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Tom Yum (Thai Hot and Sour Soup)

Tom Yum Goong recipe for a Thai spicy hot and sour soup that's addictively comforting. This recipe includes shrimp, vegetables and glass noodles to make it into a heartier more filling soup that can be eaten as a meal as well.
Course Soup
Cuisine Thai
Keyword easy tom yum recipe, tom yum goong, tom yum soup recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 Servings
Calories 907kcal
Author Joyce


Tom Yum Soup Base

  • 900 ml low sodium broth (chicken, vegetable or seafood)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (smashed and cut into chunks)
  • 8-10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 inch galangal (sliced)
  • 1 medium onion (roughly chopped or sliced)
  • 4-5 fresh red chilies (cut in halves, use less if you don't like it spicy)
  • 2 cloves garlic (smashed and roughly chopped)

Tom Yum Soup Flavoring (Use These at the End)

Foods to Eat

  • 6 whole shrimp
  • 1-2 bundles glass noodles/bean threads (soaked in room temperature water)
  • 1 handful mushrooms (cremini or white)
  • 1 handful snow peas

Additional Ideas for Foods to Add (Pick and Choose)

  • any type of green vegetable (choy, shredded lettuce, peppers etc)
  • fresh tomato (cut into chunks and added at the end)
  • fresh pineapple chunks (cooked during the shrimp cooking step)
  • Thai basil (as a fragrant garnish)



  • Soak the glass noodles in room temperature water for 10 minutes and then drain and set aside.
  • (Optional) Devein the shrimp and set aside
  • Cut the vegetables and mushroom into bite-sized pieces and set aside

Making the Tom Yum Soup

  • Rip the kaffir lime leaves in half and place it in the soup pot
  • Slice the onions and roughly chop the garlic and place it in the soup pot
  • Remove the first layer of the lemongrass and cut them into large chunks. Use the back of your knife or something blunt like a rolling pin to smash it to release the oils. Place them in the pot
  • Cut the chilies in half and place them in the pot
  • Slice the galangal and place it in the pot
  • Add the broth and water into the pot and set the pot on medium-high heat until it starts to boil
  • Once it starts to boil, adjust the heat to medium-low heat and put a lid on it. Simmer it for 30 minutes

Putting It Together

  • Once 30 minutes is up, taste the broth. It shouldn't have any saltiness to it but it should have some lemongrass or lime leaves flavor. If it doesn't, cook it for another 15 minutes.
  • Once you have finished cooking the broth, remove all the spices and aromatics. They are not meant to be eaten, only to flavor the soup.
  • Turn the heat back up to medium
  • Add in the chili paste and stir it until it dissolves.
  • Once the chili paste has dissolved, put in the vegetables and mushrooms and cook them for 1 minute.
  • Add in the shrimp and cook it for 1 minute. (Careful not to overcook it. Shrimp cooks very quickly, as long as it is fully thawed.)
  • Turn off the heat
  • Add in the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Stir and taste. Adjust it to your liking. (Add more lime juice if you like it more sour etc)
  • Place the glass noodles in a serving bowl and ladle the piping hot soup into the bowl to cover the noodles. The heat will cook it. Let it soak up the soup for a few minutes.
  • Enjoy! :)


  • When shopping locally for Nam Prik Pao, there might not be a lot of brands that have English on it and the majority of them will not say 'Nam Prik Pao' on the label in English. Look for jars that say 'Chili Paste' or 'Chilli Paste in Oil'. It should contain tamarind, shrimp/anchovy/fish sauce, and chilies in the ingredients list.
  • Depending on what brand of chili paste you buy (Nam Prik Pao), they come with varying spiciness level. I bought one that was super spicy, and I added about 4 additional fresh chilies in the broth and it was CRAZY spicy. If you can't tolerate foods that are super spicy, make sure you do a taste test of the broth before you put in the chili paste - and only add the chili paste 1/2 a tablespoon at a time doing a taste test each time until you reach 1 1/2 tablespoons of chili paste.
  • If you are using frozen shrimp, make sure you thaw it completely before cooking it. It is very easy to overcook shrimp if it is still frozen.
  • For this recipe, you will need fresh lemongrass stalks. You can use frozen lemongrass as well but they usually come pre-chopped and are quite hard to fish out or strain so I don't recommend it unless you absolutely have to, make sure to strain it out very well. I don't recommend using lemongrass powder for this soup.
  • I personally think it is very difficult to substitute kaffir lime leaves so if you can't find it, then add an extra stalk of lemongrass instead.
  • Galangal has a fresh and pine-needle flavor and scent and is hard to substitute. If you cannot find it, omit it. Do not substitute it with ginger since it has a completely different flavor.
  • Extra fresh kaffir lime leaves and galangal can be stored in the freezer in a ziplock bag and can be kept for a few months


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 907kcal | Carbohydrates: 135g | Protein: 82g | Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 3720mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 13g