Tom Yum Soup Recipe (ต้มยำกุ้ง) – Authentic Thai Style

One of the most famous of all Thai foods, and what I think is one the best soups in the world, is Thai tom yum goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง).

What I love most about tom yum goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง) is the flavors of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, fresh Thai chilies, and fresh lime juice, that all combine to create a healthy and soothing broth that will light up your taste buds.

If you’re looking to cook an awesome and authentic soup, try this tom yum soup recipe.

This recipe is for local Thai street food style tom yum soup – it’s not the fancy kind – but follow this recipe for the authentic taste you’ll find in Thailand.

Exclusive Bonus: Download a Free PDF version of this recipe. It’s convenient to read and print. Enjoy!

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The Two Version of Tom Yum Soup

If you love to eat tom yum soup (ต้มยำ), you might already know about two main distinct variations of the dish.

Tom yum goong nam sai (ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำใส) is tom yum with shrimp in a clear broth, while tom yum goong nam khon (ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำข้น) is the creamy milky version.

Contrary that many people think tom yum is made creamy with coconut milk, it’s actually nom kream tiam (นมครีมเทียม), which is canned evaporated milk (as opposed to sweetened condensed milk).

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Note: If you’re looking for a Thai coconut milk based soup, check out my tom kha gai recipe.

In this tom yum recipe, I’ll be showing you how to make both versions, depending on which style you prefer (they are both common in Thailand).

Goong (กุ้ง), or shrimp is one of the most popular things to make this soup with, but you can also choose to make tom yum with a mix of seafood like squid, or with chicken, or fish (one of my favorite versions too).

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When I went to the market before making this recipe, there was a nice supply of goong mae nam (กุ้งแม่น้ำ), or freshwater shrimp, so I had to go for them. But you can really use any kind of shrimp or other meat of your choice.

Essential Tom Yum Soup Ingredients:

The most absolutely essential ingredients for this tom yum recipe are the trio of Thai herbs:

  • Lemongrass (ตะไคร้)
  • Galangal (ข่า)
  • Kaffir lime leaves (ใบมะกรูด)

This trio of Thai ingredients is what really gives tom yum its flavor, and without them you would not have a complete dish.

Other ingredients are still important though, especially Thai chilies (พริกขี้หนู), mushrooms (เห็ด), cilantro (ผักชี), tomatoes (มะเขือเทศ), sweet white onions (หอมใหญ่), lime juice (มะนาว), sugar (น้ำตาล), and fish sauce (น้ำปลา).

Full list of ingredients listed in the official recipe section below.

I like to use something called nam prik pao (น้ำพริกเผา) in my recipe for tom yum, and it’s especially necessary if you make the creamy version.


Nam prik pao (น้ำพริกเผา) is basically a Thai roasted chili sauce that’s packed with flavor and usually bought in a can these days.

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Ok, so let’s move on to the full recipe now.

But first, watch the video for exact detailed instructions:

(If you can’t see the video, watch it here:

Time: About 30 minutes
Recipe size: 1 pot of soup, probably about 5 – 6 bowls
Utensils: Large saucepan
Flavors: Salty and sour, amazing soup
Eat it with: Rice, and a spread of other Thai dishes

Via @:

For myself, I like both versions of tom yum, and it sort of depends on which mood I’m in.

Overall, 75% of the time I like tom yum goong nam sai (ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำใส clear version) because it’s so pure and clear and tastes quite healthy. Also, the flavors of sourness and the the heat from the chilies are usually a little more pronounced in this version.

Tom yum goong nam khon (ต้มยำกุ้งน้ำข้น creamy version), can be excellent as well.

It’s richer and creamier, and usually a little sweeter, and like I mentioned, the creaminess usually tones down the chili heat and sourness a bit.

I hope you enjoyed this tom yum soup recipe. Be sure to give it a try when you have a chance, and let me know what you think.

Do you like your tom yum clear or creamy?

Also, be sure to check out my of my authentic Thai recipes here.

Free Bonus: Click the button below to download a PDF copy of this tom yum soup recipe (for FREE). It’s convenient to read and print.

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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.