Tom Yum Goong

Tom yum goong 1If you love Thai food, maybe you already know about this dish, Tom Yum Goong, and how it tastes like. But in case you don’t know about it, thanks to Wikipedia (yay!), now it’s able for me, who is truly and honestly terrible at explaining things, to tell you what it is. According to Wikipedia, Tom Yum is a spicy clear soup typical in Laos and Thailand and is widely served in neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, and has been popularized around the world. It’s characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragnant herbs used in the broth (lemongrass, ginger…). And finally (that’s the most important part ^^), Tom Yum Goong, or Tom Yam Kung is the most popular version of Tom Yum, is made with prawns as the main ingredient.

Whewww, that academic part of the post !!! Actually, I just want to show you how crazy I was when I made this dish. I cooked it in a not-really-cold-and-windy winter day, fyi, it’s quite warm, or should I say “hot”? Besides, I’m not a big fan of spicy food so after finishing all the steps, I tasted it and like, wow, it explodes in my mouth! That was seriously hot and spicy, you may not believe this but  I nearly cried. So, if you’re obsessed with spicy food or your place’s extremely cold (this’s even better), this dish should be your must-do. It will make you hot inside and out (LOL what am I saying right now?)

Tom yum goong 2

Okay, let’s move on to the actions 😉

Ingredients (serves: 4)

500 grams prawns, peeled, keep the heads

250 grams white mushrooms, washed and quartered

50 grams Tom Yum paste (Nam Prik Pow)

5 sticks lemongrass, trimmed and cut into 7cm long pieces

10-12 slices of ginger

10-12 lime leaves

2-3 hot chilies

Lemon juice/Lime juice

Fish sauce


1. Soak the Tom Yum paste packet in hot water for about 1 minute so the paste will be softer and easier to use.


2. In a large mixing bowl, marinade the prawns with half of the lemongrass, slices of gingers and half of the Tom Yum paste. Mix until combined.




3. Meanwhile, put all the prawn heads in a pot, cover with 1l fresh water, add 5 tbs of fish sauce and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, simmer for 20-25 minutes so the sweetness from the heads can go through the water.


4. Using the back of a spoon, gently and very carefully smash the prawn heads to excess all the sweetness and flavors, then take them all out. The broth should turn…orange (or they call “red”) by now. Add the remaining lemongrass, limes leaves, hot chilies and the remaining Tom Yum paste to the broth, stir well and cook for a couple minutes.


5. Add the mushrooms, cook further in 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked. Season more with fish sauce if needed.



6. Finally, add the prawns and their marinade (slices of ginger, lemongrass) to the broth, cook until the prawns are nicely done and soft (about 5-7 minutes). Stir in the lemon juice/lime juice, the amount depends on your liking, I’m a big fan of sour dishes so I added some HUGE tablespoons, maybe 7-8, or even more xD Turn off the heat and serve hot.


Tom yum goong 3

Good luck everyone and have fun making this hot and delicious dish,

Love, Trang Quynh



  1. sybaritica · February 5, 2013

    Lovely picture of the soup! I have a jar of a pretty good Tum Yum Paste I have been meaning to feature on my blog… I like it as it can be used for a variety of different dishes!

    • trangquynh · February 5, 2013

      really? Can you tell me some of the dishes using Tom Yum Paste? This is the first time I’ve used it so I don’t know many dishes ^^

      • sybaritica · February 5, 2013

        It’s great used as a paste for stir-frying just about any combination of meat and vegetables… or adding to one-pot style casseroles. I am thinking of doing a dish with pork stir-fried with scallions and pineapple using it… be a few weeks at least before I post it though…

      • trangquynh · February 5, 2013

        thank you for the ideas, using Tom Yum paste for stir-fried dishes sounds good, I’ll give it a try 🙂

  2. Eva Taylor · February 5, 2013

    This is my absolute FAVOURITE Thai soup ever. I usually make my own paste for the base, but I will check around for this mix for a quicky soup.

    • trangquynh · February 5, 2013

      wow, you make your own paste? That’s just amazing! How did you make it? ^^

  3. Profiteroles & Ponytails · February 5, 2013

    Your photo of the soup is really beautiful! I was just going to ask about a substitute for the paste, as I haven’t seen it before. However, I see Eva makes her own so I’ll have to check with her, as I know her well! Your version of the soup is chock full of shrimp and mushrooms, which makes it way better than any version of this I’ve had in a restaurant!

    • trangquynh · February 5, 2013

      thank you so much for the compliment, I’m about to check the substitution of the paste in Eva’s blog too ^^

  4. Stephanie · February 6, 2013

    This looks delicious! I love how you can see the steam rising from the food in some of your photos… makes me so hungry!

    • trangquynh · February 6, 2013

      thank you so much for the nice comment, it made my day ^^

  5. petit4chocolatier · February 8, 2013

    Oh Wow! This looks lovely. Your pictures are phenomenal.

  6. dedy oktavianus pardede · February 11, 2013

    if you want the stock is superior even more, stir the shrimp head with a little bit of oul until crisp and fragrant, ten you add the water and simmer it,,,,
    add extra tamarind paste for me please…..

    • trangquynh · February 12, 2013

      thank you for the great tip, next time I will give it a try ^^ I’m not a fan of spicy food so I found this dish already too spicy

  7. theglobalgarnishgeek · February 12, 2013

    Lovely! I can just smell the lemongrass, which I absolutely love. The dish looks delicious and so healthy…..

    • trangquynh · February 12, 2013

      thank you for your nice compliment, I love lemongrass too, especially when they’re stir-fried with meat or steamed in broth ^^

  8. Pingback: Tom Yum Goong « Taste from Home
  9. Pingback: Foodstuff: Tom Yum Soup Paste (Jack Hua Brand) | Sybaritica
  10. Pingback: Lemongrass Chicken | Trang Quynh

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