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5 from 4 votes

Tom Yum (Thai Hot and Sour Soup)

A comforting Tom Yum Goong recipe for a Thai spicy hot and sour soup made with shrimp, vegetables, and glass noodles to make it into a heartier more filling soup that can be eaten as a meal as well.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
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)
  • 2 cloves garlic (smashed and roughly chopped)
  • 1 fresh red chilies (optional, see notes below)

Tom Yum Soup Flavoring (Use These at the End)

Foods to Add

  • 6 whole shrimp
  • 1-2 bundles dried bean thread noodles (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.
  • If you are using frozen shrimp, thaw it before using it.
    (Optional) Devein the shrimp and set aside
  • Cut the vegetables and mushroom into bite-sized pieces and set aside
  • (Optional) If you are using chilies, cut the chilies in half and set them 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
  • 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 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 citrus flavor from the lemongrass and lime leaves.
    If it doesn't, cook it for another 10-15 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 the chili paste ½ tablespoon at a time, and do a taste test to make sure it is not too spicy.
    Add up to 1 ½ tablespoon, until it is the right amount of spiciness for you.
  • Put in the vegetables and mushrooms and cook them for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the shrimp and cook it for 1-1 ½ minutes.
    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 tart etc)
    **Adding the lime juice and fish sauce in after the heat has been turned off, retains the flavor better.
  • If you are using glass noodles, add them to the pot of soup and let them cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Ladle it into a bowl and 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 (Nam Prik Pao) you buy, they come with varying spiciness level. Make sure you do a taste test of the broth before you put in the chili paste - and only add the chili paste ½ a tablespoon at a time doing a taste test each time until it is the right amount of spiciness for you.
  • 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.
  • If you have extra fresh kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, or galangal, you can store them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag for a few months
  • 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. Do not use pre-ground lemongrass, because it is very difficult to strain out from the soup. I also 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.
  • I found the soup was very spicy from the chili paste alone and did not need to add more chilis. If you can handle and love spicier foods then add the additional birds-eye chilies - otherwise, you can omit this.


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