Authentic Tom Yum Soup Recipe | Thai Classic

tom yum soup recipe

Looking for an easy tom yum soup recipe that delivers the authentic flavors of Thailand? You’ve come to the right place. Our recipe for authentic tom yum soup will take your taste buds on a journey through the tangy and spicy flavors of this beloved Thai classic. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress.

Tom yum soup is a staple in Thai cuisine, known for its tantalizing combination of ingredients such as lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. It’s a dish that captures the essence of Thai flavors – tangy, spicy, and utterly delicious.

This recipe promises to provide you with a homemade tom yum soup that is as good, if not better, than what you would find in restaurants. And the best part? It’s easy to make! Perfect for those who are new to Thai cooking or anyone looking for a quick and satisfying meal.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a culinary adventure and savor the flavors of Thailand right in your own kitchen, let’s get started with this easy tom yum soup recipe.

Ingredients for Tom Yum Soup

In order to make an authentic and flavorful Tom Yum Soup, you will need a variety of key ingredients. Here is a list of the essential components:

  • Medium to large shrimp
  • Chicken stock or shrimp stock
  • Makrut lime leaves
  • Lemongrass
  • Galangal
  • Thai chilies
  • Thai chili paste
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fish sauce
  • Sugar
  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Cilantro

These ingredients come together to create the distinct tangy and spicy flavors that are characteristic of Tom Yum Soup. It is important to note that some of the ingredients can be substituted if necessary. For example, if you don’t have shrimp stock, you can use chicken stock instead. Additionally, if fresh herbs aren’t readily available, frozen or dried alternatives can be used as well.

Now that we have the ingredients covered, let’s move on to the next section where we will learn how to make the shrimp stock for your Tom Yum Soup.

Making the Shrimp Stock

One of the key elements in creating a flavorful tom yum soup is the shrimp stock. To prepare the rich and savory stock, follow these steps:

  1. Sauté the shrimp shells and/or heads in a pot until they start to brown. This will help release their natural flavors and enhance the taste of the soup.
  2. Deglaze the pot with water, scraping up any browned bits that may have stuck to the bottom. These browned bits are full of delicious flavors and will add depth to your stock.
  3. Simmer the stock for about 45 minutes to allow all the flavors to meld together. The gentle simmering will extract the essence from the shrimp shells and create a fragrant base for your tom yum soup.
  4. If you’re using shrimp heads, consider squeezing out the tomalley inside and adding it to the stock. This adds an extra layer of flavor and richness to the soup.
  5. For an additional depth of flavor, you can also add chopped onions to the simmering stock. The natural sweetness of the onions will complement the shrimp and elevate the overall taste of your tom yum soup.

By taking the time to make a homemade shrimp stock, you’ll ensure that your tom yum soup is bursting with authentic flavors that will transport your taste buds to Thailand.

shrimp stock

Preparing the Soup Base

Once the shrimp stock is ready, strain it and add the lemongrass, galangal, makrut lime leaves, and Thai chilies to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the flavors into the broth. Then, add the mushrooms and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Finally, add the shrimp and let the residual heat of the soup cook the shrimp for 2 minutes.

Flavorful and Fragrant

The soup base is where the magic happens in tom yum soup. The combination of lemongrass, galangal, makrut lime leaves, and Thai chilies creates a flavorful and fragrant broth that is the essence of this classic Thai dish.

  • Lemongrass adds a citrusy aroma and a hint of tanginess to the soup.
  • Galangal, a relative of ginger, contributes a warm and earthy flavor.
  • Makrut lime leaves offer a unique citrusy and floral taste.
  • Thai chilies bring the heat and spiciness to the dish.

Simmering these ingredients together allows their flavors to meld and infuse into the broth, creating a rich and complex base for the tom yum soup.

Adding Mushrooms and Shrimp

After simmering the soup base, it’s time to add the mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms are commonly used in tom yum soup for their delicate flavor and meaty texture. Cook the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes until they are tender.

Next, add the shrimp to the pot. The residual heat of the soup will gently cook the shrimp, ensuring they are tender and juicy. Let the shrimp cook in the soup for 2 minutes, or until they are opaque and cooked through.

Once the soup base is prepared and the shrimp and mushrooms are cooked, the tom yum soup is ready to be seasoned and served.

Seasoning the Soup

To make the flavors of your tom yum soup truly shine, it’s important to season it just right. This step is where the magic happens, as the addition of key ingredients brings a perfect balance of flavors to the soup.

The essential seasonings for tom yum soup include:

  • Thai chili paste: Add a spicy kick and depth of flavor to your soup with this traditional ingredient. Stir in the desired amount of Thai chili paste to dissolve it evenly throughout the soup.
  • Fish sauce: This savory condiment brings a rich umami taste to the soup. Add fish sauce gradually, tasting as you go until you achieve the desired level of saltiness.
  • Lime juice: The tangy, citrusy flavor of lime juice adds a refreshing element to the soup. Squeeze in fresh lime juice and adjust to taste.
  • Sugar: Only if needed, add a small amount of sugar to balance out the flavors and enhance the overall taste of the soup.

Once you have added the necessary seasonings, give the soup a good stir to ensure that all the flavors are well incorporated.

Remember, the herbs used in the soup, such as lemongrass, galangal, and makrut lime leaves, are traditionally left in for garnish and should not be eaten.

Creamy Tom Yum Option

If you’re looking to add a creamy twist to your tom yum soup, try this delicious variation. By incorporating Thai chili paste and evaporated milk into the clear soup base, you’ll elevate the flavors and texture of the dish. The combination of the bold chili paste and the richness of the evaporated milk creates a lusciously creamy tom yum soup that will tantalize your taste buds.

To make the creamy tom yum soup, simply follow the steps outlined in the previous section for preparing the soup base. Once the soup base is ready, add a dollop of Thai chili paste and stir it into the broth. The chili paste will infuse the soup with a fiery kick and enhance the overall flavor profile. Next, pour in a generous amount of evaporated milk and stir until well combined. The evaporated milk adds a velvety smoothness to the soup, creating a luxurious and satisfying mouthfeel.

This creamy tom yum soup is a popular variation that maintains the authentic flavors of the traditional dish while offering a unique and indulgent twist. The combination of the creamy texture, spicy notes from the chili paste, and the aromatic elements of the tom yum soup creates a harmonious blend of flavors that is sure to please both your palate and your senses.

Benefits of Adding Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is not only a key ingredient in creating the creamy texture of this tom yum soup variation, but it also offers several benefits to the overall dish. Here are a few reasons why adding evaporated milk is a great choice:

  • Richness: The natural fats in evaporated milk contribute to a rich and velvety mouthfeel, elevating the overall creaminess of the soup.
  • Balanced flavors: Evaporated milk adds a touch of sweetness that helps balance out the fiery flavors of the chili paste, resulting in a well-rounded taste.
  • Smooth consistency: The thick and smooth consistency of evaporated milk creates a luxurious texture that coats your taste buds and enhances the overall eating experience.
  • Nutritional value: Evaporated milk is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamins, making it a nutritious addition to your tom yum soup.

With the addition of Thai chili paste and evaporated milk, this creamy tom yum soup offers a delightful twist on the classic dish. Whether you’re a fan of traditional tom yum soup or looking to try something new, this variation is sure to satisfy your cravings for a creamy and flavorful Thai soup.

Making Tom Yum Soup with Other Meats

While shrimp is the most popular choice for tom yum soup, you can also make it with other meats such as chicken or fish. The recipe provides guidelines for making tom yum soup with different proteins, but notes that there may be some differences in techniques and ingredients. Feel free to experiment with other proteins based on the provided guidelines.

Making Tom Yum Soup with Chicken

If you prefer chicken over shrimp, you can easily substitute it in the tom yum soup recipe. Here’s how:

  1. Instead of using shrimp, use boneless chicken breasts or thighs. Slice the chicken into thin strips or bite-sized pieces.
  2. Follow the same steps for making the shrimp stock, but replace the shrimp shells with chicken bones or a chicken bouillon cube to create a flavorful chicken stock.
  3. Continue with the recipe as usual, adding the chicken strips to the soup base instead of the shrimp.
  4. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as chicken may take longer to cook than shrimp. Make sure the chicken is fully cooked before serving.

Making Tom Yum Soup with Fish

If you’re a fan of fish, you can also use it as a substitute for shrimp in tom yum soup. Here’s how:

  1. Instead of using shrimp, choose a firm white fish like cod, tilapia, or haddock. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces.
  2. You can use the same shrimp stock recipe, but omit the shrimp shells and use fish bones or a fish bouillon cube to create a fish stock.
  3. Proceed with the recipe as normal, adding the fish pieces to the soup base instead of the shrimp.
  4. Be careful not to overcook the fish. It should be opaque and flaky when done.

Making Tom Yum Soup with Leftover Meat

If you have leftover meat from a previous meal, you can transform it into a delicious tom yum soup. Here’s how:

  1. Choose your preferred meat, such as thinly sliced cooked beef, pork, or lamb.
  2. Start by making a simple vegetable or chicken broth. You can use store-bought broth or make your own by simmering vegetables or chicken bones with water.
  3. Once the broth is ready, follow the recipe for the soup base, omitting the shrimp stock and using your homemade broth instead.
  4. Add the leftover meat to the soup base and simmer until it is heated through.
  5. Adjust the seasoning as necessary and garnish with fresh herbs.

With these variations, you can enjoy the flavorful and aromatic tom yum soup with your favorite protein, be it chicken, fish, or leftover meat.

Making Vegan Tom Yum Soup

Although not common in Thailand, a delicious vegan version of tom yum soup can be made. This recipe uses a variety of mushrooms to create a satisfying and flavorful soup. The mushrooms add a meaty texture and umami flavor that makes the soup just as satisfying as the traditional meat-based version.

To make the vegan tom yum soup, follow the steps below:

  1. Prepare the ingredients:
IngredientsQuantity
Vegan mushroom stock4 cups
Lemongrass2 stalks, bruised
Ginger1 thumb-sized piece, sliced
Lime leaves4 leaves
Thai chilies2, sliced
Mushrooms8 ounces, sliced
Tomatoes2, diced
Tofu8 ounces, cubed
Lime juice2 tablespoons
Soy sauce2 tablespoons
Sugar1 teaspoon
SaltTo taste
CilantroFor garnish
  1. In a pot, bring the vegan mushroom stock to a boil.
  2. Add the lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and Thai chilies to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  3. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, and tofu to the pot. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and salt. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
  5. Remove the lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and Thai chilies from the pot.
  6. Serve the vegan tom yum soup hot, garnished with cilantro.

vegan tom yum soup

Enjoy this vegan twist on a classic Thai dish! The combination of mushrooms, tangy lime juice, and fragrant herbs will surely satisfy your taste buds.

Conclusion

Tom yum soup is a famous Thai dish that brings together the flavors of lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves in a tangy and spicy soup. With this authentic recipe, you can now recreate the authentic flavors of Thailand right in your own kitchen. Whether you prefer the classic clear version or the creamy variation, tom yum soup is a delicious and healthy option that is sure to satisfy your cravings for Thai cuisine.

By following the step-by-step instructions and using the specified ingredients, you can enjoy this iconic dish whenever you want. The combination of tangy, spicy, and aromatic flavors in tom yum soup creates a truly tantalizing experience for your taste buds.

So, next time you’re in the mood for a flavorful and comforting soup, give tom yum a try. It’s a crowd-pleaser that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Thailand with its exotic flavors and fragrant aroma. Whether you’re a seasoned Thai food lover or a beginner in the world of Thai cooking, tom yum soup is a must-try dish that will leave you wanting more.

FAQ

Is tom yum soup a traditional Thai dish?

Yes, tom yum soup is a beloved Thai dish that is enjoyed all over the country.

What are the key ingredients for tom yum soup?

The key ingredients for tom yum soup include medium to large shrimp, chicken stock, makrut lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, Thai chilies, Thai chili paste, fresh lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, oyster mushrooms, and cilantro.

Can I use chicken stock instead of shrimp stock?

Yes, you can use chicken stock instead of shrimp stock as a substitution in the recipe.

How do I make the shrimp stock for tom yum soup?

To make the shrimp stock, sauté the shrimp shells and/or heads until they start to brown. Deglaze the pot with water to scrape up any stuck bits and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Can I use frozen or dried herbs instead of fresh ones?

Yes, you can use frozen or dried herbs instead of fresh ones as a substitution in the tom yum soup recipe.

Can I make tom yum soup with other meats besides shrimp?

Yes, you can make tom yum soup with other meats such as chicken or fish. The recipe provides guidelines for making tom yum soup with different proteins.

Can I make a vegan version of tom yum soup?

Yes, a vegan version of tom yum soup can be made using a variety of mushrooms to create a satisfying and flavorful soup.

What is the difference between the clear version and the creamy variation of tom yum soup?

The clear version of tom yum soup does not include any dairy, while the creamy variation adds Thai chili paste and evaporated milk to the clear soup base for a creamy texture.

What are the traditional herbs used in tom yum soup for garnish?

The herbs in tom yum soup, such as cilantro, are traditionally left in for garnish and should not be eaten.


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