Tom Yum Soup


Tom Yum. Spicy hot and sour soup. Best enjoyed as an accompaniment on the dining table with several other Thai dishes. It is traditionally served in a metal hot pot stove with a flame underneath to retain the heat.
This soup is packed with aromatic herbs and spices such as lemongrass, galangal, Kafir lime leaf and chilli paste.
This recipe will make one large bowl of Tom Yum soup for one very hungry person, Or to share between two.


  • Preparation: 5 minutes
  • Cooking: 7 – 10 minutes


  • Chilli paste in oil (mae-ploy brand is good to use)
  • Lemongrass
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onion
  • galangal (dried or fresh)
  • coriander
  • spring onions
  • mushrooms
  • lime (or lime juice)
  • chillies (fresh or dried, fresh is best)
  • Kafir lime leaves
  • fish sauce or salt (preferably fish sauce)


  • large sauce Pan
  • Hot stove


  • Fill the pan up with hot water approx half litre per person. Set heat to a gentle simmer.
  • Prepare the mushrooms into quarters
  • slice cherry tomatoes in half
  • chop onions into bite-sized pieces
  • slice lime in half ready for squeezing
  • chop lemongrass into 1 inch pieces
  • dice up the chillies up into small pieces
  • chop up the spring onions and coriander into small pieces and put out of the way for the final step.


Step 1

Add galangal, lemongrass & kafir lime leaves to the pan of simmering hot water. For this recipe we are cooking for 1 person. increase quantities as appropriate if cooking for more than one person

Tom Yum Recipe

Step 2
Add the onions and sliced cherry tomatoes

Tom Yum Recipe

Step 3
Add 1 generous teaspoon of the chilli paste and stir into the soup until fully dissolved

Tom Yum Recipe

Step 4
Add the mushrooms and stir

Tom Yum Recipe

Step 5
Add the chillies and stir in. Be careful not to make it too spicy at this stage. you cannot take the chillies out once they are mixed in. it may be best to add a small amount at a time and taste check to ensure it is not too spicy for your taste. you can always add plenty more just before serving.

Tom Yum Recipe

Step 6
Allow the soup to cook for about 2 minutes. No need to increase the temperature. The hot soup will slowly begin to release all the flavours and aromas from the herbs. You will begin to notice the aroma intensify. Just keep on stirring the soup gently and allow to slowly cook all the ingredients.

Tom Yum Recipe

Step 7
Add the protein of your choice. For this recipe i am using a fresh seafood selection of mussels, King prawns and squid. Tom Yum goes well with anything you can think of. If you are vegetarian or vegan, Use a firm tofu or a selection of different mushrooms.

Tom Yum Recipe

Step 8
Squeeze the juice of 1 whole lime into the soup and stir gently.

Tom Yum Recipe

Step 9
Add a tablespoon of fish sauce to balance the spice and sour. stir gently and taste the soup. If you are vegan just add ordinary salt instead of fish sauce.

Tom Yum Recipe

Step 10
Bring to the boil for about 2 minutes and stir and taste occasionally to cook the meat. Season the soup to your personal taste. The trick is to balance the flavours with more lime juice (sour), and fish sauce (salt) get it exactly how you want it. Some people even sweeten it up a touch by adding a bit of sugar.

Tom Yum Recipe

Take off the heat and transfer into a large bowl for serving. Add to the finished soup the chopped spring onions and coriander, no need to stir in.

FINALLY! For a bit of creative flare, take a teaspoon of the chilli paste in oil and Just add two or three drops of the red chilli oil so that it floats on the surface of the soup.Enjoy your authentic Thai creation!

Tom Yum Recipe
Remember, cooking is all about being creative, mix it up a bit adding your favourite meats and vegetables. let your imagination run free!