Thai Beef and Mangosteen Soup

Sliced Mangosteen

Fresh mangosteens are a rare sight even at Southeast Asian groceries in Chicago. Imports of irradiated fresh mangosteens from Thailand have only recently been approved by the USDA, but they’re still far from common. Aside from being seasonal (try your luck around springtime), they seem to fly off the shelves as soon as they’re available.

When a case of pre-bagged fresh mangosteens was unloaded in front of me, a few people dropped what they were doing and headed straight for it. In the time it took to realize that there was a pile of fresh mangosteens right under my nose, a few bags were taken. I thought they were plums. I quickly grab a bag as more of an instinctive reaction but almost threw it back when I noticed the words “plant quarantine” on the label. It’s not the most inviting thing to find on anything I plan to ingest.

Fresh Mangosteens

None of the mangosteens sported the distinctive green caps. I wonder if irradiation causes the caps to flake off.

The best way to enjoy this fruit is to eat it straight from the husk but I couldn’t help but think that there must be something I could do with it. A quick search for “mangosteen recipe” pointed to a Thai recipe for mangosteen clafoutis. Looking at this list, I had a gut feeling that guys aren’t supposed to make clafoutis so I keep looking. Whatever I’m making will likely be Thai, so I looked up recipes in David Thompson’s Thai Food, a.k.a. the tome of weird transliterations and impossible-to-find-ingredients (even more so now that Thai Grocery is gone).

So it came down to Beef and Mangosteen Soup and Mangosteen and Mussel Curry. I wanted to make something that wouldn’t overwhelm the mangosteen flavor so I decide to go with the soup.

The truth is, I found the curry recipe discouraging. Where am I supposed to find 4 pla salit or 5 pla grop or 1/2 hot-smoked trout? I’ll make the curry the next time I come across fresh mangosteens (probably never).

Thai Beef and Mangosteen Soup
dtom neua kho gap mangkut

3 oz beef sirloin (about the size of a deck of cards)
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce (a.k.a. patis, nam pla, nước mắm)
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
pinch of sugar
3 mangosteens, peeled and segmented
pinch of pepper
1 tablespoon cilantro/coriander leaves

For the beef marinade paste:

2 teaspoons cilantro/coriander stems
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
5 peppercorns


  • The beef marinade paste calls for 1 teaspoon of coriander root and it is nowhere to be found. I have yet to make anything from Thai Food exactly as specified.

Pound the beef marinade paste ingredients until smooth. Slice the beef into small cubes. Apply the paste and marinate for an hour.

Beef Marinade

Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and stir-fry the beef briefly until lightly browned. It shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds.

Beef stir-frying in wok

Add the fish sauce and immediately take off the heat. Apologize to non-Asian neighbors if residing in an apartment complex.

Stir-fried Beef from Wok

Bring chicken stock to a boil then add the soy sauce and sugar. Take off the heat and let the stock cool briefly before adding the beef and mangosteens. At anything over a bare simmer, the beef will toughen and the mangosteens may disintegrate.

Beef and Mangosteen Soup

Sprinkle with pepper and cilantro to serve.

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11 Responses to “Thai Beef and Mangosteen Soup”

  1. Cindy says:

    Ahhhh I gotta go to all the grocery stores around my neighborhood see if I can find any fresh mangosteen now!

  2. becky says:

    i’ve only seen mangosteen in china or in dried form at trader joe’s. i think it’s cuz they were illegal until recently due to fear of bringing pests. anyway, this recipes looks great! i’ll have to try it when i actually find the ingredient.

  3. maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) says:

    oh, mangosteens are so delicious, but never have I seen them in the states, but maybe next year I will look for them in cleveland.

    last blog post: Garlic Scapes: A Fast Breakdown

  4. Denise Clarke says:

    OH MY … Mangosteens are so delicious eaten fresh. Believe it or not I found them while traveling in Viennna Austria. i don’t think I could bear to cook them


    last blog post: WFP … Let’s Hear it for Whitey Tighties!

  5. tastesofhome says:

    I’ve only ever had mangosteens fresh, and yeah I have never seen any fresh ones in the US, this is an interesting recipe for sure – love all your pics!

  6. thai seafood says:

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  7. Jenni says:

    Tried freeze-dried mangosteens from Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago. Aside from the puffy, freeze-dried texture, I found the flavor to be delicate, sort of melon-y with some umami meatiness going on. Would love to try them fresh. The soup sounds delightful, by the way:)

  8. Ela says:

    never thought mangosteen can be cooked! always enjoyed them fresh.

  9. Purple Mangosteen | Fruit Maven says:

    [...] Clafouti Thai Beef and Mangosteen Soup VN:F [1.7.4_987]Have you tried this fruit? If so, how would you rate it?thinking…Rating: 0.0/5 [...]

  10. Adelina Surridge says:

    I like your posts and I actually like it! Im looking ahead to seeing more post in your web site. Keep it up and Thanks for Sharing.

  11. Recipe: Thai Beef and Mangosteen Soup | MANGOSTEEN FRUIT says:

    [...] This recipe is adapted from the Apple Pie, Patis, & Pâté Blog. You can read the original recipe here. [...]

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