Tom Yum Soup Recipe (ต้มยำกุ้ง) – Authentic Thai Style

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Intro > Recipes > Tom Yum Soup Recipe (ต้มยำกุ้ง) – Authentic Thai Style

Tom Yum Soup Recipe (ต้มยำกุ้ง) – Authentic Thai Style

One of the most famous of all Thai foods, and one the best soups in the world, is Thai tom yum goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง).

The best thing about tom yum goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง) is the flavors of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, fresh Thai chilies, and fresh lime juice, that all combine to create a healthy and soothing broth that will light up your taste buds.

If you love to eat tom yum soup (ต้มยำ), you might already know about two main distinct variations of the dish

Tom yum Goong nam sai (ต้มยำ กุ้ง น้ำ ใส) is tom yum with shrimp in a clear broth, while Tom Yum Goong nam Khon (ต้มยำ กุ้ง น้ำ ข้น) is the creamy milky version.


Contrary that many people think tom yum is made creamy with coconut milk, it’s actually nom kream tiam (นมครีมเทียม), which is canned evaporated milk (as opposed to sweetened condensed milk).

Goong (กุ้ง), or shrimp is one of the most popular things to make this soup with, but you can also choose to make tom yum with a mix of seafood like squid, or with chicken, or fish.

If you're looking for authentic tom yum soup, try this recipe:


The most absolutely essential ingredients for this tom yum recipe are the trio of Thai herbs:

  • Lemongrass (ตะไคร้)
  • Galangal (ข่า)
  • Kaffir lime leaves (ใบมะกรูด)

This trio of Thai ingredients is what really gives tom yum its flavor, and without them you would not have a complete dish.

  • Other ingredients are still important though, especially Thai chilies (พริกขี้หนู), mushrooms (เห็ด), cilantro (ผักชี), tomatoes (มะเขือเทศ), sweet white onions (หอมใหญ่), lime juice (มะนาว), sugar (น้ำตาล), and fish sauce (น้ำปลา)


Or you can use tom yum paste, which can substitute for the soup base.

Creamy tom yum version


  • Begin boiling 2 litres of water in a large pot

  • Juice the limes, lightly pound the lemongrass to release its taste and then cut it into 1 inch pieces and cut galangal into slices

  • Tear apart 10 kaffir lime leaves, there is no need to cut them

  • Peel 5 cloves of garlic

  • Take however many chilli peppers as you'd like and cut them apart into two halves, removing seeds if wanted

  • Submerge the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir, garlic and chilli in boiling water. Cover the pot, so that the flavours release faster from the herbs.

  • (Tom Yum paste can be mixed with water as well, to create the tom yum soup base.)

  • Prepare the shrimps or other meat you wish for tom yum

  • Cook the soup for around 10 minutes, before adding the shrimp or other meat and lower the heat to low

  • Clean mushrooms with water, and then add them to the stew

  • Cut two tomatoes and onions into slices and add them to the tom yum

  • Remove the foam formed at the top of the broth

  • Cook for 2-3 minutes

  • Add 6 spoonfuls of fish sauce and 2 spoonfuls of sugar, or more based on preference

  • Cook tom yum for another minute and then shut off the heat. Test the mushrooms and onions to see if they are soft. If they are, the soup is done.

  • If wanting a more sour tasting soup, add 8 tablespoons of lime juice into the mix

  • Add any more flavouring that is required: salt, sour or fish sauce

  • Cut cilantro into pieces and add it to the finished soup. Make sure the heat is off before adding, as cilantro and lime sauce taste better when not boiled.

You now have Tom yum goong nam sai (ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำใส), the clear version of tom yum



For the creamy version of Tom Yum (tom yum goong nam khon (ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำข้น)), continue the recipe as follows:

  • Keep the heat on at low level
  • Add about 3 heaping tablespoons of Thai roasted chili sauce (nam prik pao น้ำพริกเผา) to your soup and stir it in.
  • Also about 10 tablespoons of evaporated milk.
  • Mix it all in and let your soup heat up for about 1 minute.
  • At this stage, add any additional flavouring that you'd like, as the flavours from the clear version are changed. Additional fish sauce or lime juice may be required.

You now have the creamy version tom yum goong nam khon (ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำข้น)


Serve with jasmine rice.