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Spicy & Sour Beef Spinach Soup - Salor Machu Kreoung


Spicy Sour Beef Spinach Soup

Spicy Sour Beef Spinach Soup

© Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

A meaty Cambodian soup that whets the appetite with its refreshing sour taste. The beef and vegetables make it a balanced meal. Eat it with rice and the meal is complete.

This recipe serves 2.


  • 1 lb sliced chuck steak
  • ¼ lb tripe (optional)
  • ½ lb water spinach, cut into 2 inch lengths
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 4 cups of water
  • ___________
  • -------------------
  • 3 stalks chopped lemongrass (3/4 cup)
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh galangal or 1 Tbsp galangal powder
  • 4 chopped lime leaves
  • 2 chopped chili pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • __________
  • -----------------
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp guava paste or fresh guava
  • 1 Tbsp cream-style pickled fish
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  1. Blend all the ingredients in the Spice Paste list with ¾ cup of water.
  2. Heat oil on low heat in a medium pot. When the oil is smoking slightly, fry the spice paste until it smells fragrant and turns a little brown.
  3. Add the beef and fry until brown.
  4. Add the sugar, fish sauce, guava and some ground black pepper.
  5. Cook for about 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. Add the water spinach and the bell pepper.
  6. Add the creamy-style pickled fish and lemon juice. Adjust the saltiness and sourness according to taste, by varying the amount of pickled fish, lemon juice and water.
  7. Garnish with basil and serve with plain boiled rice.

    Cooking hint: If you find that there’s too much liquid in the soup, take off the pot cover and allow the liquid to reduce.

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