Scroll down on the quick steps to turn this into a 30 minute meal.
Tom Yum Goong has got to be one of my favourite soups ever, probably Thailand’s most popular soup export and certainly a top five Thai food internationally. Like so much of Oriental cuisine, the Tom Yum Soup requires very little actual cooking time, ensuring optimum nutrition, especially when made from scratch, as in here.
Tom Yum is a clear broth, unlike our idea of soup – hot and sour, flavoured with aromatic lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves. I suggest going easy on the chillies and chilli paste as well as the lime juice initially. Taste it and adjust the seasoning to your liking, you are going for a hot and sour flavour.
While I love chilli and have to have it in some form at every meal, I like my Tom Yum soup medium hot. When cooking with Thai chillies, I tend to use just one or two of them and making up the numbers with something lower down on the heat rating, thereby gettingthe flavour but not the crippling heat.
Goong means prawns in Thai but you can as easily use fish or a mixture of seafood to make Tom Yum Thalay.
Use chicken, and it becomes Tom Tum Gai. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, small pieces of chicken breast meat will need about 15-20 minutes to cook.
Pesky Ingredients in Tom Yum Goong
Galangal – galangal is quite possibly one of the hardest ingredient to find when cooking South East Asian food, along with shrimp paste. There is no substitute, I’m afraid. If you want to make it, you’ve to to have galangal. Here in the UK, the larger supermarkets are stocking galangal pastes in jars, very, very handy! And some, like Waitrose, Ocado and even Asda, sell the fresh stuff in the warmer months.
Kaffir Lime Leaves – again, a crucial ingredient here but, with the coriander, you could get away without.
The type of red chillies used will affect the heat of your soup, if you don’t like it too hot, use a combination of hot and mild, as mentioned above, like Thai chillies and red jalapeños.
Prawns (shrimp) – everytime I feature a prawn recipe, I say this: without shells make for easier eating, with shells make for a prettier presentation. Of course, in this instance, the shells will lend depth to the soup as they’re cooking. If you really must take the shells off, leave the tail on, at the very least.
Traditionally, closed cup, oyster or straw mushrooms are used but I love shiitake and that’s what I always go for. Feel free to add a variety too, especially if making it vegetarian.
And, for a low carb diet, just add your favourite vegetables in there to bulk up, and turn it into a complete meal.
VEGETARIANS – lose the prawns, and add more mushrooms, some babycorn and green beans.
How to Serve Tom Yum Goong
In Thailand and other parts of South East Asia, tom yum would be served alongside rice, just like curries, adding the soup to the rice.
But of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t please yourself and serve it as a soup starter, as part of a meal. Incidentally, contrary to popular Western beliefs, Thais do not use chopsticks with their meals, they would use a fork and as spoon to eat their rice and noodles. Unless it was in a Chinese restaurant in Thailand!
30 minute meal with Tom Yum Goong
- Put your rice on to cook. We’re talking white rice here, brown will take about 45 minutes to cook.
- Cut up some salad vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes and capsicum (bell peppers).
- Cook your tom yum.
- Serve up!
Ever think of Thai food as classy? Here’s Tom Yum Goong as an amuse-bouche:Print
Tom Yum Goong is a popular Thai hot and sour prawn soup, easily made at home with the right ingredients.
- 400ml (1 3/5 cup) water
- 2 stalks lemongrass, only the last quarter and smashed with the back of knife
- 5cm (2in) galangal, smashed
- 1 red chilli, cut into strips, lengthwise and deseeded, use less or more, to taste
- 1/2 a medium onion, quartered
- 1 medium tomato, quartered
- 2 handfuls shiitake mushrooms, cut to about the size of the onions
- 1/2 Tbsp tamarind paste
- 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp nam prik pow (Thai chilli paste), to taste, or any generic chilli paste
- 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves
- 10 large prawns (shrimps) shelled, leaving tails on, deveined
- juice of 1 lime, to taste
- 2 sprigs of coriander/cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- Boil the water in a medium sized saucepan.
- Add the lemongrass and galangal and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add everything else apart from the lime juice and coriander leaves. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until the prawns are cooked through.
- Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. You want a hot, sour and salty taste. Add more lime juice if you’d like it more sour, and more fish sauce if it’s not salty enough.
- Serve garnished with coriander with a bowl of jasmine rice.
- Category: Main Course or Starter
- Cuisine: Thai
- Serving Size: 2