This recipe is for local Thai street food style Tom Yum Soup – it is not the fancy kind – but follow this recipe for the authentic taste you will find in Thailand.
There are two version of the Tom Yum Soup, Tom Yum Goong nam sai is Tom Yum Shrimp in a clear broth, while
Tom Yum Goong Nam Khon is the creamy milky version.
People think Tom Yum creamy is made creamy with coconut milk, it is actually made with evaporated milk.
Goong or shrimps is one of the most popular ingredient to make this soup with, but you can also make it with a mix of seafood like squid, fish or chicken.
The most absolutely essential ingredients for this soup are the three thai herbs:
- Kaffir lime leaves
Other ingredients are just as important.
- 2 litre water
- 4 stalks lemongrass
- 1 inch chunk of galangal
- 10 kaffir lime leaves
- 10 thai chilies(or to taste)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 lb chicken breast or prawns
- 1/2 lb oyster mushrooms
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 2 white onions(medium size)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 8-12 tbsp fish sauce
- 8-12 tbsp lime juice
- Handful cilantro, finely chopped
Creamy Tom Yum Version
- 3 tbsp canned Thai roasted chili sauce
- 10 tbsp evaporated milk
You may need to add lime juice or fish sauce as the milk and roasted child sauce throws off the sourness and saltiness.
- In a large saucepan boil 2 litres of water.
- Remove the outer leaf of the lemon grass and slice it diagonally in 1 inch strip.
- Slice the galangal.
- Coarsely break about 10 kaffir leaves.
- Peel the garlic.
- Remove the stems and chop the chills.
- Add all this to the water, cover and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to low.
- Add the thinly sliced chicken or peeled and deveined shrimps.
- Rinse the mushrooms, Slice them and add them to the saucepan.
- Slice the roma tomatoes and onions into wedges – you want them big and chunky, add this to the soup.
- Boil it for about 3 minutes.
- Add the fish sauce and the sugar and boil for another minute, turn off the heat. The mushroom and onions should be soft when it is ready.
- Add the chopped cilantro and lime juice before serving.
- For the creamy version add, the chilli sauce, and evaporated milk, boil for 1 minute and serve.
Lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves, garlic and birds eye chilies are for the taste, you can remove them before adding the chicken.
Lemon grass is a tropical Island plant in the grass family.
Some species are commonly cultivated as culinary and medical herbs because of their scent resembling that of lemon. It has a subtle citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. It is commonly used in teas, soups and curries. It is also suitable for use with poultry, fish, beef and seafood. It is also used as tea in Africa, Latin America and Mexico.
Lemon grass will keep the mosquitoes away.
Galangal is root that looks a lot like ginger. Its flavour is similar to root ginger, but not nearly as spicy and with hints of lemon and cardamon. It is used in SouthEast Asia the way that ginger is used in other Asian Cuisines. It is the key ingredient of Thai curries, soups and stews. The whole galangal root is very hard and requires a sharp knife to cut.
Kaffir leaves are fragrant leaves of the wild lime trees and are used widely in Thai and South East Asian cuisine in the same way as bay leaves are used in the west. The double leaves are joined tip to end, creating an unusual figure-of eight shape. They have a spicy, lemony flavour and give a distinctive citrus scent to soups and curries. They are becoming more widely available, both fresh and dried but substitute lime zest if you can not find them.