Tom Yum Goong Soup in 4 Steps

Tom Yum Goong soup is a very popular sweet and sour Thai dish.

This recipe is based on one that a talented Thai chef very generously shared with me in Phuket. 

This will make enough soup for around 4 people, and makes for an incredibly flavourful starter.

You should be able to find most of the ingredients, but you may need to visit an Asian Grocery store to get Thai Chili Paste, palm sugar, galangal and kaffir lime leaves.

If you can’t get galangal you can use ginger, although galangal will make for a more authentic experience. Kaffir lime leaves and galangal are usually found in the frozen section of the Asian Grocery Market to preserve them.

Making your own stock from shrimp (prawns in the UK) shells and heads is easy enough, and makes for a much better, fresher flavour in your soup. Give it a go!

Tom Yum Goong Soup Recipe
Thai Shrimp Soup Tom Yum Goong Soup

Tom Yum Goong Soup Step 1 – Prepare the Shrimp

Try to make sure you get whole raw shrimp/prawns with the heads and skins on.

If you really can’t cope with the heads I suppose you could source your shrimp with the heads removed, and the shell left on.

I would strongly urge you to use the heads in the stock however. They are absolutely full of flavour.

The best way to remove the heads is to hold the head between your thumb and forefinger and twist.

As you do this, pinch the prawn’s body and twist your hands in two opposite directions pulling them away from each other. The head of the prawn should pop off cleanly and easily.

Tom Yum Goong Soup Step 2 – Make the Stock 

When you have removed the heads and shells from the prawns, place them in a pan on medium heat with a little vegetable oil.

Cook the shrimp shells for a couple of minutes until they take on an orange colour. 

Now put enough water into the pan to cover the shells and bring to the boil. 

Add two peeled garlic cloves and a 3cm piece of peeled galangal (or ginger) to the stock. 

You can leave this to simmer for up to an hour to infuse, but 10-15 minutes is fine.

Pass the stock through a muslin cloth on top of a sieve to remove any grit. Discard the shells, heads and garlic and ginger.

Pour the stock back into a pan on medium heat. Now we have an incredibly flavoursome stock to use as the basis for the Tom Yum Goong Soup. 

Tom Yum Goong Soup Step 3 – Make the Soup 

Ingredients for the Tom Yum Goong Soup

  • A Pack of Whole Prawns/Shrimp
  • 1 Stalk of Lemongrass (outer leaves removed, finely chopped)
  • 1 -2 Tablespoons of Fish Sauce (Depending on Taste)
  • A Handful of Cilantro/Coriander Finely Chopped
  • 1-2 Bird’s Eye Chillies Stalks Removed & Cut in Half
  • 1 Teaspoon of Shrimp Paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Palm Sugar (or Caster Sugar)
  • 4-5 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 2 Teaspoons of Thai Chilli Paste
  • 1 Tin of Coconut Milk (leave a little in the tin for serving)

To Serve – Lime Wedges & Finely Chopped Coriander/Cilantro  

Tom Yum Goong Soup Method

The soup will be made quickly from here, so make sure you have everything ready to put in the pan.

Bring your stock up to the boil and add your kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, chilli paste, bird’s eye chillies, shrimp paste, palm sugar, fish sauce and coconut milk.

Let your soup infuse for a minute or two and then add the prawns/shrimp. They will only take a minute or two to cook in the hot soup. Be careful not to overcook your prawns/shrimp.

If the tail of the shrimp/prawn curls up and touches the head it is overcooked. 

Last of all scatter your coriander/cilantro and then remove from the heat.

Tom Yum Goong Soup Step 4 – Serve 

Ladle your soup into warm bowls and serve with the chopped coriander/cilantro and lime wedges.

For extra presentation carefully tap and tip your tin of coconut milk to create a lovely swirl of coconut milk in your Tom Yum Goong Soup.

Watch us make the soup in this Instagram video.

If you enjoyed this article feel free to try this one on Korean Fried Chicken:

For another great article on Tom Yum Goong Soup try here:

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