Recipe: Tom Yum Koong

Today we present you with a recipe for Tom Yum Koong – a hot, sour and spicy shrimp soup. If Pad Thai is considered the signature noodle dish of Thailand, then Tom Yum Koong must be considered the signature soup. When I first arrived in Thailand I would frequently ask locals to recommend their favorite dish, and more often than not they would suggest that I order Tom Yum Koong.

Today we will be sharing with you how to make the creamy version of the soup, known as “Tom Yum Nam Khon.”


Serves:  1 – 2 people


Ingredients and Prep:

½ cup medium-sized prawns (peeled and deveined)

**vegetarians can substitute prawns with mushrooms or soy protein

150 grams straw mushrooms (cut mushrooms into quarters)

1 stalk of lemongrass (cut into 2-3 inch slices. Pound with the back of your knife to bruise and release flavor)

3 kaffir lime leaves (tear leaves in half)

10 slices of galangal ginger

½ tsp. fish sauce

** vegetarians can substitute fish sauce with soy sauce

¼ Tbsp. lime juice or lemon juice

1 cup water or chicken stock (if you prefer to use water, it is recommended that you use some extra fish sauce to add flavor)

½ tomato (cut into 4 pieces)

1 Tbsp. fresh coriander leaves; chopped

1 Tbsp. green onions; chopped

½ Tbsp. Thai chili paste (a.k.a. nam prik pow)

2 Tbsp. coconut milk or fresh milk

3 bird’s eye chilies (or more, if you like extra spice)


Cooking Instructions:

1. Put lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms, chilies and tomato into water or chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Cook until tender.

2. Lower the heat a bit, and add the prawns. Cook until tender.  (Prawns are very easy to overcook, so be careful)

3. Add coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, and chili paste

4. Serve hot. Garnish with fresh coriander and green onions.


Note: Some people prefer to distribute the fish sauce and lime juice into serving bowls, and then pour the hot soup on top of it. This is partially because if the lime juice is added too early, it can result in an overly-bitter flavor.


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