Tom Yum Soup

We seem to pick Thai food as our restaurant of choice for many events, my sisters’ graduation and birthday are just a few that come to mind. I was introduced to Thai food from my brother who took us to a Thai restaurant when we were visiting him during college waaaaaay back in the day.  Since then I’ve always loved Thai food.  I find their flavors bright and exciting.  I guess Thai food has always been a part of our lives.  It only seems right that I learn to make some of our favorite Thai food.

Tom Yum soup is one of my favorites.  I don’t know all the authenticities about it and I don’t claim to know it, but I do know the soup I make is a crowd pleaser in my home and that’s all that really matters (to me at least).  Sometimes I add coconut milk but most of the time I don’t.  I’ve made it with both chicken broth and water, from scratch and also with the tom yum paste.  Either way it’s always delicious. and satisfying.  This is my recipe for Tom Yum soup from scratch.  I didn’t use chicken broth, just water and no paste.  At first I was scared to not use chicken broth because I though I might be missing a depth of flavor but it turned out really well and I didn’t miss the chicken broth at all.  It’s a really simple soup to make and I think you’ll be delighted with the end result.

I’m excited because to get the red color of the soup, I added paprika which I’ve never added before.  I just looked on the back of my Tom Yum Soup paste and the ingredient list had paprika color in it so I decided to follow and add paprika powder to my oil.  I think it worked great.  I feel like a little food scientist that just figured out a small piece to solving a puzzle. Win!


Thai Tom Yum Soup (4 servings)
1 tbs oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp paprika
4 cups  water
2  tbs frozen lemongrass, or 1 fresh lemongrass
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 thai chili pepper
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs limes juice (about 1 ½ limes)
1 ½  cup sliced mushrooms
1 ½  cup shrimp
1 cup cherry tomatoes
Chopped cilantro

  • In a medium size pot add oil, garlic, ginger and turn heat to medium.  Once sizzling,  add paprika.
  • Stir for about 30 seconds.  Careful not to burn the garlic and ginger.
  • Add 4 cups of water. Cover and bring to boil.
  • Once boiling, add lime leaves, chili, fish sauce, sugar, lime, and mushrooms and simmer (loosely covered) for about 20 minutes.
  • Turn heat to low add shrimp and cherry tomatoes.
  •  Once shrimp turns pink, turn off heat.
  • Taste and adjust  seasonings as desired.  If you want more sour, add more lime, more sweet, add sugar, more salty add fish sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve.

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The paprika will give broth a red color.
After adding the water.
Deep flavorful soup with shrimp and mushrooms.
And if you didn’t want to make from scratch, you can always buy the paste 🙂

3 thoughts on “Tom Yum Soup”

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