HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Asian soup

I've been trying to find some different Asian soups -- something other than the standard Chinese triumvirate of Egg Drop/Wonton/Hot and Sour or simple miso soup. I really love Thai and Vietnamese soups, but I've tried all of the local ones now and I'm looking to branch out (I'm in Chelsea).

Any recommendations on other Asian soups, preferrably spicy?



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. have you tried the Chelsea Market on 9th ave and 15th, 16th street? If I remember correctly there was a Thai place in there for take out and delivery.

    1. Spicy Lime and Coconut Curry soup with chicken at Republic - Union Square

      1. Thai and Vietnamese soups tend to be spicy. You're in the right place(s) for spicy. Venture out to Queens if you can. The Chinese can satisfy your craving for spicy as well.

        Chinese: http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bi...

        Thai: http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bi...

        1. I can't think of a spicier Asian soup than Korea's Yuk Gae Jan, which contains strands of beef, noodles, other stuff. My favorite bowl is at Flushing's Farrington Restaurant, a cabby diner on the corner of Farrington and 35th, I believe. It never fails to clear my sinuses. You can find it, though, at just about any Korean restaurant in the city, but I recommend that you go somewhere in Flushing or Murray Hill.

          You'll also want to try a bowl of Aksam Lasa, a spicy noodle soup that, I believe, is a traditional breakfast food. You can get a good bowl of it at Skyway, on Allen Street in Manhattan's Chinatown, as well as any number of other places in Manhattan, Flushing and Elmhurst. (I also had a pretty good bowl of it at a place - I can't remember the name - on Mulberry between Bayard and Canal, not far from Chanoodle (Somebody help me out here).

          Chao Thai, on Whitney Avenue in Elmhurst, serves up what I've been told is an authentic bowl of Tom Yum soup. Either way, it's good. I also like the version at Arunee, on 82nd I believe, right off of Roosevelt in Jackson Heights.

          Enjoy. P.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Polecat

            The name of the soup is Assam Laksa. You can have it for breakfast, but traditionally, it's not only a breakfast food, I don't think. Then again, it's really Penang-style laksa (each Malaysian state and some other parts of the region have their own type of laksa), and I don't know what the tradition is in Penang.

            1. re: Polecat

              I think champon (a seafood soup) is spicier than yuk kae jang, though this can vary from place to place.

              You can also try prawn mee - a Malay / Indo noodle soup.

            2. Sentosa, on Prince St, in Flushing, serves two versions of Tom Yum soup, one about $6.00, the other about $9.00. They both are large bowls, the second one contains additional ingredients and has another name which I don't recall.They are both spicy and wonderfully flavored.

              1. You can get an excellent, very hot and spicy bowl of sichuan noodle soup at the J&L Mall, 41-82 Main Street in Flushing, as well as a host of other hand-pulled noodle soups at other stalls. For more info, check out this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/339644

                I also had an amazing bowl of Huei Mian, a Lamb Noodle Soup, which can be made hotter by adding accompaniments, at the Golden Shopping Mall, just down the street, at 41-28 Main. Here's the thread for that one: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/350358

                Enjoy your quest, and keep slurping.

                1. You should try Malaysian herbal soup - Bah Kuh Teh. It is very different than any other dish, very herbal, almost healing. It's not spicy though. It's made by cooking pig feet and mixture of like 10 herbs for hours. I have had it at Sanur on Doyer st. in Chinatown - have not been there at least a year, so cannot vouch if they still make it good.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: welle

                    Have never heard of this soup, but it sounds well worth trying.

                    In the parallel category of medicinal soups, I read on a previous thread that Congee, on Bowery, is one of perhaps a few places where you can order medicinal soups.

                    1. re: Polecat

                      I think it's pretty common in Malaysian restaurants, they also call it 'Chinese Herb Soup' (interestingly, in Chinese supermarkets they carry the herb bundles for it and they call it "Malaysian soup"). I have once made it at home with the supermarket herb mix and it tasted the same as the restaurant stuff, but it was too laborous, besides I like those fried tofu puffs that restaurants put in there. They may list it in the Casseroles section of the menu, maybe that's why it's not very popular.

                  2. The Bak Kut Teh and Laksa is also good at Nyonya on Grand St in Chinatown. Most places serve Laksa assam-style, i.e. the sour-ish type from Penang, Malaysia. But Sanur on Doyer st. in Chinatown also serves in Singaporean style, so it's got more coconut milk, is less sour and is overall yummier and more palatable IMHO. And I agree with welle - the bak kut teh soup sachets in Chinatown are very easy to use and well worth the effort. The pork rib after it has been boiled for hours is quite yummy when eaten with rice and some sweet dark soy sauce and sliced red chilli. Enjoy!

                    1. After hitting Elmhurst's Minang Asli last night, I won't hesitate to add their wonderful Soto Ayam to this list:http://www.chowhound.com/topics/24889...

                      1. The best soup I have ever had is anything on the menu at Bo Ky on Bayard Street between Mullberry and Mott. It is from a region in China that I am not familiar with and for a while I was under the impression it was Cambodian or something. Try the Can Gam noodles for 25 cents extra and the green vegatable for 50 cents more. Get the country style duck on the side and use one of the 6 condiments on the table to spice up your soup.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: midtown diner

                          I'm so glad you asked this question! Any kind of Asian soup is pretty much my favorite food and I am going to print this out and keep it in my wallet. I would recommend Soon Du Bu at Seoul Garden in K-town (I might sound like a broken record about SG, but I really like it) - if you haven't had it, it's a rich, spicy soup with soft tofu, seafood, and a bit of minced zucchini, to which you can add an egg if you want to make it thicker (I don't).

                          1. re: midtown diner

                            Bo Ky is a Chao Zhou/Teochew style restaurant. For more about this region of Guangdong Province, you can look here:


                          2. Always glad to revive this thread, as there's nothing I enjoy more than a hearty bowl of noodle soup.

                            This time, I'll add the Pork Hand-Drawn Noodle Soup at Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House. Chewy, firm fresh and delicious noodles, made on the premises, which is an angular crawlspace at 86-08 Whitney Avenue in Elmhurst. The pork broth is also excellent, not overpowering but just right, with a hint of heat. Chunks of tender pork, fat and bone, along with bokchoy and scallions, round out this wonderful soup. I look forward to trying all 17 versions, including the House Special Hand-Drawn Noodle Soup, as well as the version with fish balls and wontons.

                            What with the excellent pan-fried dumplings (10 bucks will buy you 50 frozen bad boys), only minor technicalities (namely the kind of dumplings and noodles) stand in the way of my calling Lao Bei Fang a ramen joint.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Polecat

                              I have had no appetite all day, must be coming down with something because I ALWAYS have an appetite...I just want to tell you that this post brought my appetite back!!

                              1. re: Polecat

                                I love love LaoBeiFang's ramen - I've only had beef one though. And I LOVE this thread.
                                Just wanted to add my two other favorites:
                                - stewed beef tendon soup (dark broth) at Sripraphai (traditionally not spicy, but they started adding spices lately) - rich broth, lots of perfectly stewed tendons with a kick of red peppers;
                                - duck soup at Burmese cafe - rich and sourish from the mustard greens. duck is cooked with bone in, which I suspect adds heartiness to the soup.

                                1. re: welle

                                  I also liked the duck soup at BC; wasn't wowed by it like I wanted to be, but liked it. Was kind of greasy the night I went, but you're making me want to try it again.

                                  Prunefeet, glad you got your appetite back. For the record, I might just rank this soup higher than the Flat Lamb Noodle soup in Flushing.

                                  I forgot to add: the Mie Ayam Jakarta at Mie Jakarta (again, Elmhurst's Whitney Avenue). Easily the heartiest soup I've had in ages, a bowl chocked full of goodness, kind of like what I would imagine Indonesian truck driver food to be like. Huge chunks of chicken, falling off a leg bone, mixed in with lots of other stuff in a delicious, but not overly sweet, coconut milk broth. Some months back, I posted a query on chicken soups, what with the flu season coming on. This bowl answered the call.

                                  1. re: Polecat

                                    Polecat, I went to LBF Dumpling House, and inspired by you, strayed from my usual beef noodles soup and ordered pork bone noodles, and loved it. Unlike beef soup, the broth here was clear unadulterated by any soy sauce, MSG or any other strong spices. 4 big pork knuckles with bone marrow in floating in. Very clean taste, rich but clear broth - good for when you under the weather and not into strong flavors I think. But even if you are into strong flavors, the soup was perfect base for that awesome chili pepper - oil sauce they have on the tables.

                                    1. re: welle

                                      Glad you dug it. Next up for me is the House Special Hand Pulled Noodle soup. Have you tried it? P.

                                2. re: Polecat

                                  If you like your hand-pulled noodles a little more al dente than they normally make them, you can ask them to make your noodles "Q-Q". Also, if you're mad for the chili oil they make here (as I am), you can purchase a 1 cup container for $2.

                                3. well, if we don't have to stay in Manhattan, a dynamic spicy and sour clear soup with lime leaf, lemon grass, galangal... is to be had at Sripraphai: the Tom Saap, but with seafood instead of internal organs. A certain chowhound, if he's reading, could give you more detail than I can, but i think you order "Tom Saap Talea", or just find it on the menu and tell them with seafood instead. Drink it while it's hot! It gets way too sour when it turns cold, and isn't nearly as exciting then.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: HLing

                                    A little trick of mine is to go to Sri for lunch and order the Tom Zaap and ask them to add rice noodles to it. It is a little tricky to consume the noodles without hoovering up woody bits of galangal, kaffir lime leaf, and lemongrass, but well worth the trouble. If I get one of the veteran waitresses I also generally ask for no beef, only tendon & tripe as I find the beef itself to be nothing special. Petpet, of course!

                                  2. I will revive this thread again with mention of the hot 'n spicy chicken soup at Nha Trang..not sure what the exact name is but it is sweet and sour and has chicken in a reddish broth.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: erica

                                      Of which Nha Trang do you speak? There are two that I know of, one on Baxter (south of Canal) in Manhattan's Chinatown, the other located in the Sunset Park Chinatown. Are there more?

                                      1. re: Polecat

                                        I know of three: Nha Trang on Baxter and Centre in Manhattan (related) and Nha Trang Palace in Sunset Park (not related AFAIK).

                                        Nha Trang Palace
                                        5906 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

                                        Nha Trang
                                        87 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013

                                        Nha Trang
                                        148 Centre St, New York, NY 10013

                                        1. re: Polecat

                                          Sorry..I meant the one on Baxter in Manhattan..