Authentic Thai Tom Yum Soup Recipe

Authentic Thai Tom Yum Soup Recipe

Experience the essence of Thai cuisine with this traditional Tom Yum Soup recipe. It’s a hot and sour soup known for its distinctive use of fragrant herbs and spices. Follow this guide to recreate a Thai street food favorite in the comfort of your own kitchen in about 30 minutes.


  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 2-inch pieces and pounded
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces (discard the stem)
  • 3 slices galangal
  • 2 Thai chilies, smashed (adjust to taste)
  • 200g mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 12 medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • Optional: 1/2 can coconut milk for a creamier soup


  1. In a pot, bring the stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and Thai chilies. Boil for 5 minutes to let the herbs infuse their flavor into the broth.
  2. Add the mushrooms, onion, and tomato to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.
  4. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you’re using coconut milk, add it now and warm through.
  5. Turn off the heat. Remove the lemongrass, galangal, and lime leaves if desired.
  6. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

Tom Yum Soup is incredibly versatile, so feel free to add other ingredients like Thai eggplant, tofu, or other seafood to suit your taste. This dish is best served immediately and can be enjoyed on its own or with a side of steamed jasmine rice. The perfect balance of sour, spicy, and savory flavors is sure to tantalize your taste buds!

Expert Tips:

  • For an authentic experience, use fresh herbs and spices. Dried substitutes will work but won’t give you the same vibrancy of flavor.
  • Galangal cannot be substituted with ginger as its flavor profile is quite different. Look for it at Asian markets or specialty stores.
  • Adjust the level of heat by adding or removing Thai chilies – remember, they can be quite potent!

Enjoy your homemade Thai Tom Yum Soup!

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