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Tom Yum Goong Soup with Noodles

Tom Yum Goong soup, originated from Thailand is one of my favourite go-to dishes as its quick to make and really stimulates your appetite!

Tom Yum or Tom Yam simply means

Tom: boiling

Yum: Sweet, sour, spicy flavour

Goong: Prawns

There are two different varieties as well:

  1. Clear Tom Yum Soup (Tom Yum Goong Nam Sai)

  2. Creamy Tom Yum Soup (Tom Yum Goong Nam Khon) - made from the clear version with the addition of evaporated milk

Traditional Tom Yum is made with evaporated milk instead of coconut milk (I did not know this). However, I did opt for coconut milk as it gives it a more silky flavoursome sweet nutty taste.

Tom Yum vs Tom Kha

Tom Kha is often confused as Tom Yum with the addition of coconut milk but actually, Tom Kha means boiled galangal (Kah means galangal).

Fresh Galangal

These are both very different soups, Tom Kha is always made with coconut milk whilst Tom Yum can be made with or without.

So Tom Kha tends to be a murky white soup and slightly creamier than a Tom Yum.

Tom Kha (Adapted from Michelin Guide)

I am no expert but read more here if you are interested :)

Where do I get the ingredients?

Most of these ingredients can be readily found in an Asian supermarket including the tom yum paste, lemongrass, birdseye chillis, fish sauce and coconut milk and the remaining can be found in all mainstream supermarkets such as all the veggies.

With this recipe, I used a ready-made tom yum paste (Pantai Tom Yum Paste) as it was difficult for me to gather ingredients such as kaffir leaves and prawn heads (they tend to be sold without their heads) in the UK especially during lock down. However, the end products still remain DELICIOUS!

There are many different brands e.g. Mae Ploy (I enjoy their Thai curries!) and supermarket own brands that do Tom Yum pastes, however, I have never tried them before and not sure how they would taste.

Per Serving

Without evaporated or coconut milk

Calories: 170kcal | Protein: 15g

With evaporated or coconut milk

Calories: 280kcal | Protein: 22g protein (only with evaporated milk as coconut milk contains little protein)

With noodles: additional 200kcal and 4g protein :)

Ingredients (for 4)

  • 1.5L water

  • 2 x fish or chicken stock cubes (vegetarian/vegan version: swap for veggie stock cubes)

  • 2 x sticks of lemongrass (peel off outer layers, cut in half lengthwise and slice into 2-3cm segments)

  • 2 x garlic cloves (thinly sliced)

  • 1 x white onion (cut into 1-2cm wedges)

  • 2 tbsp tom yum paste

  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 2 tbsp tomato puree

  • 2 tsp fish sauce (vegetarian/vegan version: swap for coconut aminos)

  • 300g (1 pack) baby button mushrooms or straw mushrooms (sliced into 0.5cm slices)

  • 300g (1 pack) cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)

  • 2 x Birdseye chilli (sliced)

  • 2 x limes (sliced in quarters)

  • Optional: 400ml (1 can) coconut milk or evaporated milk

  • Optional: 4 x packs of vermicelli noodles or rice noodles or of your choice

Source of protein (your choice!)

  • Raw frozen or fresh prawns/shrimps – preferably whole as peeled ones shrinks to the size of your toenail

  • Chicken strips

  • Pork

  • Beef

  • Vegetarian or vegan version: Extra-firm or firm tofu

To serve: Spring onions, coriander and limes

Serves: 4


  1. Prepare the vegetables e.g. onion, garlic, lemongrass, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, birdseye chillis and spring onions as above.

  2. Heat up a heavy bottom pot with oil and add in the Tom Yum Paste for 20 seconds

  3. Add 1.5L of water and stock pots, then bring to simmer on high heat, reduce to medium and add in the onions, mushrooms, lemongrass, garlic and chillis to the pot. Simmer for a couple of minutes whilst you prepare the noodles.

  4. Optional: Prepare the noodles of your choice according to the pack instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  5. Add cherry tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes.

  6. Optional (read above): Add the can of coconut milk or evaporated milk and simmer for 3 minutes.

  7. Add prawns and simmer gently for 2 minutes or until cooked. Be careful not to overcook the prawns!

  8. Add lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, tomato puree, some of the parsley and spring onions - ADJUST accordingly.

  9. Divide and serve the noodles into 4 warm bowls and ladle the soup into bowls.

Serve by sprinkling the remaining coriander, spring onions with lime wedges to squeeze on top!


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