Tom Yum soup is a Thai favourite that will be really popular with the whole family. It is a richly spiced soup that can be tweaked to suit all tastes, and works well with most flaky white fish. You can also make with prawns.

About Tom Yum Soup

Tom yum has its origin in Thailand. The words “tom yam” are derived from two Thai words. Tom refers to the boiling process, while yam means ‘mixed’. In Thailand you will find this soup made with fish, prawns or chicken however it is the trio of thai flavours  lemongrass, galangal/ginger and kafir lime leaves that are essential. If you are keen on some chilli heat add plenty of the fresh red chiles or use some chilli oil and adding anywhere from a few drops to a few teaspoons. Leaving the hot spice out altogether will still deliver a very tasty authentic (but mild) dish.

Recipe below is for two people but you can scale easily for larger numbers.

Ingredients For Thai Tom Yum Soup

300g of Cod, Haddock or prawns from Walter Purkis & Sons
400ml water
Lemongrass – 6in piece cut into fine strips
Kaffir Lime leaf – 6 leaves with stems removed
Red Curry Paste – 2 tbsp
Coconut milk – 250 ml
Mushrooms – 6 cut into quarters
Red Chillies – 4-5 chopped with seeds removed
White Sugar
Shallots – halved lengthways and  finely sliced
Thai Parsley – 4 leaves cut into three
White onion – half, chopped
Coriander leaf – 8 leaves roughly chopped
Lemon juice

Soup Cooking Method

Heat the water in a pan  on a medium heat (NB If you have one, a wok is the ideal pan for this recipe), add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and bring to boil. Then add the red curry  paste (this will contribute the classic galangal, kaffir lime leaf and garlic flavours) into the pan and mix well.

Next add coconut milk and return to boiling, then add mushrooms and chillies. Season to taste with salt and sugar.

Now add the fish (cut into small chunks)  or prawns and stir well – make sure prawns are cooked properly.

Next add the Thai parsley, white onion and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Pour into small bowls dividing the  prawn or fish equally and garnish with a sprinkle of the chopped coriander.

Prawn tips

It can be a messy business to remove prawn shells when they are in the soup however the prawn heads and shells do add a lot more more flavour to the soup. You can remove the shells before cooking but add them to the soup while cooking to extract the extra flavour, removing them just before serving.

More Thai fish recipes here >>