Tom Yum Soup is a tangy and spicy Thai soup with a delicious broth infused with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chilli peppers. It is often prepared with shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cilantro.

This soup is renowned for its vibrant and refreshing taste, blending spicy, sour, and citrus flavors. Here we will dive into the world of Tom Yum Soup, exploring its origins and the key ingredients that give it its unique flavor.

We will guide you step-by-step on how to prepare traditional Thai tom yum soup, from preparing the aromatic broth to adding the perfect combination of ingredients. So get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this easy and authentic recipe.

How To Prepare Traditional Thai Tom Yum Soup

How To Prepare Traditional Thai Tom Yum Soup – By Following 4 Steps

How To Prepare Traditional Thai Tom Yum Soup - By Following 4 Steps

Experience the bold and refreshing flavors of Tom Yum Soup, a beloved Thai delicacy that combines spicy, sour, and citrusy notes. Discover the enticing blend of lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves in a flavorful broth. Gather all the essential ingredients and follow the above guideline on how to prepare traditional Thai tom yum soup.


Here is the ingredients list:

  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3-4 slices of galangal or ginger
  • 2-3 Thai red chillies, sliced (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 200g (7oz) of shrimp, chicken, or tofu (optional)
  • 200g (7oz) of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Step 1: Preparing The Broth

To prepare the flavorful broth for authentic Thai Tom Yum Soup, begin by heating a pot over medium heat. Add chicken or vegetable broth to the pot and gently boil it. Incorporate the essence of Thailand by adding fresh lemongrass stalks, fragrant kaffir lime leaves, slices of galangal, and a touch of heat with Thai chili peppers.

Let the broth simmer for approximately 10 minutes, allowing the rich flavors to meld together. For an added taste, introduce mushrooms, succulent shrimp or tender chicken (if desired), and plump cherry tomatoes. Allow the soup to simmer for another 5-7 minutes, ensuring the protein is perfectly cooked. To complete this tantalizing dish, season the soup with a drizzle of fish sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, and a hint of sweetness with sugar.

Step 2: Adding The Ingredients

Adding The Ingredients

When adding the ingredients to traditional Thai Tom Yum Soup, you must focus on the essential elements that create an authentic and flavorful dish.

Begin by incorporating the lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, which provide distinct Thai flavors to the soup. These ingredients infuse the broth with citrusy, slightly spicy, and earthy notes. Add mushrooms and tomatoes to enhance the texture and freshness, which deliver a delightful combination of flavors.

For more protein options, include shrimp or chicken. Thai chilli peppers are the perfect ingredient to add heat and spice to the soup. Adjust the amount based on your personal preference for spiciness. Finally, season the soup with fish sauce and lime juice to create a harmonious balance of flavors – salty, sour, and spicy. Allow the soup to simmer until all the ingredients are thoroughly cooked and well incorporated.

Step 3: Seasoning The Soup

Achieving the authentic flavors of this traditional Thai dish requires skilful seasoning. To perfect your Tom Yum Soup, it’s crucial to find the right balance of flavors. Fish sauce, lime juice, and Thai chilli peppers are the key components in seasoning this dish. Fish sauce imparts a savory umami taste, while lime juice adds a refreshing tanginess. The spiciness is provided by the Thai chilli peppers, giving the soup its characteristic kick.

Adjust the seasoning to suit your preferences, adding more fish sauce, lime juice, or chilli peppers as desired. Focusing on achieving the ideal balance of salty, sour, and spicy flavors will elevate your Tom Yum Soup to new heights.

Step 4: Serving


To serve Traditional Thai Tom Yum Soup:

  1. Ladle the hot soup into bowls, filling each bowl with fragrant clear broth and well-cooked ingredients.
  2. Garnish each bowl with fresh cilantro or Thai basil for vibrant colors.
  3. Serve the soup with lime wedges for a zesty twist of lime juice.
  4. Offer steamed rice or noodles as accompaniments for a more substantial meal.
  5. Provide traditional accompaniments like fish sauce, chilli powder, and sugar for guests to customize the taste of the soup.

Tips For Making The Perfect Tom Yum Soup

To create the perfect Traditional Thai Tom Yum Soup, follow these expert tips to achieve authentic flavors. Add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal into the aromatic broth. These traditional Thai ingredients are essential for an authentic Tom Yum Soup experience.

Achieve the perfect balance of sour, spicy, and savoury by infusing the soup with lime juice, Thai chilli peppers, and fish sauce. Don’t be afraid to experiment with adding your choice of protein, such as succulent shrimp or tender chicken, mushrooms, and juicy tomatoes.

For a finishing touch, garnish your soup with fresh cilantro, adding a vibrant flavor. Adjust the spice level according to your preference, exploring the range of flavors Tom Yum Soup offers. And if you’re feeling daring, try incorporating coconut milk into the soup for a creamy twist on the classic recipe.

What To Serve With Tom Yum Soup

What To Serve With Tom Yum Soup

When serving Tom Yum Soup, there are endless possibilities. Pair it with steamed jasmine rice for a balanced meal. Rice noodles or glass noodles can add texture and heartiness. Traditional Thai condiments like fish sauce, lime wedges, and chilli flakes enhance the dining experience.

Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or Thai basil for added freshness. To create a complete meal, pair the soup with spring rolls, green papaya salad, or pad Thai for an authentic Thai feast.

Serving Suggestions For Thai Tom Yum Soup

Remember to provide serving spoons or ladles for easy portioning, and encourage guests to try different combinations of ingredients and flavours to suit their preferences. Enjoy the vibrant and delicious Thai Tom Yum Soup with these serving suggestions! When serving Thai Tom Yum Soup, you can enhance the dining experience by considering the following suggestions:

  1. Jasmine Rice: Serve the soup alongside a bowl of steamed jasmine rice. This allows you to enjoy the soup and rice together, creating a satisfying and balanced meal.
  2. Thai Condiments: Set out a small plate of Thai condiments such as fish sauce, lime wedges, and Thai chilli flakes. This allows each person to adjust the flavors of their soup according to their preference.
  3. Fresh Herbs: Provide a plate of fresh herbs such as cilantro, Thai basil, and mint leaves. These herbs can be added to the soup just before eating, enhancing the aroma and adding freshness to each spoonful.
  4. Lime Wedges: Serve lime wedges on the side to allow guests to squeeze fresh lime juice into their soup. This adds an extra tangy kick to the flavors.
  5. Chili Sauce: If you prefer your Tom Yum Soup to be even spicier, you can offer Thai chilli sauce or Sriracha on the side. Guests can add it to their soup according to their spice tolerance.
  6. Side Dishes: Accompany the soup with traditional Thai side dishes such as spring rolls, Thai fish cakes, or crispy fried wontons. These can complement the flavors of the soup and add variety to the meal.
  7. Fresh Vegetables: Serve a plate of blanched or steamed vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, or snow peas. These can be enjoyed independently or dipped into the soup for a refreshing contrast.


Preparing traditional Thai Tom Yum Soup is easier than you may think. By following the simple steps outlined on how to prepare traditional Thai tom yum soup, you can create an authentic and delicious soup that will transport your taste buds to Thailand.

Don’t forget to experiment with different ingredients and adjust the seasoning to suit your personal preferences. Whether you’re a fan of spicy or prefer a milder flavour, Tom Yum Soup can be customized to your liking. Serve it as a standalone dish or pair it with other Thai favourites for a complete meal experience. Hope the above outline will be very helpful in enhancing your cooking knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What Is Tom Yum Soup Broth Made Of?

Ans: Tom Yum soup broth is made with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chilli peppers. Other ingredients like fish sauce, lime juice, mushrooms, cilantro, Thai basil, and Thai chillies are commonly used.

2.What Is The Difference Between Tom Yum Soup And Thai Soup?

Ans: Tom Yum soup is a popular Thai soup with a hot and sour taste. Thai soup encompasses a variety of soups from Thailand. Tom Yum soup usually includes shrimp or chicken, lemongrass, lime juice, chili peppers, and other herbs and spices.

3.Why Does My Tom Yum Soup Taste Bitter?

Ans: Tom Yum soup may taste bitter due to an excessive amount of lime juice or lime leaves. Overcooking the herbs and spices can also contribute to a bitter flavor. Additionally, adding too much chilli paste or using low-quality or stale ingredients can affect the taste.

4.What Is Tom Yum Soup?

Ans: Tom Yum Soup is a classic Thai soup renowned for its tangy and spicy taste. It features ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chilli peppers, and lime juice. Available in shrimp (Tom Yum Goong) or chicken (Tom Yum Gai) variations.

5.What’s The Difference Between Tom Yum And Tom Kha Soup?

Ans: Tom Yum soup is a tangy and spicy soup with a citrusy taste, while Tom Kha soup is a smoother and creamier option. Tom Yum includes ingredients like lemongrass, chili peppers, and lime juice, while Tom Kha incorporates the richness of coconut milk.