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Thai food, Tom Yum Soup, a true favourite


1 litre/2 pints chicken stock

300 ml/11fl oz  water

6 sticks lemon grass, lightly crushed

4 fresh coriander roots, crushed

110g/4 oz fresh galangal, peeled and sliced (available from Asian supermarkets)

8 tomatoes, cut into quarters, seeds removed

6 kaffir lime leaves

1-2 limes, juice only

75 ml/3 fl oz  tamarind water (tamarind is available from Asian supermarkets. Soak the tamarind in hot water and push the pulp through a sieve to make tamarind water.)

3 red chilies, thinly sliced

75 ml/3 fl oz fish sauce (nam pla), or to taste

75/3 oz palm sugar (available from Asian supermarkets), use brown sugar if unavailable

12 raw tiger prawns, shelled, gutted and split in half

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks

To serve

1 small bunch fresh coriander, leaves

1 small bunch fresh Thai basil, leaves (available from Asian supermarkets)

lime wedges


1. Place the stock and water into a large pan over a high heat and bring to the boil.

2. Add the lemon grass, coriander roots, galangal, tomatoes, lime leaves, lime juice, tamarind water and red chilies. Return to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

3. Taste the stock and add as much fish sauce and palm sugar as necessary to keep the salty-sour-hot-sweet taste, then remove from the heat.

4. Transfer 220 ml/8 fl oz of the stock into a separate pan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the prawns and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

5. To serve, pour the soup into two bowls and top up with the hot stock. Garnish with Thai basil, coriander and a wedge of lime.

Tom Yum Soup

Food Thai, Kang Som Gung, Shrimp Sour Soup
Food Thai A brief explanation of Thai cooking