Tom Yum Goong is a very popular Thai soup that is sour, spicy, savory and incredibly aromatic. This version here is a clear soup and very easy to make.
I was lucky to have known some good Thai friends who were so good in cooking, Thai food especially. They cooked the spiciest and most bold tasting food I’ve ever tasted. I think that was when my love for Thai food started to grow back in college time. I didn’t know much about cooking back then. I was spoiled with the curries they made, the stir-fried noodles, and arrays of street food.
Tom yum is characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragrant herbs generously used. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, fish sauce and chili peppers. Tom Yum can be made with different type of meat or seafood like shrimp, chicken, fish , or mixed seafood and mushrooms. You will also see a creamy version and a clear broth version. This is a clear broth version, which I really like.
You can find readily available Tom Yum paste in any Asian stores. I just thought I could try to make a clear Tom Yum soup from scratch, which wasn’t that difficult as I thought. Tom yum soup just whet your appetite if you ask me. That sourness is enough to get my saliva flowing !!!
Tom Yum Goong (4-6 servings)
- 1 lb large fresh shrimp with heads on
- 1 Tbsp of cooking oil
- 5 shallots thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3- inch of fresh galangal sliced
- 1 stalk lemongrass bruised with heavy objects to release flavor
- 15 kaffir lime leaves tear the edges of leaves to release flavor
- 8-10 Thai red chili sliced at an angle if you want to release the heat
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- 3 cups of fresh oyster mushrooms
- 1 large tomato quartered
- 1/4 cup of fish sauce or more to taste
- 10 fresh limes
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves
Use a knife to run through the back of the shrimp to devein. Use kitchen shears to trim off the tentacles. Leave the heads and the shells intact. If you choose to take off the head, you can use the head to make the stock below (use water instead of chicken broth)
In a large pot, preheat 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add in the shallots and garlic and stir fry for about 1 minute. Add in the fresh galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, red chili and stir fry for another 1 minute. Add in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. If you are using the shrimp's head to make a stock, add it in at this point. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the heads and discard them. Skim off some scums that might formed from the boiling the shrimp heads. Add in the oyster mushrooms and let it cook for 1 minute. Add in the shrimp and let them cook for 2 minutes or so or until the shrimp is cooked through
It's time to season the soup. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Have a taste. It should be sour, spicy, savory, with just a hint of sweetness. Add more fish sauce and/or lime juice as needed
When ready to serve, garnish with some fresh cilantro leaves and serve immediately
Check out other Southeast Asia Recipes you might be interested in.
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