| |

Somlor Machu Youn – A Sweet and Tangy Soup Recipe

This Cambodian soup will have your tongue dancing! From sweet to tangy, somlor machu youn is also a staple in our household!

In this recipe, we used pork rib bones, but feel free to change up the protein according to your taste. We’ve made this before with some shrimp and catfish… and it was super delicious! *chefs kiss*

Anywho…growing up, I was always intrigued by how much flavor a soup can hold and how it can be made. This soup definitely packs a punch. I never imagined that I’d be able to cook ethnic foods just like my mom, but watching her cook has definitely been such a gift and blessing. I’m glad I’m able to share these amazing recipes with you all. Here’s a little taste of Cambodia, from my kitchen to yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

Somlor Machu Youn (Cambodian Sweet and Tangy Soup)

This soup has it all! From the tanginess and sourness of tamarind to the sweetness of the pineapples. Dress it up however you like, but here's how we made it ๐Ÿ™‚ — you can substitute with catfish if preferred!
we have a relatively large family and tend to make a lot to share… feel free to cut recipe in half!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 5 pounds pork rib bones
  • 3/4 heaping cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp tamarind soup powder base
  • 5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 bunch bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch culantro leaves
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple
  • 1 16 oz jar lotus stems
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 stems celery (sliced small)
  • 1 bunch rice patty herb

alternate protein

  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 2 lb catfish


clean/cook pork rib bones

  • add your pork rib bones into your pot, and fill it up with enough water just to cover the bones and boil it. this will clean the bones and scum will float to the top!
  • once the water boils, remove the pot from the burner and rinse the bones under cold water until the water is clear
  • re-add the pork bones back into the pot and fill up the pot halfway with water (roughly 8-9 cups)
  • if you like the cartilage in your bones, cook the pork bones for 30 minutes on medium heat until the bone is tender — if not, cook pork bones for 20 minutes on medium heat until tender

prep other ingredients

  • when soup is boiling, cut up your pineapple or used canned pineapples (fresh pineapple recommended)
  • cut tomatoes in halves (if using cherry tomatoes) or in fourths (if using larger tomatoes)
  • rinse and drain lotus stems
  • chop finely culantro leaves, leaving about a teaspoon aside for garnishing

make soup base

  • after soup has been boiling for 20-30 minutes…add in a heaping 3/4 cup of sugar into the pot and 4 tables spoons of tamarind soup powder
  • add 5 table spoons of fish sauce (more or less according to your taste and the brand of fish sauce used)
  • add in chopped pineapples, lotus stems, and 1 table spoon of salt
  • mix and taste
  • adjust soup with sugar and fish sauce to your desired taste
  • allow to boil for 30 minutes so flavors incorporate

assemble and serve

  • add in the bean sprouts (options) and tomatoes about 15 minutes before serving.
  • when serving, top with some crispy garlic fried in oil and the fresh culantro/ rice patty leaves for color!

Instructions for SOMLOR MACHU YOUN

add your pork bones to a stock pot and fill it up enough to cover the bones, once water boils, remove from pot and rinse with cold water.

add bones back to the pot and add about 7-8 cups of water and boil for about 25-30 minutes until meat is tender.

while meat is tenderizing prep other ingredients, chop your culantro leaves and rice patty herbs. cut the skin off the pineapple and remove the core and slice into bite-sized pieces. rinse and drain lotus stems

this is what rice patty herb looks like! we grow our own, but it can be found typically in any Asian grocery store!

cut your cherry tomatoes or tomatoes and celery (not pictured)

after the soup has boiled for 25-30 minutes, add the pineapple chunks, celery, lotus stems, salt, fish sauce, tamarind soup mix powder, msg, sugar, and salt into the soup and mix it up. taste the soup and adjust the flavors accordingly.

once the soup is to your liking, add in the chopped culantro and rice patty leaves

15 minutes before serving, add in the tomatoes and bean sprouts and let it simmer.

garnish with fresh culantro leaves, rice patty leaves, and fried garlic!

somlor machu

I got too excited and didn’t take many pictures of the steps and ingredients.. oops ๐Ÿ™ please forgive me!!

be sure to check out all my other asian recipes here!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply