Tom Yum Soup (with variations)

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 1 hours

Yield: 6 servings

Make with chicken, shrimp, or no meat (can substitute tofu, if desired).

If you use coconut milk and chicken, this is very similar to Tom Khaa Gai


  • Optional protein:
    • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts and/or
    • 12 medium shrimp (or 18, depending on size so each serving gets an even number of shrimp)
    • 1/2 package of tofu, in 1/2 cubes (if not using meat)
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves, hand torn down the middle
  • 2″ piece of galangal or ginger, sliced (rough slice so they’re easy to identify and remove)
  • 8 oz shiitake, straw, oyster, or maitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-4 stalks of lemongrass (tough outer layers removed), sliced into 2-4″ pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk, or 1/2 a small can of coconut cream
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice (plus lime wedges for serving)
  • 4 Thai chilies (optional) or 1 Tablespoon chili sauce (Nam Prik Pao)
  • Cilantro leaves (for garnish)


  • Put stock in a pot, on medium high. Add lemongrass, boil for 5 minutes
  • Reduce heat to a simmer
  • Add Garlic, Lime leaves, and mushrooms (and chilies, if you’re using them)
  • Add chicken (optional)
  • Simmer for another 5 minutes
  • Add shrimp and cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • Simmer for another 5 minutes
  • Turn heat to low, add coconut milk (optional), and fish sauce
  • Taste soup for flavor. If it’s too hot, you can add more coconut milk, and if it’s too sour, you can add a pinch of brown or white sugar
  • Optionally, you can remove the lemongrass and lime leaves and ginger before serving, because they’re not meant to be eaten
  • Serve with cilantro leaves as a topping
  • Also, if making the soup mild for guests, you or your diners can add sliced peppers in the bowls as you’re serving for a bit of heat, and/or chili sauce

via Kencooking