Tom Yum (Hot and Sour Soup)

My favorite soup in Thailand will forever be tom kha; however, that is followed in a very close second with this recipe, tom yum (hot and sour soup). This soup is broth based and has a very tasty base of flavors. With tons of traditional Thai herbs and spices, some basic every day veggies, and the kick of roasted chili paste at the end, this recipe never lets me down!

Tom Yum - Hot and Sour soup

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy


  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, 1 inch segments, bruised
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 3 slices galangal
  • ½ – 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 Thai chili peppers, bruised
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 4 TBSP fish sauce
  • 2 TBSP prik pao, roasted chili in oil
  • Cilantro, garnish


  1. In medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Once boiling, add lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, and chilies and boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms, onion, lime juice, and fish sauce and boil for another five minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and boil 1-2 minutes until soft, then add prik pao.
  4. Season to taste and remove from heat. Serve with cilantro as garnish.


  • Lemon grass: Do not use powdered lemon grass for soups! It will not give you the correct taste. You can use fresh lemon grass or you can use dried, but try to stay away from the powdered. It won’t taste terrible, it just won’t taste that great either.
  • Chilies: If you are using fresh chilies, you want to bruise them, which means placing the flat end of your knife on top of the chili and pushing down. This will cause the chili to pop and allow some of the juices and seeds to escape, which will add heat to your dish. If you are using dried chilies, you should crush them a little so the insides are open to the broth for the same effect.

Final Thoughts

  • Eat this. It’s good.
  • Do not forget the prik pao at the end. That’s what gives it the red oily stuff on the top and that’s what makes this recipe so awesome, at least for me!

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