Tom Yum Goong

om Yum Goong,Thai chicken curry in a bowl

Tom Yum Goong, a popular Thai soup known for its bold flavors and aromatic spices, is a delightful dish that perfectly balances sour, spicy, salty, and sweet flavors. Some chefs call it a chicken or prawn curry soup.  The ratio of shrimp to chicken can be varied according to taste and availability. Here’s a detailed recipe tailored for two servings.


For the Soup Base:

  • 2 cups of chicken or seafood broth
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces
  • 2-inch piece of galangal, sliced
  • 2-3 Thai bird’s eye chilies, bruised
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar or brown sugar

For the Soup:

  • 200 grams of large shrimp (prawns), peeled and deveined, leaving tails intact
  • 200 grams of chicken chunks   
  • 100 grams of mushrooms (straw mushrooms or button mushrooms), sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lime juice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Prepare the Soup Base:
    • In a pot, bring the chicken or seafood broth to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
    • Add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, Thai bird’s eye chilies, garlic, and shallot to the broth. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  2. Season the Soup:
    • Stir in fish sauce, tamarind paste, and palm sugar (or brown sugar). Allow the flavors to meld for another 2-3 minutes.
    • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning according to your preference. Add more fish sauce for saltiness, tamarind paste for sourness, or sugar for sweetness.
  3. Add Ingredients:
    • Once the soup base is seasoned to your liking, add sliced mushrooms, tomato wedges, and thinly sliced onion. Let them simmer for about 2-3 minutes until they are slightly softened but still tender-crisp.
  4. Cook the Shrimp:
    • Carefully add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the simmering soup. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink and opaque.
    • Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, as they can become tough and rubbery.
  5. Finish the Soup:
    • Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in chopped cilantro leaves and lime juice.
    • Taste the soup once again and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add more lime juice for extra acidity if desired.
    • Discard the lemongrass stalks, galangal slices, and kaffir lime leaves before serving.
  6. Serve:
    • Ladle the hot Tom Yum Goong soup into serving bowls.
    • Garnish with additional cilantro leaves and sliced Thai bird’s eye chilies for extra heat if desired.
    • Serve the soup hot and enjoy it with steamed jasmine rice or on its own as a light and flavorful meal.

Adjust the spiciness of the soup by adding more or fewer Thai bird’s eye chilies. For a vegetarian version, you can omit the shrimp and use vegetable broth instead of chicken or seafood broth. Feel free to add other ingredients such as squid, mussels, or tofu to make the soup more hearty and satisfying.

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