February 3, 2011

Tom yum goong – Thai hot and sour noodle soup with shrimp

Tom yum goong soup is one of the most exquisite dishes of Thai cuisine. The broth is a myriad of texture and flavors – sour lime leaves and lemon grass, spicy ginger and chilies, and sweet seafood.

My husband and I are big fans of this dish. My son too. We were enchanted after one sip of the broth, while cruising along the Chao Phraya river on our first visit to Thailand. The burst of aroma and flavor was so intense and unique, it took our breath away. The beautiful citrusy fragrance was intriguing, the wonderful aroma it leaves in the mouth and the air - heavenly. Besides, the soup was light and spicy. It was such a refreshing change after our initial disappointed with the Thai cuisine. You see, we had a hard time finding halal food and had to stick to safer options like KFC, McDonald’s, Hardees, or visit desi restaurants for halal food. Other than this bit of inconvenience, we had a totally wonderful experience in Thailand- great hospitality, excellent shopping, magnificent temples, spas on a budget, exotic islands and plenty of adventure.

Ever since we returned from that first visit to Thailand, I kept thinking about the enchanting flavors in the soup. The pressure to make one at home was high. But somehow I never got around to it. Until now.

The recipe of this soup is adapted from the book Healthy Noodles by Kurumi Hayter. I modified the steps and ingredient proportions to match the haunting taste from that memorable dinner cruise. Tom yum goong is a fresh, clear soup. It is spicy and tangy. Feel free to cut down on the chilies for a milder version. Nam prig pao (chili jam), is an authentic ingredient, added for a spicier taste and bright orangish color. The original recipe does not call for the use of this ingredient, but I would recommend using a tablespoon to enhance taste and coloring.
This soup is simple, delicious and refreshing. You can easily recreate it in your home within minutes. The only challenge would be to find the Thai storecupboard ingredients. I have mentioned substitutions wherever possible.

Tom yum goog soup is a useful antidtoe to cold. Try it. You’ll be surprised! And addicted, too!!

Tom yum goong – Thai hot and sour noodle soup with shrimp


1 tablespoon oil
2 small shallots, shredded
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
½ inch fresh ginger, shredded
4-5 small red chilies, sliced
4 cups (1 liter) water
1 cube chicken stock, crumbled (I used magi less salt)
1 lemon grass stick, trimmed
8 fresh kaffir lime leaves, sliced
1 cup shrimps, shelled and deveined (you can leave the tail intact if you like)
1 cup rice vermicelli (optional)
8 canned straw mushrooms or regular mushrooms (I used regular)
6 tablespoon lemon juice
5 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoon brown sugar
few springs cilantro

Remove and discard tough outer layers and pound the lemon grass to release the flavors; slice.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir-fry ginger, garlic, shallots and chilies for a minute. Mix the crumbled stock cube with 4 cups water until well blended; pour into the pan. Tip in lemongrass and lime leaves, and bring to boil. Add shrimps, and simmer for 5 minutes. The smell of fresh lime leaves and lemon grass simmering with the shrimps gives a wonderful feeling. Don’t forget to enjoy the aroma of soup permeating the air!

Meanwhile, cover and soak the noodles for 3 minutes in warm water. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Divide between serving bowls.

Add lemon juice, fish sauce, sugar and mushroom to the stock, and simmer, covered, for 3 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and sourness, if needed (remember that the stock and sauce is salty). Ladle into the bowls with the noodles and sprinkle with cilantro to serve. 


  1. Hi Nashira, you have a diverse collection of some wonderful recipes. The pics are rocking and one more thing congrats for getting two awards. You deserve them. Just visited you blog and I am happy to be your new follower.
    Please do visit mine.

  2. Looks very fresh and delicious, I just love the thai flavours in it.

  3. I like these flavours looks delicious

  4. Looks so delicious. Amazing clicks!

  5. such a beautiful picture..........hmmmmmmmm............you have a great skill in photography...........

  6. Love this soup and so very glad to have a recipe for it! Yum!

  7. Dear Nashi, sorry I couldnt drop by earlier though I did read your message and what a pretty looking page u have here!! I feel so happy to get a compliment from such a talented stylist and photographer...thx a bunch! An Eye candy blog and yummy blog ! :)


  8. Delicious...Such a tempting platter you have there...

    US Masala

  9. Hey. Thank y'all for your sweet notes! You are adorable!!

  10. Such a pretty soup--Thai flavors in soups are some of my favorites, I love how rich, tangy and refreshing they are.

    Thanks for joining in again at Souper Sundays. ;-)

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  12. It's Look nice
    Thanks for great recipe :)

  13. I have some guest coming today, as it is cold and dreadful here I thought of making a Tom Yum soup, I am going to follow your recipe. Fingers cross


A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi