Discover the authentic Tom Yum Goong recipe presented by Pailin on Hot Thai Kitchen, your ultimate guide to Thai cuisine.

How to Make Tom Yum Soup: A Step-By-Step Recipe

Recipe by Annie Tibber


Prep time


Cooking time





Authentic recipe for the renowned Thai soup: Tom Yum Goong. Courtesy of Pailin from Hot Thai Kitchen.


  • 4 cups of shrimp stock or unsalted chicken stock (refer to the recipe below)

  • 12 medium-sized shrimp, preferably with heads and shells on

  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (use 2 if they are small), smashed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces

  • 6 makrut lime leaves, roughly torn into chunks with the center stems removed

  • 7-8 slices of galangal (see note)

  • 2-5 Thai chilies, adjust to your preferred level of spiciness, bruised and cut into large pieces

  • 3 cups of oyster mushrooms, cut or tear larger ones into bite-sized pieces

  • ¼ cup of Thai chili paste

  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce

  • ½ cup of fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

  • Cilantro for garnish

  • For the shrimp stock:
  • Shrimp shells and heads from a minimum of 12 shrimp

  • 1 tablespoon of neutral oil

  • 4 ½ cups of water

  • ½ chopped onion (optional)


  • For the Shrimp Stock (if making):
  • Start by peeling the shrimp and removing the heads..Place all the shrimp shells and heads into a stainless steel pot with a small amount of vegetable oil. Sauté them over medium-high heat while pressing out any tomalley from the shrimp heads using a spatula.
    The shells and heads of a minimum of 12 shrimp
    1 tablespoon of neutral oil
  • Once the bits sticking to the bottom of the pot start to brown and emit a delightful grilled shrimp aroma, deglaze with the water and scrape off any residue from the bottom of the pot.
    4 ½ cups of water
  • If desired, add the chopped onions and simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes. Strain the stock, ensuring all the liquid from inside the shrimp heads is extracted. You need about 4 cups of stock for the soup, but if you don’t have enough, you can add water.
    ½ chopped onion (optional)
  • For the Tom Yum Soup:
  • Combine the shrimp or chicken stock, lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, galangal, and chilies in a pot. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for approximately 5 minutes until you can smell the herbal fragrance.
    4 cups of shrimp stock or unsalted chicken stock
    1 stalk of lemongrass (use 2 if they are small)
    6 makrut lime leaves
    7-8 slices of galangal
    2-5 Thai chilies
  • After the soup has simmered, add the oyster mushrooms, and bring the soup back to a boil.
    3 cups of oyster mushrooms
  • Once the soup returns to a boil, add the shrimp, and when the soup begins to bubble, turn off the heat. Allow the residual heat to fully cook the shrimp, approximately another minute or so. If you’re using very large shrimp, you may need to cook them longer, but check to avoid overcooking.
    12 medium-sized shrimp
  • Add the lime juice, fish sauce, chili paste, and sugar, then stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. You may need to add more sugar depending on the sweetness of your chili paste brand.
    2-5 Thai chilies
    3 tablespoons of fish sauce
    ½ cup of fresh lime juice
    1 teaspoon of sugar
    ¼ cup of Thai chili paste
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with rice or turn it into a “Kuay Tiew Tom Yum” by pouring the soup over rice noodles for a pho-style meal!

Tom Yum (ต้มยำ) is a renowned Thai hot and sour soup, renowned for its iconic flavor trio of lemongrass, galangal, and makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, which I like to call the “Tom Yum Trinity.” While it can be prepared with various meats or seafood, including leftover cooked meats, the most popular version features shrimp, known as tom yum goong ต้มยำกุ้ง (where “goong” means shrimp).

Considered a strong contender for Thailand’s national dish, this soup is widely savored throughout the country and enjoys universal popularity. It’s served at street-side stalls, upscale restaurants, and is frequently prepared at home. It even made its way to my elementary school cafeteria!

The versatility of Tom Yum has led to countless variations, and its delectable flavor has inspired the creation of other dishes such as tom yum spaghetti, tom yum fried rice, and even tom yum pizza, introduced by Pizza Hut in Thailand! You can also prepare a mouthwatering Tom Yum stir-fry or what we refer to as “dry Tom Yum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *