Tom Yum Goong Recipe (Thai Hot and Sour Prawn Soup)
Soup has always been one of my go-to comfort foods. There’s something about a big bowl of broth that just makes me feel at ease. Maybe it’s that, often, a bowl of soup will fill me up without weighing me down. Maybe it’s that, always, a bowl of soup will warm me through all over, inside and out. Maybe it’s just that soup is just that good of a meal.
But I think, what it really is, is that soup holds us to so many memories.
Chicken soup reminds me of those sick days home from school as a child. Lobster bisque reminds me of fancy dinners out with my dad. Packets of ramen remind me of cheap dinners in my college dorm room.
On the road, when traveling, a bowl of cream of chicken soup from a random hostel restaurant in Koh Lanta reminded me, momentarily, of home. And, at home, a bowl of Tom Yum Goong from a local Thai restaurant reminds me, momentarily, of Thailand.
Tom Yum Goong is a hot and sour Thai soup. The strong flavors of lemongrass, galangal (a spice similar to ginger), chilies, and lime merge together to form a flavor explosion that hits every point of your tongue. Spicy. Sour. Sweet.
Tom Yum was one of the dishes on my regular rotation of dishes I ate when traveling Thailand (along with Pad Thai and green curry). Even on a hot, humid, day, unbearable day, the soup was satisfying. Comforting.
Hot and Sour Prawn Soup (Tom Yum Goong)
- 5 prawns shelled with tails intact and deveined
- ½ cup straw mushrooms halved or oyster mushrooms
- 1 stalk lemongrass cut into 3 cm. pieces and softly smashed
- 3 slivers galangal
- 2 cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ onion cut quartered
- 2 kaffir lime leaves tear the middle stem off
- 1 stem spring onion sliced
- 1 Tbsp chopped coriander
- 3 bird chillies or to taste, smashed and finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp roasted chilli paste (Nam Prik Phao)
- 2 cups chicken stock or water
- Put water or stock in a sauce pan over high heat. Add the lemongrass, galangal and onion, then bring to a boil.
- When boiling, add mushroom and tomatoes, season with roasted chilli paste, fish sauce, sugar, salt, lime juice, and chillies.
- Add prawn and kaffir lime leaves. Heat until the prawns are just cooked.
- Ladle soup into a warm soup bowl. Place prawns on top and garnish with coriander and spring onion.