Tom Yum Soup Recipe

Karen Frazier
Tom Yum Soup

Tom Yum soup is a Thai soup typically made with shrimp. It has a distinctive yet delicious spicy and acidic (hot and sour) flavor. Serve the soup as an appetizer for a homemade Thai meal, or add some cooked rice to make it a full meal. Serve with lime wedges or slices as garnish, or top with chopped peanuts for a bit of crunch.

How to Make Tom Yum Soup

While this recipe calls for galangal, it may be difficult to find in smaller markets. You can replace the galangal root with gingerroot to achieve a similar flavor. The recipe serves six.


  • 8 cups vegetable, shrimp, or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh galangal
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh lemongrass, peeled
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili paste
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Thai chili, thinly sliced
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced on the bias
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Slices of lime for garnish


  1. In a large pot, bring the stock, galangal, lemongrass, bay leaf, lime zest, and lemon thyme to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain out the solids and return the broth to the pot.
  4. Add the fish sauce, Thai chili paste, shrimp, mushrooms, green onions, and lime juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are just pink, three to five minutes.
  5. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro.
  6. Garnish with a slice of lime.


You can also create variations for this recipe:

  • Replace the shrimp with a pound of cubed chicken. The cooking time will be a bit longer; it will take five to 10 minutes to get the chicken fully cooked.
  • If you can find them, replace the lime zest, bay leaf, and lemon thyme with six kafir lime leaves for a more authentic Thai flavor.
  • If you can't find Thai chilies, try using red jalapeno chilies or serrano peppers.
  • You can omit the peanuts or replace them with other chopped nuts such as cashews or almonds.

Delicious Thai Soup

Tom Yum soup makes a delicious meal or appetizer with classic hot and sour Thai flavors. If you use pre-made stock, the soup can be ready in less than 30 minutes.

Tom Yum Soup Recipe