Overhead shot of Thai Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup in small bowl sitting on blue and white patterned dishes. Chopsticks on plate.
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Tom Yum Soup {Thai Hot & Sour Soup}

Thai Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup Tom Yum Goong

It had been entirely too long since I stood embraced by the best hugger I know. My kid! She delivers the kind of hug that reaches through the front of you and radiates out to the tips of your fingers and toes.  The kind that inspires you to start a blog post about Tom Yum Soup {Thai Hot & Sour Soup} with a hug.

Vietnamese Beef Pho

Back to it being entirely too long, sometimes life gets in the way.  It had been weeks since Shelby and I hung out.  Work, commitments, work, friends, travel, etc. kept us apart. We both reached a point that none of those ‘excuses’ were going to get in the way.  So we met today, ironically both ‘suffering’ from one kind of soreness or another….seemed like a great time for pedicures.  Which led to conversations with our nail techs about the best Vietnamese food in the area.  I think we’ve got some great recommendations for Vietnamese Pho for another time.

Sadly today we settled for an Asian infusion place just around the corner.  We were searching for a soup that was hot and allowed the aromas to add to the flavor.  Sip, smell, taste, enjoy.  And the next time you feel a cold or flu coming on try a home remedy bowl of Tom Yum Soup.  It will clear your sinuses, ease your body aches, and even lessen a headache.

Which brings up a topic that I’m still a little squirmy about.  What to do when you are served a dish that either isn’t to your liking, or in our case today….smelled like dish water that dirty sneakers had been soaked in.  Okay, that was a no-brainer….we made the decision to send it back as quickly as our server delivered it.  I’ll be the first to admit that fish sauce is an acquired taste, but I also had made Tom Yum Soup at home, which is when I discovered the beauty that is a balance of a broth that will turn cloudy when it meets the lime juice that should taste equally spicy, salty, and sour.

Thai Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup Tom Yum Goong

So while some of my favorite Sundays with Shelby outings are when we discover something new, today I was completely consumed with my kid….who is happy being happy.  And ‘happy’ looks especially good on her.  Next time I’ll bring her home so we can make and enjoy Tom Yum Soup together.

Thai Chile shrimp soup
Thai Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup Tom Yum Goong

Tom Yum Soup {Thai Hot & Sour Soup}

Libby with Lemony Thyme


  • 2 stalks fresh lemon grass
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 6 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 slices fresh ginger sliced galangal would be authentic but not already in my fridge
  • 2 Thai chili peppers halved and seeds removed
  • 1 shallot thin sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms traditionally straw but I opted for Bunapi. They’re mild and look cool
  • 2 Tbl. Thai chili paste
  • 8 oz. medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 Tbl. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbl. brown sugar
  • 3 scallions thin sliced
  • 1 Thai chili or red chili pepper thin sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • cilantro leaves


  • Trim tip and root ends of lemongrass stalks and remove tough outer layer.
  • Using a mallet smash the lemongrass to flatten it; tie stalks into a knot; set aside.
  • Pour broth into 2 qt saucepan and bring to boil.
  • Add lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger, and chili halves reduce heat and simmer 7-10 minutes until fragrant.
  • Strain broth, discarding lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger and chili halves.
  • Return to pan and increase heat to high.
  • Stir in mushrooms and chili paste and boil for 1 minute; add shrimp, fish sauce, and sugar and cook until shrimp are just cooked through, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Place chili pepper slices, scallions, and lime juice into serving bowls and top with shrimp, broth, and cilantro leaves.
  • Adjust flavors by adding more fish sauce or lime juice just 1/4 teaspoon at a time

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