Tom Yum Koong

Tom Yum Koong

This is perhaps the most famous gift from Thai cuisine to the world.... Some may argue that chicken satay would win the case.... Anyway who cares! A fell in love with this spicy sour soup years ago and I've tried so many versions. If made well it is to die for! But you really need fresh lemongrass and fresh kaffir lime leaves otherwise you won't get close to it.... if you have trouble finding these ingredients... you may like to try to add in some lemon balm, but don't cook it too much or you will kill the aromas. Oh.... and if you can't find straw mushrooms don't stress as button mushrooms will do the trick! Literally, the words "tom yum" are derived from two Tai words: "tom" and "yam". "Tom" refers to boiling process, while "yam" refers to a kind of Lao and Thai spicy and sour salad. Thus, "tom yum" is a Lao and Thai hot and sour soup. Indeed, tom yum is characterised by its distinct hot and sour flavours, with fragrant spices and herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers.


Type of Dish Soup


  • 20 medium size 20 black tiger prawns (peeled)
  • 1.2 lt (6 cups) light chicken stock
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (lightly pounded)
  • 60 g (4 Tbsp) fish sauce
  • 30 g (2 Tbsp) sliced fresh galangal
  • 80 g (½ cup) straw mushrooms (halved)
  • 6 pieces kaffir lime leaves (thinly sliced)
  • 45 ml (3 Tbsp) lime juice
  • 6 pieces Thai red chili (crushed)
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) prik pao or roasted chili oil
  • 10 g (1 Tbsp) fresh coriander (for garnish)


  1. Wash prawns and shell them without removing the tails.
  2. Bring chicken broth to a boil. add lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves. Bring back to a boil then add mushrooms, fish sauce, prik pao and lime juice.
  3. Add prawns and fresh chili. As soon as prawns turn pink (cooked through) serve and garnish with fresh coriander.

Further Information

Yield 4

Preparation Time is approxmiately 30 minutes.

Cooking Time is approxmiately 30 minutes.

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