Recipe: Thailand’s Tom Yum Soup….

Tom Yum Goong is a traditional Thai soup characterised by its hot and sour flavours.

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The words “tom yam” are derived from two Thai words. Tom refers to the boiling process, while yam means ‘mixed’. Tom yum is characterised by its distinct hot and sour flavours, with fragrant spices and herbs generously used in the broth. 

 Ingredients of Tom Yum Goong and Their Benefits:

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It is widely believed that the ingredients used in making Tom Yum Goong are beneficial in improving one’s health condition. Unverified research suggests that these ingredients are effective in curing cancers. Here is the guide on the ingredients and their potential benefits.


Lemongrass is a common ingredient used in making different Thai dishes, which helps tone down the strong flavours of Thai food and provides a special fragrant scent to the dishes. It contains several essential vitamins, like Vitamin A, B1, B2 and B3, etc. It also has properties that are effective in dealing with a cough and digestive problems. This herb is even good for fighting against inflammation caused by illnesses or ailments.


Coriander is also known as Cilantro and Chinese Parsley. This is a powerful herb that contains micronutrients and antioxidants. It is believed to be effective in reducing swelling caused by anaemia and kidney malfunctions. It is also useful in cleansing metals from the body.


Galanga is another common ingredient used in making Tom Yum Goong that is originated from Southeast-Asian countries. It is a herb that is particularly useful in treating stomach issues, cough, and even heart disease with its antibacterial properties.

Coconut milk::

Coconut milk is also another common ingredient that you will find in Tom Yum Goong. It is known for its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol and improving your immune system. Some even suggested that coconut milk contains anti-ageing properties and will help people get rid of their wrinkles as well.

Chilli Peppers:

Chilli Peppers are used to add spiciness to the Thai hot and sour soup. It provides health benefits, such as dealing with inflammation and congestion problems. As they are rich in Vitamin A, they are also used to improve immunity.

How To Make Tom Yum Kung Soup:

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  1. Pop the Heads: As mentioned, whole shrimp with heads is a very important ingredient, because you need to make “shrimp oil” to achieve the right flavor. The oil is made from sauteeing shrimp heads in oil, to release the shrimp flavor into the oil. Pull the heads off the shrimp and place them in a wok or large skillet.
  2. Sizzle:  Add the oil to the skillet. Add a good pinch of salt. Sauté the shrimp heads in the oil, cooking until they are red and crispy, and the oil is red as well.
  3. Smash: Trim the lemongrass stalks and galangal. Use a meat mallet or the side of a knife to smash the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, onion, chilies, and galangal. This helps release their flavors into the broth.
  4. Simmer: Place the aromatics in a medium soup pot and add water. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the broth smells fresh and fragrant.
  5. Shrimp It Up: Stir in the mushrooms, shrimp, and fish sauce. Simmer just long enough for the shrimp to cook.
  6. Shrimp Oil: Stir in the shrimp oil and lime juice. Then throw the heads away.

Sometimes it is made with coconut milk. If you want to try a creamier version, add a splash of coconut milk to the soup at the end.

Tom Yum is usually served as-is or with a side of sticky rice. Do you have questions or comments? Do share with us in the comment section.

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