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

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (12 Reviews)


Tom yum soup
Thor/Wikimedia Commons
Soup to boost your immune system? That's right! Tom Yum soup is currently under study for its ability to fight off cold and flu viruses, and perhaps even cancer (see link below for more information). So try my delicious version of Tom Yum Goong, which is basically Tom Yum soup but with a little coconut milk added ("Tom Khaa"). The coconut milk gives it a little more thickness and flavor while still keeping it healthy. It's an easy recipe, and quick to cook up, but tastes like Thai restaurant quality. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: SERVES 2-3


  • 4-6 cups good-tasting chicken stock
  • 1 stalk lemongrass , minced, OR 4 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian stores)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 red chilies, finely sliced, OR substitute 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce (available at all Asian/Chinese food stores and some supermarket chains)
  • a generous handful of fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 12 medium raw shrimp, shells removed
  • 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk, OR 1/2 can evaporated milk
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
  • optional: 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • optional: extra vegetables of your choice (shown here: cherry tomatoes & broccoli)


For a simple step-by-step version of this recipe, see: Easy Tom Yum Soup Recipe.
  1. Pour stock into a deep cooking pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the lemongrass and boil for 1-2 minutes. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor .
  3. Add garlic, chili, lime leaves, and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp (plus other vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and broccoli, if using). Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and plump.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk plus fish sauce and lime juice. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot. Test the soup for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce instead of salt (I usually add 1 more Tbsp.), or more chili as desired. If too sour, add 1/2 tsp. sugar. If too spicy for your taste or if you'd like it creamier, add more coconut milk. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.
  6. Serve in bowls with fresh coriander sprinkled over. For an extra hit of flavor, you can also add some Thai chili sauce, either store-bought or the homemade version: Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce Recipe. ENJOY!

About Tom Yum Soup and Coconut Milk: Depending on which Thai chef is cooking, evaporated milk may be added instead of coconut milk (this is often the case in Thailand). I prefer it with coconut milk, but strictly traditional Tom Yum is made with either evaporated milk, or without any milk whatsoever, as in: Traditional Tom Yum Soup.

For more on the immune-boosting benefits of Tom Yum soup, see: Thai Soup Under Study.

Variations: There are as many variations of Tom Yum soup as there are Thai chefs. Here are some popular versions:

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Coriander and cilantro, Member Sem_insa

""Coriander and cilantro are different. Coriander are the seeds and cilantro are the leaves. I find the cilantro to have a stronger flavor than the freshly ground seeds. Cilantro - means Coriander in Italian. Coriander comes in seed form and in fresh leaves form, it is still coriander or cilantro. The seeds are a very different flavour to the fresh leaves be careful to use as instructed. The dish is great, delicious.

26 out of 40 people found this helpful.

See all 12 reviews

Related Video
Traditional Tom Yum Soup

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