New Recipes

Tom Yum Recipe (Tom Yum Goong)

The ultimate Tom Yum soup recipe. A famous Thai soup dish made simple.  |


Recipe: Tom Yum (Tom Yum Goong)

Serves 2 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 10 Minutes


2 1/2 cups shrimp stock (best), canned chicken stock, or water
10-12 shrimp or 8 oz (head-on and shell-on but chop the eyes part off, devein if you like)
3 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
6 bird’s eyes chilies (pounded)
3 (big) slices galangal
6 kaffir lime leaves (bruised)
2 tablespoons nam prik pao (Thai roasted chili paste)
2 tablespoons oil of nam prik pao
3 teaspoons fish sauce
1 stalk lemongrass (cut into 3-inch strips, pounded with a cleaver)
6 canned straw mushrooms / fresh oyster mushrooms / fresh or canned button mushrooms


In a pot, bring 3 cups of water to boil. Then add a big handful of shrimp/prawn heads. Boil the shrimp head until the water turns slightly orange in color. Press the shrimp heads with spatula to extract the “goodies” from their heads. Let the stock reduce to slightly more than 2 1/2 cups. Drain the shrimp stock and discard the shrimp heads.

Add lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, bird’s eye chilies, mushrooms, nam prik bao to the shrimp stock and bring it to boil. Add in the shrimp and fish sauce. Lastly, add the lime juice (if you add lime juice too early, the soup might turn bitter). Boil until the shrimps are cooked, dish out and serve hot.

Cook’s Note:

You can use also chicken, a combination of chicken plus shrimp, or seafood combination (shrimp, squid, scallops, green-lipped mussels) for tom yum soup. It’s really up to you, but the most popular tom yum is tom yum goong, goong means prawn.

Enter to Win FREE Prizes

Vinturi Vertical Lever Wine Corkscrew Giveaway
Tovolo Christmas 2015 Bundle Giveaway
Jacob Bromwell U.S. Embossed Tin Cup Giveaway

44 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Emily

    This looks great, I love making soup in the winter.
    Two questions though… Is this enough for one person? Also, I’d be nervous about saving shrimp heads. How do you store them and for how long?

  2. Craftpassion

    Wow, what a delicious-mouth-watering Tom Yam!!! After seeing your picture, my stomach is drumming at this time of hour – MIDNIGHT!!!! Lucky me that I can just go out to a road side store to order one, and not have to cook!!!

  3. Sapuche

    Your Tom Yum Goong looks great. So many goong in that bowl! I really appreciate having this recipe, and also the advice to save prawn heads. I agree that good food brightens any gloomy day, and this recipe definitely looks like it would do the trick. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Emily

    This looks great, I love making soup in the winter.
    Two questions though… Is this enough for one person? Also, I’d be nervous about saving shrimp heads. How do you store them and for how long?

  5. Elaine

    That looks extremely good. Your tom yum broth looks so lemak! If i could only reach…through…the…screen…..


  6. CCC

    You truly have an eye for photography! Your dishes “jump” out at us through the blog!

    Sorry to put a damper though … I would suggest that you put one of those “transparent-nish” watermark right across your photos. Identifying Rasa Malaysia at the bottom of the photo would still allow for copyright thefts since that portion can be easily cropped off.
    You may also want to check out photo-sites like Flickr. They are able to have photos uploaded in their site, yet viewers are unable to copy the photos.

  7. Lulu Barbarian

    I’m so glad to finally learn how to make this soup! Now I won’t have to always get it from a restaurant.

  8. I see you’ve added a copyright to your pics! Good! I have to agree with CCC though- the watermark needs to be typed across part of your food photo or it can still be stolen (I know… it takes away from the beauty of the photo, but it’s sometimes necessary to protect). Lovely dish!

  9. Adore Tom Yam Goong. I have been reading thorugh your open letters to the Blog Pic Stealers and it is horrible that this is happening. I am sorry to hear that your adorable pictures are being kidnapped and victimised :-(

  10. Clandestine Diner

    Mmm! Pair it with a bottle of Belgian Tripel and I am so there. It would bring out all the magical elements that the kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass bring to the soup.

  11. You rock for making tom yum from scratch! :) I love this…especially when it is spicy enough to make me sniffle! I’ll start saving shrimp heads now…

  12. TikiPundit

    Looks great, as with all photography you do.

    Hmmm, reminds me… you should watermark your photos across the center, so thieving “chefs” can’t thieve your good work and effort! :)

    Uddawise, next t’ing ya know, dis gonna be some kind Chef Al original!!

  13. You might want to watermark your picture a lil higher than that. Chef Rosas might crop away the watermark and eventually steal pics again.

    Btw, awesome tomyum recipe thanks :)

  14. NYMY

    Is it me, or I just find tom yum better outside of Thailand? Tom yam in Malaysia and tom yum in U.S. are just yummier. Why is that? I’ve been to Bangkok several times, and each time, I will ask local Thais where to get a good bowl of tom yum gai. Each time, I must say I am disappointed :(

  15. vivi


    How can i make the shrimp stock? coudnt seem to find in your post.

    Can you reply to my email add. Many thanks .


  16. I have only cooked the white soup base Tom Yum Goong before. But I have received a small jar of chili paste from my Thai counterpart and I shall put it to good use with this recipe! Thanks!

  17. Mr Stone

    hi ,
    i have been trying to find out how many people your recipe serves?
    please help asap , we are making this for 4 people for dinner in a few hours !!!
    kind thanks

  18. simplythai

    This is really delicious soup!!! actually the problem is no to cook it, but to collect all these ingredients! I used to buy ingredients in Thailand when I go there for vacation. But now I’ve run out of my stock, and order all the ingredients online through thai tom yum shop! I use this one: Tom Yum recipe .com, but you can google your own favorite tom yum shop))
    and where do you get ingredients?

  19. Tom Yum is one of my favorite Thai dishes, I think it highlights the culture perfectly and provides the perfect blend of spice and flavor; what Thai cooking is all about! I love the recipe you’ve used here; Tom Yum is delicious with chicken or shrimp/prawns; gotta leave those heads on though!

  20. Zeenath Rahim

    Bee yours is the one news letter I look for every time I open my mail. Fabulous recipes, excellent photography & write ups that always make a good read.

    As the imported ready made Thai pastes available in my country are all of indifferent quality, I am sure your fans would appreciate recipes for Thai Chilli pastes (nam prik pao) & other Thai curry pastes that we can make from scratch. I am sure flavour & quality will be far superior to ready made ones. Thanks

  21. Alun k

    Made everything according to the recipe, soup itself is ok untill u start eating it with steamed rice, something is missing, the flavout is not as rich as in restaurant’s soup:( dissapointed:(

  22. Claud Yeiser

    I am looking to make this and have a question:

    Would fresh ginger be a suitable substitute for Galangal? I don’t recall seeing it anywhere locally.

    Thank you for any updates/replies.


  23. I am so glad I found this recipe for Tom Yum soup! Much like you, I am not a fan of the cold weather, and I love a bowl of hot Tom Yum soup to warm me up. I have not attempted making it before, mostly because we have a great little Thai restaurant nearby.
    Will soon be making it.

  24. Holly

    I just made this and I know this soup is supposed to be very spicy but I found it was much more intense heat-wise than when I have had it in restaurants. I did use Fried Chili Oil in place of the nam prik pao. Do you think this would be the reason? Thank you!

  25. zeh

    I love your blog. I tried some of your recipes and i love them. I have one question, im not so familiar with tom yam soup, but i noticed that other recipes on google has other kinds of seafood. If i want to use your recipe, is there any adjustment if i want to add other kinds of seafoods? Thanks a lot

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *