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Tom Yum

Tom Yum

Tom Yum (or Tom Yam) is a Thai soup flavored with lemongrass and lime leaves. For a different version, replace the shrimp with chicken and make the soup with chicken stock.


  • ½ lb shrimp, shell-on
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 slices galangal, dry or fresh
  • 1 stalk lemongrass or lemon zest
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 to 4 fresh Thai chilies, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk (opt.)
  • 1 cup oyster mushroom or other mushroom
  • 2 less-ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey (opt.)
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • Sambal oelek to serve


  1. 1

    Peel shrimp. Place shells in a pot with water. Boil 5 minutes. Filter stock and return to the pot.

  2. 2

    Add galangal, lemongrass, lime leaves, garlic, shallot, chile, fish sauce, and, if you like, coconut milk. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.

  3. 3

    Add peeled shrimp and mushrooms. Cook 2 more minutes. Add tomato and cook 1 minute more.

  4. 4

    Remove from heat. Add lime juice and chopped cilantro to the pot. Taste and adjust with salt, fish sauce, and/or palm sugar. Serve with sambal olek on the side.

A variation of the Fish and Pineapple Soup from The Spice Trekkers Cook at Home