Dish of the Week: Tom Yum Goong

This soup is hot, sour, and all kinds of awesome.
This soup is hot, sour, and all kinds of awesome.
Photo by Lummmy

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we’ll be sharing a recipe perfect for winter: Tom Yum Goong.

Tom yum or tom yam is a traditional Thai soup, with "tom" referring to the process of boiling and “yam” referring to a spicy and sour salad common in Lao and Thai cuisine. As such, the dish is known for its distinct hot and sour flavor, with the stock’s usual components including lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal (a root in the ginger family), lime juice, fish sauce and crushed chile peppers.

The soup is typically made with prawn or shrimp and is referred to as tom yum goong or tom yum kung; but other popular versions include tom yum gai – made with chicken; or tom yam nam khon – made with prawns and milk or coconut milk, to name a few.

Once only prevalent in Thailand and surrounding countries, including Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore, today it can be found around the world.

Or in your kitchen...because this recipe from Tyler Florence is definitely simple enough to make at home. Find the ingredients in specialty stores like Asia Market or even Central Market.

Tom Yum Goong (Hot & Sour Thai Soup)

Ingredients makes 4 servings
2 qts chicken broth
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, sliced on a bias in 2-inch pieces
4 kaffir lime leaves
1-inch piece of fresh galangal or ginger, sliced
2 red chiles, sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce, such as nam pla
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 (8 oz) can straw mushrooms, rinsed and halved
1 lb large shrimp, peeled with tails on
2 limes, juiced
2 green onions, sliced
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped


Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and chiles. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.

Uncover and add the fish sauce, sugar and mushrooms. Simmer for five minutes.

Toss in the shrimp and cook for about eight minutes until they turn pink. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, green onions and cilantro.

Taste for salt and spices; you should have an equal balance of spicy, salty and sour. 

Note: The lemongrass and lime leaves are for flavor only and should be avoided when eating the soup.

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