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Thai Food Recipe - How To Make Tom Yam Spicy Hot & Sour Soup

Updated on July 19, 2011
Tom Yam Kung
Tom Yam Kung
Lemon Grass
Lemon Grass

Tom Yam Soup

Tom Yam soup may be the most recognizable Thai dish, featured on the menu at almost every Thai restaurant. Tom Yam soup is normally made with prawns, this is called "Tom Yam Kung". You can also use chicken (kai), fish (pla), or seafood. Tom Yam soup is known for its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragrant herbs such as kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass. Many people believe that Tom Yam soup and it's ingredients have health benefits including immune-boosting powers to help with cold and flu viruses as well as inhibiting cancerous tumor growth. Studies show that Southeast Asians are far less likely to have digestive tract cancers than people of western countries.

How To Make Tom Yam Soup
The recipe below is for the modern style "nam khon" variety of Tom Yam soup, which includes coconut milk as apposed to the traditional variety "nam sai" with a clear broth. You may need to substitute some ingredients based on availability. The Thai style variety of Tom Yam soup uses whole prawns with the head on, however you can choose to clean the prawns if you would like. If you are using chicken, you should use diced chicken breast. Tom Yam can also be made using diced white fish and a variety of shellfish and squid. Needless to say, you should always use the freshest ingredients as possible.


300 grams of fresh prawns (you may substitute with chicken or seafood)
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of Thai chili paste
3 large tomatoes diced
2 large limes
3 Kaffir lime leaves sliced
1 stalk of lemongrass thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of fresh sliced galangal
2 tablespoons of fresh sliced ginger
3 fresh red Thai chili peppers chopped
3 green onions chopped
1/3 cup of mushrooms halved
1/2 tablespoon of chicken oxo
2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons of sugar
a pinch of salt

Cooking Instructions

1: Bring the water and coconut milk to a slow boil in a large pot.

2: Add the Thai chili paste to the boiling water and milk.

3: Stir the pot until the curry paste is mixed with the water and milk.

4: Add the lemongrass and chicken and continue to stir.

5: Squeeze the juice of the limes into the pot, as well as the remaining ingredients.

6: Simmer until the chicken is cooked (3-5 minutes)

7: Garnish with parsely and serve in a bowl with a side plate of Jasmine rice.


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    • TravelinAsia profile image

      TravelinAsia 7 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

      If you have not yet tried Tom Yam, what are you waiting for! I look forward to hearing back from you after you try it!


    • HOSPITALITY GURU profile image

      Anna Johnston 7 years ago from Canberra, Australia

      I've never made Tom Yam Soup before, but like telltale said.... looks amazing, cant wait to try. Cheers for the delicious hub! :)

    • telltale profile image

      telltale 7 years ago

      Have not tried making Tom Yam Soup before... your recipe looks good, will try it. Thanks for putting into a Hub!