Tom Yum Goong (Thai Hot & Sour Soup) | ต้มยำกุ้ง

a bowl of tom yum goong

Hello friends!

I guess most of you are familiar with tom yum goong (Thai hot & sour soup) as it’s one of the most famous Thai dishes. In fact, it comes up a lot when someone asks me where I’m from and I tell them I’m Thai. People just go, “Ohhhh, Thailand! Tom yum goong!” on me. Most of the time this just makes me laugh because…you know…out of so many things. But when you actually think about it, there’s a reason why people associate your country with food. Am I right?

I don’t know about you but I really like this Thai hot and sour shrimp soup. I’ve had people tell me that this soup is overrated or too watery but I think if you cook it well, it’s hard for anyone not to like it. Although very thin, it’s packed full of flavor. You’ve got the heat, the sourness and the aroma from the Thai herbs. We love this stuff in our 30+ degree weather but I can tell you it’s also perfect for any cold or rainy day and such a great option for those who prefer light soups.

a bowl of tom yum goong


Making tom yum is actually pretty easy but it requires quite a few ingredients, some of which might be hard to find where you live. In order to make your tom yum authentic, you will need fresh lemon grass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. We also like to use shallots, Roma tomatoes and mushrooms. If you don’t have these, it’s okay. Though I highly, highly recommend you use them or at least the Roma tomatoes because they help you achieve that natural umami flavor. And really what is tom yum without all the mushrooms!?


Apart from the ingredients mentioned above, we use fish sauce, freshly-squeezed lime juice and fresh chilis to get our tom yum to taste right. If you want to adjust the amount of these ingredients from this recipe, you can. Just remember tom yum needs to be salty and sour and that little bit of sugar is not to be omitted because it will help round out the flavor. Oh and the nam prik pao (Thai chili oil) – not needed but absolutely amazing! Try making tom yum with it and you’ll never go back!

As far as protein goes, if you’re not a fan of shrimp you can use beef, chicken, fish or even squids. Or if you don’t want to do any kind of meat at all, you can certainly do a mushroom tom yum. That’s totally normal and just as good.

a bowl of tom yum goong


We normally eat tom yum with rice. If we’re eating with family or friends at home, we serve it in a large bowl along with a few other dishes and share. Though, if you prefer, you can serve a single portion in smaller individual bowls. Similarly, if you don’t want to have it with rice, that’s fine.

Another thing we like to do is sprinkle some chopped culantro over the soup when it’s still very warm, right before we serve it. Now, I didn’t misspell that word, culantro is a real herb and we use it a lot in the Thai cuisine. However, a lot of Thai people like to sprinkle tom yum with cilantro as well, and since culantro is less common in other parts of the world, you can definitely use cilantro instead.

Last but not least, tom yum is best enjoyed freshly made. When you reheat it, it tends to become saltier and the shrimp and mushrooms become overcooked as well. So you might want to cook this soup in an amount you can finish in one go.


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Tom Yum Goong (Thai Hot & Sour Soup) Recipe

a bowl of tom yum goong

A light and tasty Thai style hot and sour soup with shrimp. So good and ready in just 30 minutes!

  • Author: Cooking with Nart
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Thai



  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare your herbs.
    – Take the stalks of lemon grass, chop the root end and discard along with the outermost leaf. Then slice every stalk into 1 inch strips.
    – Hand-tear the kaffir lime leaves (this will help release the aroma).
    – Chop the galangal root into slices.
    – Peel the shallots and cut them in half.
    – Lightly pound the chilis on your cutting board or in a mortar.
  3. Add the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, shallots and chilis to the water and boil for about 10 minutes.
  4. Cut the tomato into wedges and the mushroom in half. Chop the culantro. Set aside.
  5. Prepare your shrimp. Some people like to remove the head, shell and tail and devein while others like to cut the back open to devein and leave everything on. I like to leave just the tail on, but you can prepare your shrimp however you prefer.
  6. Once the water is boiling, add the tomato, mushroom and shrimp to the pot and cook for a minute or so.
  7. Add fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and Thai chili oil. Then, taste test your tom yum and adjust the flavor as needed before turning off the heat.
  8. Transfer your tom yum to a bowl and sprinkle with chopped culantro. Serve the tom yum with rice.


  1. Tom yum is best eaten freshly made. You can reheat the soup but it tends to become saltier and the shrimp will be overcooked.
  2. We normally enjoy this dish with rice. Though you can have it on its own if you want. 😉

Keywords: tom yum goong, tom yum recipe, shrimp, prawn, mushroom soup, Thai hot and sour soup, Thai soup, nam prik pao, Thai chili oil

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  • Reply
    September 18, 2019 at 12:07 am

    I love the bright and salty flavors of lemongrass, lime, and fish sauce – this sounds like a soup I would love to have all winter.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:50 am

      Yeah, they go so well and the soup is perfect for winter. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 18, 2019 at 12:38 am

    I love any dish with shrimp. The broth looks so flavorful and delicious.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:50 am

      Thanks! You would love this one too!

  • Reply
    Natasha McCracken
    September 18, 2019 at 1:07 am

    This recipe looks absolutely delicious! Freshly steamed rice and a bowl of this would be a great meal. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:51 am

      Thank you! And yes, this with rice = the best!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2019 at 7:57 am

    This recipe looks and sounds so nice and a do love Tom Yum Soup. I will be trying your recipe soon.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:51 am

      Thank you, enjoy!

  • Reply
    Ai | Ai made it for you
    September 18, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    YUM!! Tom yum goong is my mom’s favorite Thai soup! I think tom kha gai is my personal favorite 🙂

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:52 am


  • Reply
    Anindya Sundar Basu
    September 18, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    This is wonderful recipe and cant wait to try this out. Thanks for the recipe

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:52 am

      Thank you and you’re very welcome!

  • Reply
    Shari Eckstrom
    September 18, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    This soup looks almost to pretty to eat. Tom yum is one of my favorites. Looking forward to giving this one a try.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:53 am

      Aw, thank you so much Shari! I hope you enjoy it.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2019 at 4:39 am

    I’ve eaten this soup in Thai restaurants before but never made it at home. Your beautiful photos make me eager to try.
    Fortunately I live in area where Asian and other ethnic ingredients are pretty easy to find. And there’s always Amazon!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:54 am

      That’s awesome Patrice that you can find Asian ingredients easily. Give this one a try, you’ll love it, hehe.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2019 at 9:00 am

    I loved this post because 1) I din’t know there was something called culantro; I’d love to know how similar the flavor is to cilantro, if you have a chance, 2) when people learn I love and prepare Thai food they always ask me about Pad Thai, so I’m very happy to be prepared in case they ask for this recipe and 3) this just looks like a wonderful light soup! Also because, lucky me, I can get all these ingredients at the Asian grocery near me.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:57 am

      Awesome you can get all the ingredients Beth! Culantro is an amazing herb. I wouldn’t say its flavor is similar to cilantro but I love them both. 🙂 If ever they have it in your Asian grocery store, you’ve got to try it. 😛

  • Reply
    Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef
    September 19, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Another beautiful recipe, Nart! It looks absolutely divine and that broth looks slurp-worthy, totally added to our must-try list. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 11:58 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words Angela! I hope you like it!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Girl, your tom yum goong pops. It’s such a gorgeous dish:)). Love it!! My husband and I learned to eat Thai food in New Zealand (of all places) because we had some great Thai restaurants close to where we lived at the time. I can’t wait to try this recipe. It will bring back memories.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you so much Sonila! Yes, sometimes Thai restaurants abroad can be really good. I hope you do try and like this recipe. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 21, 2019 at 1:53 am

    I haven’t had Thai version of hot and sour soup, this looks so comforting and delicious.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      It’s very delicious and comforting. Hope you get to try it hehe.

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