Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: SERVES 3-4
- 6 cups good-quality chicken stock
- 2-3 kaffir lime leaves (can be purchased at most Asian food stores), OR 1/2 tsp. lime zest
- 2 stalks minced lemongrass, OR 3 Tbsp. frozen/bottled prepared lemongrass (or substitute 3 slices lemon)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. grated galangal OR ginger
- 1 fresh red chili, minced, OR 1-2 tsp. Thai chili sauce, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili OR cayenne pepper
- generous handful of fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (if you dislike the smell of fish sauce, see below for substitution*)
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 12 medium to large shrimp, shells removed
- handful of fresh basil
- optional: other vegetables of your choice: 1 handful of broccoli, cherry tomatoes, or baby bok choy
- optional: 1/2 cup coconut milk OR Carnation evaporated milk (the latter is often used in Thailand for traditional tom yum kung)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander/cilantro
- Place stock in a large pot over high heat. Add the minced lemongrass (and leftover lemongrass stalks, if using fresh lemongrass), plus lime leaves. Bring to a boil.
- When soup reaches a bubbling boil, reduce heat to medium, or until you get a nice simmer. Add the garlic, galangal/ginger, chili, mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce and soy sauce. Stir well and simmer 3 minutes.
- Add the shrimp plus other vegetables, if using. Simmer until shrimp are pink and plump (about 3 minutes).
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk or Carnation milk (if using). Now taste-test the soup, looking for a balance of salty, sour, and spicy. If not salty or flavorful enough, add 1 Tbsp. more fish sauce OR soy sauce. If too sour, add more sugar. If too spicy (Tom Yum is meant to be spicy!), add a little coconut or Carnation milk. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.
- For those who like addtional spice/flavor, add a dollop of Thai Nam Prik Pao chili sauce, either store-bought or the homemade Thai Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce Recipe . It can also be served on the side in small dishes, so each person can add as much as they prefer.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with a generous sprinkling of fresh coriander. ENJOY!
For a thicker, slightly richer version of this soup, see my popular Tom Khaa (Tom Yum Soup with Coconut Milk).
*Instead of Fish Sauce: For those who dislike the smell of fish sauce: substitute 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce + 1 Tbsp. regular soy sauce.