Thai Tom Yum Soup

Serves 4 persons

Make this wonderful soup to serve as a lovely starter for a dinner party or when you feel like you need a little extra heat to help move on a lingering cold. Tom Yum soup is a wonderful aromatic chilli-hot soup. To achieve greater intensity of flavour make the soup a day earlier and re-heat.

Thai Tom Yum Soup


  • 16 tiger prawns shelled, if available
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass (bruised and cut in half)
  • 2 tbs galangal root or ginger grated or finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 5 lime leaves
  • 2 red hot chillies crushed (seeds removed) or 1 tsp sambal oelek (chilli paste)
  • 1 litre of strong chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 tbs lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 10 mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 5 tbs of ground nut oil or other neutral flavoured oil
  • A little salt
  • Fresh coriander
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced, for garnishing


Defrost the prawns, if necessary and give them a quick rinse.

Shell the prawns without removing the tails. Half the prawns and remove the black string. Fry the prawn shells in the hot oil with lemon grass, ginger, garlic and lime leaves and chillies. Add a little water if the mixture is starting to burn. If using ready prepared prawns, fry the spices as above

Once a wonderful aroma is filling the kitchen, then add the stock.

Leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes, pour the soup through a sieve, before returning to the boil

Add the mushrooms, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice.

Add prawns, as soon as the prawns turn pink (cooked through) serve in soup bowls garnished with fresh coriander and slices of fresh chilli.

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