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Tom Yum Soup

served dish, tom yum soup recipe

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

It is our one-year anniversary, and Nick is leaving work at lunchtime; my treasure hunt awaits him. The clues are all about us, about the past year together:
Whenever my sweet hubby gets a cold
It is this dish that will soon be sold.
Answer: the tom yum soup from Thai Town on President Street. The manager will be there this afternoon with a taster bowl and the next clue.
served dish, tom yum soup recipe

Tom Yum Soup

Tom yum soup is a spicy and sour Thai soup with shrimp and aromatic herbs. It is one of the most popular dishes in Thai cuisine and can be made with a clear or creamy broth. The soup gets its distinctive flavor from lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, fish sauce and chili paste. It also contains mushrooms, tomatoes, cilantro and fresh chilies for extra texture and heat. Tom yum soup is easy to make and can be enjoyed as a starter or a main course.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 stalks lemongrass cut into 2-inch pieces and bruised
  • 3 slices galangal or ginger
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves torn
  • 2 tablespoons tom yum paste or to taste
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 8 ounces shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup oyster mushrooms sliced
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves chopped
  • 2 Thai bird’s eye chilies sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk optional


  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and tom yum paste and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  • Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and adjust the seasoning to your taste. You can add more tom yum paste for spiciness, more lime juice for sourness or more sugar for sweetness.
  • Add the shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes or until they turn pink and opaque. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes or until they are soft.
  • Stir in the cilantro leaves and chilies if using. If you want a creamy soup, you can also stir in the evaporated milk at this point.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and enjoy hot with steamed rice or noodles if desired.
Keyword healthy