Tom Yum Goong

2009 December 15
by linda

I have been craving for a spicy and sour tom yum for some time. We had been eating out in Thai restaurant and I always ordered Tom Yum most of the time. Why are they serve the soup in a very tiny super small size… I wonder. So off I went to the fish market to buy a kg of Australian banana prawns (they were so expensive $24/kg). I also went to my favorite Thai’s grocery store to buy some of the ingredients. I had been wondering the store quite sometime and smelling all the unknown herbs, so I decided to ask the staff. Without any clue what so ever, I asked the staff:

Me: (holding a bunch of herbs) Is this Thai’s basil leaves?

Staff: No, that’s Vianemit mit. (No offense to Thai’s people.. that was what really happened)

Me: ??? What? Pardon me ???

Staff: Vietnemit mit (keep repeating the same things again and again)

Me: (then I get it) Ohhh Vietnamese mint leaves. What do you use to make Tom Yum soup? Basil leaves?

Staff: No leaves.

Me: Oh OK

Here’s how my Tom Yum soup looks like. The tom yum paste really helps to give an intense tom yum flavour, but most importantly don’t forget your chilli pure for the heat and tamarind for the sourness.

Tom Yum Goong

This is another alternative on how to serve Tom Yum Soup, with egg noodles and poached egg.

Tom Yum Goong Noodle


  • a kg of prawns in shells
  • 1 liter water
  • tom yum paste to taste(they come in bottle and sachet)
  • 4 pcs galangal, smashed (as big as 20 cents coin)
  • 1 lemon grass, smashed (use just the white part)
  • 1/2 cup of tamarind juice, or to taste
  • 1 tsp of puree small red chillies, or to taste
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • fresh mushrooms or can of button mushrooms
  • spring onions to serve


  • Shell of prawns including the heads, but reserve the tail on the prawns.
  • Using a pot, add water and bring it to boil. Add all the heads and shells of the prawns and let it boils and simmers for 10 minutes.
  • Using a strainer, squeeze all the goodness from the heads and shells. Discard all of the heads and shells and reserve the liquid.
  • Pour the liquid back to the pot and add galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leave it to simmerfor 10 minutes.
  • Add raw prawns (add prawns 10 minutes before the heat is turned off, so that the prawns stay crunchy and not overcooked).*(see note)
  • If you are using can mushrooms, add it now.
  • Add the tom yum paste to give the taste a punch of flavor.
  • Add tamarind juice, red chillies, and fish sauce to taste.
  • Add fresh mushrooms and spring onions to the individual bowls to serve the soup.
  • To make the noodle: using a pot, bring some of the soup liquid to boil, just enough for one serve of dry egg noodle. Poached raw eggs on the soup for about 5-7 minutes. Add dry egg noodles and cook according to the package’s instruction. Turn the heat off and add fresh mushrooms and spring onions.


  • Alternatively, after the prawns are boiling in the soup for 10 minutes or just cooked, separate them from the soup and put in another bowl with some soup liquid. Whenever you reheat the soup, you could add the prawns afterward.

Preparation time (duration): 20

Culinary tradition: Thai

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You!!!

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 December 23
    Robert permalink

    duh kebayang asem2 pedasnya…
    mengundang air liur…

  2. 2011 October 26
    thesa permalink

    Tom Yum di Thai selalu pakai corriander leave, try it! ;)

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