Thai Spicy Prawn Soup (Tom Yam)

Thai Spicy Prawn Soup (Tom Yam)

Packed with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chilli, basil and tamarind, this popular soup conjures up the flavours of South Asian cooking. Traditionally served with jasmine rice, it also suffices as a delicious meal on its own.

Recipe for Thai Spicy Prawn Soup
Ingredients for Thai Spicy Prawn Soup:

  • 1 litre fish or shellfish stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 45 g fresh galangal, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 3-4 fresh red chilli padi. left whole
  • 225 g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, lightly crushed with your fingers
  • 20 medium prawns, shelled and deviened
  • sea salt to taste
  • small bunch of fresh coriander (roughly chopped) or basil leaves (shredded)


  1. Bring stock to the boil in a deep pot. Stir in fish sauce, tamarind paste, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, chillies and kaffir lime leaves.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes to flavour stock.
  3. Add prawns and simmer for 2-3 minutes until cooked.
  4. Season soup with sea salt to taste and stir in half the basil or coriander leaves.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining basil or coriander leaves.

Recipe Credit – 500 Asian Dishes by Ghillie Basan

3 thoughts on “Thai Spicy Prawn Soup (Tom Yam)

  1. Tried this recipe but forgot to put fish sauce..oops!! i added straw mushroom to it. Tom yum soup wasn’t flavorful enough. Tks for this recipe though, will try again next time.

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