This is one of our favorite Thai dishes that we made at the cooking school in Chiang Mai – it’s found in high end restaurants as well as on the street side.  Even though it’s so hot and humid in Thailand, you will see people eating hot and spicy foods! Apparently, if you are eating food that makes you hotter on your insides, you won’t be as affected by the outdoor heat and will sweat less!

Tom Yum Soup

Many high end grocery stores carry a lot of these ingredients or they can be found at your local farmer’s markets. For you Atlanta readers, go visit the Dekalb Farmer’s Market – one of my favorite places to shop!

Ingredients (makes two large servings)
200g shelled shrimp (about ½ pound)
50g oyster mushrooms or straw mushrooms (2 ounces)
3-4 pieces thinly sliced galangal (Thai ginger)
1 stalk lemon grass, lower portion, cut into 1 inch, crushed
1-2 kaffir lime leaves, remove the stalk and tear into pieces
1 tbsp chopped coriander and spring onions
3-4 fresh or dried chilies, crushed
1/2 medium onion, cut into quarters
1 small tomato, cut into quarters
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp thai chili paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp chicken stock

Terry enjoying his Tom Yum Kung

1. Add water, chicken stock, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal and chilies, in a pot and let it come to a boil.
2. After 1 minute of boiling or until you can smell the herbs, add tomatoes, large onion, mushrooms and shrimp, continue boiling for 1 to 2 minutes
3. Add fish sauce, sugar, thai chili paste and lemon juice; stir well to ensure all sauces have dissolved. Adjust to your taste, all 4 flavors should be balanced (spicier = more chili paste, sweeter = more sugar, sour = more lime and saltier = more fish sauce) and simmer for another minute
4. Turn off the heat and pour it all into a serving bowl. Top with coriander and spring onions.
5. Enjoy while it’s still hot!



  1. I am a big fan of Tom Yum soup and have number of online recipes and was always disappointed. This recipe is so easy and yet so good. Thank you for posting it. I am currently looking for recipe to make Yum Woon Sen(glass noodle salad)

  2. I'd tried it last night for our dinner … I used a fish head and unshelled shrimp.
    I never added fish sauce before and it's sooo yummy, spicy, sourly and hot. My hubby loved it very much.
    Thanks for the post. You have a wonderful blog 🙂