Tom Yum Goong {Thai Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp}


When we were inThailand, my husband and I gorged on Tom Yum soup.  We ate it al almost every Thai restaurant we went to.  I have to say, at first it didn’t sound very appetizing to me.  Hot and sour….and shrimp?  But two bites in, I was hooked!  Most times when we ordered it, we were asked if we wanted it mild.  When we told them no, make it HOT, I loved seeing the big smile spread across our server’s face.  Hey, we’re no wimpy tourists, I wanna sweat!  If you haven’t wiped the sweat from your face at least a dozen times before you finish your bowl, you just haven’t had Tom Yum.   

I read dozens of recipes to find one that would taste similar to the ones we tried inThailand, but in the end, I just sat over the pot, tweaking ingredients until I liked the flavor.  So although I’m providing a recipe, I would encourage you to do the same, start with the basic recipe and add ingredients per your pallet.  If you like just a little bit of heat, I would go easy on the peppers and Tom Yum Paste or add more coconut cream; if you enjoy the sour and fishy taste, go a little heavier with the fish sauce; and so on. 



Tom Yum Goong {Thai Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp}
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 2-3
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-4 tablespoon tom yum paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks lemon grass, chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 cup ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2-4 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1-2 fresh Thai chili peppers, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup lite coconut cream
  • 2lb shelled, deveined large shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Add the first 9 ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust ingredients (for more spice, add more tom yum paste, if it’s too spicy, add more coconut cream)
  2. Add the shrimp and cook 3-5 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Add lime juice and stir. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro leaves.

Tom yum paste, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves can be found at most Asian supermarkets.
If you can’t find kaffir leaves, you can omit, but they do add a subtle and distinctive flavor.
The soup is supposed to look like it’s seperated.
The lemon grass and lime leave are not edible. You can remove them if you wish when serving the soup, but every Thai restaurant served them in the soup.

Finally, I’m back with a real post!  I always have such a hard time getting back into the swing of things after time away.  And it didn’t help that I’ve also had a few kitchen and camera mishaps (think:  making a meal, taking pictures, eating the meal, accidentally deleting pictures.)  But I can’t wait to share my next “Thai” recipe, so look out for that post soon!

Recipe greatly adapted from Thai Hot and Sour Soup.

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Ramona - My goodness this soup is calling my name. I love hot and sour soups and to make it spicy… yes please!! I few years ago I had this favorite Thai restaurant that we ate at almost once a week. I always ordered their hot and sour soup as an appetizer and it was never enough because I loved it. One day I asked if I could have a dinner portion of the soup (that was not on the menu). They knew me by this point and said sure… I still remember how happy I was that day. I would want a dinner portion of your soup too. :) It looks amazing!! I’m so happy you had such a wonderful adventure in Thailand. :)

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts - This soup looks gorgeous – I know my hubby would love it. And the hotter the better for him too!
Great pictures by the way!

Chef and Steward - Tom Yum Goong is one of our favourite Thai dishes! It is a perfect balance of flavours and a delight to the palate. Love how you staged the soup :) Hope all is well with you and yours.

Nami | Just One Cookbook - It’s strange – even though I cannot take spicy food but I always have to order tom yum goong at Thai restaurant… the flavor is awesome and so addicting! I have tried making once at home but completely failed. There is Tom Yum Paste? I’m going to find that soon!! I love your pictures Alyssa!

Kelly @ Inspired Edibles - You’re speaking my language in a big way with this post! I adore the Tom Yum family of soups and the goong/shrimp variety is one of our favourites! I’m not familiar with Tom Yum paste though and am very curious… what’s in it? You’ve done such a lovely job with your presentation Alyssa and, to answer your question in the last post, yes indeed you were missed (and your absence noticed by me for sure!) :).

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