Tom Yum Goong, a beloved and iconic Thai soup, is a culinary masterpiece that dances on the palate with an exhilarating blend of sweet, sour, spicy, and savory flavors. This renowned Thai classic, often hailed as the “King of Thai Soups,” is a delightful symphony of ingredients that harmonize to create a remarkable culinary experience. At the heart of this recipe is succulent shrimp, bathed in a broth infused with aromatic herbs, zesty lime, and fiery chili, delivering a tantalizing culinary journey that transports your taste buds straight to the bustling streets of Thailand.
Whether you’re an enthusiastic Thai cuisine lover or a curious food explorer, this Tom Yum Goong recipe is your ticket to savoring the exotic and enchanting flavors of Southeast Asia in the comfort of your own kitchen. So, let’s embark on this culinary adventure and learn how to prepare this delicious and invigorating Thai soup.
There are endless variations of how Tom Yum Goong is made in Thailand. This one is how my Aunt taught me. The soup is, of course, finished with her famous Nam-prik Pao.
Tom Yum Goong – Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup Recipe
- ½ kilo or 1 pound of shrimp, buy those with heads attached and have a red/orange fat visible inside the head.
- 6 cups of water
- one big handful of kaffir lime leaves
- another big handful of lemongrass, discard the outer layers, and cut into 2′ pieces
- a few thick slices of Galangal peeled
- 1 cup sliced mushroom, you can use either cremini or shitake or both
- juice from 3 limes, you may need more
- about ¼ cup of fish sauce
- 2 tbsp of Nam-prik Pao
- a few bird-eye chilies (Thai chilies)
mise en place:
Shrimps: rinse, peel, and devein the shrimps, reserve the shells and heads. Squeeze the fat out from the heads and reserve it in a separate bowl.
First, you make the stock:
Heat the shells, and heads, in a pot with the water. Bruise the kaffir lime leaves smash the lemongrass and galangal a bit and throw them into the pot. (Reserve a few lime leaves, a slice or two of galangal, and some lemongrass for the soup later) After the water comes to a full boil, lower the heat to simmer and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Strain, and crush the shells and heads well to squeeze all the yummy taste from them.
Then the soup:
Heat the stock to a boil, add the shrimp, shrimp fat, mushrooms, and the rest of the lime leaves and lemongrass. When the shrimps are just done (take care not to overcook the shrimps), turn the heat off. Season with fish sauce, lime juice, and Nam-prik Pao. If you like it hotter, smash up a few chilies and throw them in. The taste should be sour, salty, hot, with a slight sweetness at the end.
I often throw in a few extra chilies whole, letting my guest smash them up with a spoon in their own bowls. This way everyone can control their own level of heat.
In conclusion, Tom Yum Goong is not just a soup; it’s a sensory delight that encapsulates the essence of Thai cuisine. Its bold and vibrant flavors are the perfect representation of the country’s rich culinary heritage, and now, with this recipe, you can bring a taste of Thailand to your own table.
Whether you savor it as a comforting bowl of warmth on a chilly evening or as a refreshing, zesty delight on a hot day, Tom Yum Goong is a versatile and exciting dish that never fails to impress. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the aromatic journey, and share the magic of this Thai classic with your loved ones. From the first slurp to the last spoonful, this Tom Yum Goong recipe is a delicious voyage worth savoring, time and time again.
A Spicy Symphony of Flavors!
This recipe is a true winner in every sense. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow, making it accessible for both novice and experienced cooks. The ingredients, while authentic, are also readily available, making this taste of Thailand within reach for anyone.
The end result was nothing short of spectacular. The broth had that perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spicy that characterizes Tom Yum Goong, and the aroma filled my kitchen, creating an enticing atmosphere. The succulent shrimp and the blend of fresh herbs gave the dish an authentic touch that’s hard to find outside of Thailand.