative flavor combinations. Regardless of your food preferences, there is a lot of quality information that can be applied to your own food preferences. Take what works … and leave the rest behind!

Come check me out and say, “Hi!”

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Comments (7)

This looks 10000% amazing and I cannot wait to make it!  Thanks for the recipe!


Thank you Stephanie - big thanks to the creator, DJ Foodie! Smile


I'd love to try this but... I hate cilantro. Is there anything else I can use instead or do I just skip it? Thanks


Eve, I'm not a big fan of cilantro either and only use small amounts. If you don't like it, use more basil Smile


Thank you, Carol! Laughing


Love recipes from DJ! Thanks for sharing Smile


And he has more - check out his website, it's flooded with great recipes! Smile


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