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Tom Yum Koong – Sour Hot Thai Soup with Prawns – ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำใส

The most famous Thai soup in the world has to be Tom Yum Koong – hot and sour soup, with prawns. If you eat Thai food, chances are that you’ve tried tom yum!

There are a few different ways to make tom yum, and everyone has their own opinion on how it should be done. Some recipes call for chilli paste and evaporated milk, some just chilli paste. Others like it old school with neither, some use prawn stock, some just use water! I’ve made numerous bowls of tom yum this weekend and decided I prefer the version with the milk and chilli paste. I’ll let you decide how you want to play it!

What is never up for debate though are the herbs used. Lemongrass, galangal, kafir lime leaves and red chilli are an absolute must. Tom yum almost always has mushrooms and tomatoes as well.

Tom Yum ingredients
The usual suspects.

Another herb commonly used in Tom Yum is Pak Chi Farang or sawtooth coriander as it’s also known. It tastes like coriander (cilantro) but stands up to heat better, which is perfect for a hot soup. If you can’t get hold of this, though, just use regular coriander stems in the soup, then garnish with the leaves.

pak chi farang
pak chi farang

The last ingredient I want to talk about is the chilli paste (nam prik pao), which is sometimes referred to as chilli jam. It’s made from roasted red chillis, shallots, garlic and dried shrimps. It’s pretty easy to make yourself, but most of the time shop bought paste is used. It’s easy enough to find in Chinese supermarkets, you can even pick it up in now in a lot of U.K supermarkets, and online.

One brand of Nam Prik Pao
One brand of Nam Prik Pao.

If you are shelling the prawns yourself, you can use the heads to make a stock. You may find find it can be slightly overpowering with the prawns in the chilli paste, so I’m using water for this recipe. Chicken stock also works well.

Tom Yum Koong - Sour Hot Thai Soup with Prawns - ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำใส
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A quick and easy recipe for the most famous Thai soup of them all!
Servings Prep Time
2 large bowls 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 large bowls 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Tom Yum Koong - Sour Hot Thai Soup with Prawns - ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำใส
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A quick and easy recipe for the most famous Thai soup of them all!
Servings Prep Time
2 large bowls 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 large bowls 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: large bowls
Units:
Instructions
  1. Add the lemongrass, galangal, chilli and lime leaves to a saucepan along with the water or stock and bring to the boil.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes then add the tomatoes, mushrooms, chilli paste, fish sauce and sugar.
  3. After 3 or so minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened a bit, chuck in the prawns. Once it comes back to the boil, and the prawns have turned pink, turn off the heat. You don't want to overcook them as they will continue to cook in the hot soup. Stir in the milk and take off the heat. Add the coriander and lime juice (never cook lime juice, it turns bitter), and check the seasoning, adding fish sauce, or sugar if you think it needs it.
  4. Serve with bowls of steamed Jasmine rice.

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