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Thai Seafood Soup (Tom Yum Talay)

User Rating 5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Tom Yum soup
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This Thai Seafood Soup is authentic and incredible tasting - you'll love the combination of shrimp and/or seafood together with lemongrass, coconut milk, and lime. This soup soothes and uplifts the spirit as well as the body. In Thailand, Tom Yum Talay is known for its health benefits and is the Thai equivalent of chicken noodle soup when you're feeling ill. It's also remarkably easy to make once you have the ingredients. And if you have any trouble finding these ingredients, don't be put off making it - just try my recommended substitutions (bottom of recipe) and it will still turn out great! Make this soup on a chilly fall or winter day and you'll soon feel thoroughly warmed from the inside. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 12 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Yield: SERVES 3-4


  • 6 cups good-tasting chicken stock
  • 12 medium raw shrimp, shells removed
  • Other seafood of your choice: fresh mussels, scallops, crab, or sliced fish fillet (up to 1 handful of each)
  • 1 stalk minced lemongrass*, OR 2.5 to 3 Tbsp. frozen or bottled prepared lemongrass (or see substitutions list)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves*
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. galangal OR ginger, grated
  • 1-2 sliced red chilies OR 1-2 tsp. Thai chili sauce*
  • optional: handful of fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into thin strips
  • other optional vegetables: handful baby bok choy
  • 1/2 can (14 ounce) thick coconut milk (not 'lite')
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce * (if you don't like the smell of fish sauce, see substitutions list below)
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped


  1. Pour stock plus lemongrass and lime leaves in a deep soup pot over medium-high heat. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add garlic, galangal/ginger, chili, and mushrooms (if using). Reduce heat to medium and simmer 2-3 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.
  3. Add the shrimp, any other seafood you're using, and tomato plus baby bok choy (if using). Simmer over medium heat 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp turns pink and plump and mussels have opened. Scallops, crab, and fish should all be firm to the touch and no longer translucent.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot (do not boil at this point). Taste-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 more 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.
  5. 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!
Substitutions that Work:
  • If you can't find lemongrass: try 3 slices fresh lemon (boil in the soup)
  • Instead of kaffir lime leaves: 1/2 tsp. lime zest
  • For chili: 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper OR dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
  • If you don't like the smell of fish sauce: 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce + 1 Tbsp. regular soy sauce
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Fantastic recipe!, Member specialagentCK

This was such a good recipe that I created an About.com membership just to review it. It was incredibly easy to prepare and tasted great. The recipe allows for some flexibility; here are the ingredients I used: ginger (because I didn't have any galangal on hand), 1 sliced red chili, 1 T of tomato paste instead of a tomato (my husband hates cooked tomatoes), a handful of tenderstem broccoli, a couple handfuls of spring greens instead of bok choi (because bok choi is not available locally), a package of shrimp and a package of fish pie mix (haddock, cod, salmon). I also added some rice noodles. All of the meat and veggies made the soup a bit thick, so I added an extra cup of water and a bit more coconut milk. I only just finished eating dinner an hour ago, and I'm already looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

7 out of 7 people found this helpful.

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