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Easy Tom Yum Soup with Coconut Milk ("Tom Khaa")

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (9 Reviews)


Tom yum soup
Evan Joshua Swigart/Wikimedia Commons
Aside from being one of the most popular soup in Thailand, Tom Yum Soup has many health benefits, due its potent combination of herbs and spices. In fact, this Thai soup is currently under scientific study, as it appears to have immune-boosting power as a natural remedy for cold and flu viruses. In my version of the soup, I've included coconut milk (officially "Tom Khaa") which I find adds both richness and flavor while still keeping the soup super healthy. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 3-4 cups chicken stock (this makes enough soup to serve 2 people)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, lower 1/3 finely minced (for instructions on how to prepare lemongrass, see link)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian food stores)
  • 12-14 medium or large raw shrimp, shelled
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1-2 small red chilies, minced OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional: a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • generous handful fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 green and/or red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (add more or less to taste)
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • optional: additional red chilies, OR Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce (1-2 tsp.)
  • optional: 1 tsp. brown sugar, and a sqeeze of lime juice


  1. Pour stock into a deep cooking pot and turn heat to medium-high. Add prepared lemongrass to the pot, including upper parts of the stalk you didn't mince. Boil 5 to 6 minutes, or until fragrant.
  2. Reduce heat slightly to achieve a nice simmer. Add garlic, chili, lime leaves, and mushrooms to broth. Continue simmering for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes (if using). Simmer 5-6 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and plump.
  4. Turn down the heat to low and add 1/2 can coconut milk plus fish sauce. Test-test the soup for spice and salt, adding more chili and/or fish sauce (instead of salt) as desired. If too sour for your taste, add 1 tsp. brown sugar; if too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice. Add more coconut milk if you want your soup richer/creamier, or if it's too spicy for your taste.
  5. Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over. Enjoy!! (See below for more variations on this recipe.)


  • For a vegetarian version, see my Easy Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe
  • For a more traditional Tom Yum Soup (without coconut milk), see: Traditional Tom Yum Soup
  • If you prefer chicken over seafood, substitute chicken breast for shrimp (cut the chicken into bite-size pieces).
  • Rice noodles can also be added for a delicious noodle-soup version of Tom Yum.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Needs tweaking!, Member doctorgabi

I made this for the first time yesterday for my husband and I. We both thought it was utterly delicious, but way way too salty. I added the lime juice as suggested but it didn't help. In the end I had to leave most of the delicious soup and just eat the contents, which was a shame because I enjoyed it so much! I know that low-salt or no-salt chicken stocks are available, so next time I'll use that. There will definitely be a next time for this!

1 out of 3 people found this helpful.

See all 9 reviews

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Traditional Tom Yum Soup

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