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Thai Hot-and-Sour Shrimp Soup (Tom Yam Kung)

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 as a side dish or first course

This hearty, flavorful soup is traditionally served alongside main dishes, with plenty of jasmine rice, but it can also be served as a first course.


  • 2 cups Thai Pork Broth or water
  • 2 Tbs. Thai fish sauce, such as Tiparos or Squid
  • 4 Thai or serrano chiles, preferably green, smashed gently; more to taste
  • 6 thin 1-inch slices fresh lemongrass, lightly crushed
  • 4 very thin slices fresh galangal or ginger
  • 6 wild lime leaves, torn, or 1 Tbs. finely grated lime zest
  • 1 Tbs. crushed cilantro root or chopped cilantro stem
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar; more to taste
  • 5 oz. oyster mushrooms, torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 6 small shallots, preferably Asian red, peeled and halved
  • 8 jumbo shrimp (21 to 25 per lb.; preferably wild), peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. thinly sliced sawtooth coriander or cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. thinly sliced scallions

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 110
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 15
  • Fat (g): 1.5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Cholesterol (mg): 60
  • Sodium (mg): 780
  • Carbohydrates (g): 10
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 13


  • In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, combine the broth or water with the fish sauce, chiles, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, cilantro root, and sugar, and bring to a vigorous simmer.
  • Add the mushrooms and shallots, and cook until soft, 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and lime juice. Season to taste with sugar and chiles. (The soup should be hot, sour, and salty. Sugar is to balance the other flavors; the soup should not be sweet.) Cook until the shrimp are just pink, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve topped with the sawtooth coriander and scallions.


Rate or Review


  • susan in BC | 01/25/2018

    This soup is so awesome. We made it last night and will definitely make it again. I used ginger because I didn't have galangal and I used homemade chicken stock. I also added some fresh peas and bok choy just for a little extra bulk. I had never cooked with lemon grass before and we loved the flavor. We found them too "stick-like" to swallow but we wanted to chew on them anyway to get the flavor, and then we discarded them. I think I'll look for lemongrass paste as Shanagogo suggested.
    Thanks for this must-try recipe. It's a keeper!

  • Shanagogo | 01/01/2015

    Tonight will be the third time I have made this soup. It has become one of our all time favorites. All the ingredients aren't easy to find, but the substitutions suggested work just as well, if not better. The only one thing I changed was the lemongrass. It is readily available, but a pain to work with. The second time I made this I used the lemongrass paste in the tube that you can find in the produce department. We cannot wait for dinner this rainy and cold Southern California day.

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