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Traditional Tom Yum Soup with Juicy Prawns

Tom yum soup, which is sometimes spelt tom yam soup, is a wonderful Thai dish. This soup is perhaps one of Thailand’s most famous recipes and it is famous all over the globe. The hot and sour flavors and fragrant herbs make this soup truly mouthwatering and instantly recognizable. It is usually made with prawns in Thailand but chicken, fish or mixed seafood and mushrooms are other alternatives.

There is another version of this dish where coconut milk is added to the broth. Many people use tom yum paste to make this soup but using your own fresh herbs and ingredients means your soup will be really fresh-tasting and extra special. You can find the ingredients in any Asian food store and once you have made this tom yum recipe once you are sure to want to make it again and again. It is such an easy fish soup recipe, after all.

Use ground dried chilies instead of hot chilies in the following recipe if you prefer. If you want to do this, use one teaspoonful of ground dried chilies. The soup should be cooked until the prawns are done. Since they are quite big, this will take a few minutes. If you prefer, you can use smaller prawns or shrimp. The bigger ones are more succulent and impressive-looking but they can also be expensive, so tailor this recipe to match your budget if necessary. Remember that smaller prawns or shrimp will require less cooking time. Overcooking will make them rubbery.

How to Make Thai Tom Yum Soup
Summary: Kept simple by limiting the amount of ingredients, this soup offers a typical Thai taste. Aromatic, spicy and tangy, tom yum soup is a jewel in Thailand's culinary crown.
Cuisine: Thai
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 2
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 6 big spiny-clawed prawns
  • 5 crushed hot chilies
  • 1 chopped stem lemongrass
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 torn-up kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 ½ cups soup stock
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Whole red chilies and cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  1. Shell the prawns, removing their veins and inedible parts too.
  2. Bring the stock to a boil in a big pot and add the prawns and lemongrass.
  3. Add lime juice, chilies and fish sauce to taste. Cook until the prawns are done.
  4. Add the kaffir lime leaves and take the soup off the heat.
  5. Garnish with the whole chilies and cilantro and serve hot.

Photo Description:

As you can see from the photo, using red chilies and fresh cilantro to garnish this fish soup recipe finishes it off nicely. This is a very simple soup and it does not call for a lot of different ingredients but sometimes the easiest soup recipes are the best ones. You cannot go wrong making this soup – just taste it as you go, to ensure the flavors are balanced. You might want to use less chili in the soup if you are not keen on very spicy flavors, but the overall taste is magnificent. No wonder tom yum soup, or tom yam soup, is so popular in Thailand and achieving popularity on a global scale too.


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hello there, I'm Christine. Welcome to my blog where you will find a comprehensive collection of soup recipes for every season, occasion and palate. There are hundreds of soup recipes for you to try out, those which warm you up during the cooler months, and even chilled soups and dessert soups if you want to try something new.

Try making your next soup in the pressure cooker or crockpot, or prepare it in the conventional way. Choose from classics such as potato and leek soup, beef broth, French onion soup, or chicken noodle soup, or investigate a more unusual dish, like our cabbage bean soup or one of the Chinese soup recipes.

In addition to soups, broths and chowders, I have collected stew recipes, along with low-calorie, low-carb and heart-healthy options, so you can make soups which are nutritious and good for you, as well as fresh-tasting and delicious. Here at Amazing Soup Recipes, there are recipes for every taste, many of which are really quick and easy to make.

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